New age traffic solution: Think vertical! | Page 11 | Daily News

New age traffic solution: Think vertical!

Perera looking through his telescope


The traffic problem in Sri Lanka is frustrating and ridiculous. Sometimes more than two hours have to be spent on the road. Something has to be done about this. Science Writer Anura C Perera believes he has the answer. His answer is to go vertical.

President, Lanka Knowledge Bank, Anura C Perera is a science writer and he has even received a ‘Thank You’ letter from none other than Neil Armstrong - the first person to walk on the moon. Perera has sent a copy of his book, “Great Journey to the Moon” to Armstrong, as well as Armstrong’s two fellow astronauts through former US Ambassador Andrew V. Corey.

During a time when there was little knowledge of space and astronomy in Sri Lanka, he played a crucial role in popularizing the subject in Sri Lanka.

His first book was called “Fun with Science” which became very popular. And his second book was “Great Journey to the Moon.”

Perera also holds membership of some prominent circles. He is Fellow of the Royal Astronauts Society, British Interplanetary Society, British Astronomical Society, Interplanetary Society USA, member of National Space Society and Sri Lanka Astronomical Society, and founder of the Ceylon Interplanetary Society.

Perera initially ran a printing press from 1980 to 1999 and subsequently, left the country with his family in 1999 and the press finally collapsed in 2005.

Perera, a product of Nalanda College, has a theory that just might solve the traffic problem.

“My solution to the traffic problem is to go vertical. Building superhighways above the main highway supported by concrete pillars is the solution. We must build roads vertically. While the cars and trucks use the highways, the trains and buses will move through roads built vertically above the main highway. So without widening the sides, we can build many roads vertically,” said Perera.

Perera points out that no one has envisioned this on the large scale like he has.

Perera’s traffic model


“This superhighway system is ideal for populated cities like Colombo. The trains and buses can circulate the city on the special roads built above the highway. If someone wishes to get off there will be stations positioned. So the buses and trains have special lanes situated above. And the cars will move below. My concept is for the roads to be built as tubes for additional protection, but the roads can be designed without tubes. These tubes can be made out of poly carbon,” points out Perera.

Perera envisions a city with as many superhighways that could be dreamed possible. This is a futuristic and bold idea by Perera. These tunnels made out of poly carbon can be very strong.

“I just want to give this concept to the government as my idea is completely safe,” he added.

The inspiration for such radical and amazing ideas may stem out of Perera’s fascination with the universe which kindled his scientific way of thinking.

“I used to like seeing the night sky. I was fascinated by it and it appealed to me. Those were my beginnings. I have been to many advanced countries and they have solved their traffic problems. So why can’t we We need to do this step by step. We can start with a part of Colombo. We are spending so much money on fuel and we are wasting time on the roads. My theory is that we can build five, six, seven or eight superhighways,” explains Perera.

There will of course be supports to hold the roads and the weight of vehicles moving above, built with special concrete. These superhighways need to be strong.

“My idea is simple, advanced and orderly. Even the cars, trucks, three wheelers and motorcycles have their own special roads. My system saves space, because when you widen the roads, you need to pay more money. This can go up to millions of rupees. You can invest this money in more productive ways without trying to widen the roads. People will appreciate and like this system. It will make them happy,” states Perera.

Perera believes that somehow we must start this. In an indirect way, even pollution will be lessened since cars won’t spend hours stuck on roads. Sometimes these superhighways can accommodate more than one vehicle at a time.

“This can be done by the private sector or the public sector or both collaborating. You can build as tall as you like!”

(Pictures by Dushmantha Mayadunne)


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