Sarjapur-Koramangala stretch needs one
In this stretch, there are traffic conflicts at 4 locations within a short distance & during peak hours...
BBMP’s plans for a series of underpasses/surfacepasses using pre-cast elements to minimize traffic delays at various locations do not seem to include the stretch of 100-ft road from Sarjapur road to 80-ft peripheral road in Koramangla. In this stretch, there are traffic conflicts at 4 locations within a short distance & during peak hours, traffic piles up almost on the entire stretch between Sarjapur road & 80-ft road.
Traffic moving from the western to the eastern side of 100-ft road (& vice-versa) interrupts mainstream traffic on 100-ft road. Also, some of the mainstream traffic from both directions on 100-ft road turns right into these secondary roads. Thus, in less than a half km of road stretch, there are two secondary roads with considerable volumes of traffic that join on each side of the road with traffic that turns right & disrupts mainstream traffic flow. This is further complicated with limited spacing between these four T-junctions.
The traffic on 100-ft road can be made to flow without interruptions if precast underpasses are fitted as shown in the sketch. At present, only the two secondary roads on the western side are one-ways. Changing flow directions & converting the other two roads to one ways is feasible with minimum inconvenience as the roads are all spaced very close to one another.
Fitting these pre-cast structures will release pressure on the streets now. However, with efflux of time, traffic volumes will increase with improved road & driving conditions & due to their narrow widths, they may turn out to be bottlenecks & pose obstacles to the flow of continuous traffic at some stage.
These ‘quick-installation’ underpasses could be used very effectively for rapid bus services, which are being planned in the city & where space constraints can be a problem.
For example, at Koramangala, the 100-ft road junctions at Sarjapur road, 80 ft road & further at Ejipura road are standard 4-way intersections with signal delays. The Traffic & Transportation survey report by RITES (2007) has recommended a Rapid Bus route from Domlur to Koramangala along the Intermediate ring road & 100-ft road (up to Hosur road). As space constraints may be encountered at these locations, these precast underpasses can be fitted at the three signal intersections for exclusive use of rapid buses to accord priority to them & save on bus transit time.
Debate gains pace
Readers and experts continued to respond to the Deccan Herald initiative “Concrete Solution ?” with their unique thoughts.
The issue is also being hotly discussed on the internet. Naveen Chandra, who launched a debate on a website on pre-cast underpass chose this forum to suggest BBMP construct underpasses using pre-cast technology to ease traffic congestion on 100ft road in Koramangala. Another reader felt that an efficient public transport system is the solution for the city’s burgeoning traffic.
Ideal but make it flexible
Though the underpass constructed at Cauvery theatre junction is narrow, it is basically a good technology. A technology can always be re-designed and modified to suit to the local conditions. If a particular traffic junction needs a bigger box, it can be done. And Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) should adopt such a flexibility.
The city is growing fast. Every day around 1,000 vehicles gets registered. Traffic problem is no longer confined to central part of the city. There are hundreds of junctions which needs immediate intervention to smoothen traffic flow. It is not possible to construct big flyovers in all these places. In this context, the new pre-cast underpass is an ideal one.
Bangaloreans are not mute spectators to new technologies adopted by urban planners to improve infrastructure facilities. They respond to the developments in different forums. One such active forum is Praja Bangalore, a website launched by a few IT professionals with concern about IT capital of the country. Capt Naveen Chandra is one among active contributors to the blog. Naveen, who studied at St Joseph’s College in Bangalore, works for a shipping company in the US. He has travelled across the globe.
Though he stays away from Bangalore most of the time in a year, he keeps updating himself about the city’s infrastrucutre facilities. Contributes articles to the website.
During his vacation in Bangalore Naveen launched a serious debate on pre-cast underpass built by BBMP at Cauvery junction in the website. Many have responded to his write-ups.
On request he walked into Deccan Herald and expressed his views on the technology. He came along with a model for underpass to ease traffic congestion on 100ft road in Koramangala. His write-ups are available at http://bangalore.praja.in
Consider pedestrians too
No doubt the technology is very good. But it will be beneficial only if it is executed effectively. The Cauvery junction underpass, constructed to ease the traffic flow, itself has become bottleneck for traffic because of its narrow width.
BBMP is constructing approaching ramps for the underpass at BDA junction. If the road has to be cut for laying pipeline or any other reason in future the entire the ramps have to be disturbed. I don’t think the Palike has taken any measure to address this problem well in advance.
One more thing is that pedestrians are completely neglected. Once the International Airport starts functioning vehicles will be moving at high speed on Bellary Road. Pedestrian will have tough time to cross this stretch. BBMP should provide pedestrian sub way.
Public transport is the solution
Elevated roads, underpasses, one-ways which have been created in many places are nothing but sqeezing the existing capacity and not more. Vehicles once cleared up through these places are bottled up at next junctions. All these are attributed to bad planning or no planning all these years.
We have reached a point of nowhere. We have many successful stories in many cities in South America which are similar to Bangalore where it is managed without Metro or other sophisticated transport but with public transport through dedicated lanes, creating awareness to the public the benefits of using the same and also sufficient room on the road for walkers and for cyclists. Perhaps many of our civic officials must have also studied the projects and made reports. Bangalore had the ample opportunity to have a circular railway using the existing line. Nobody gave a worthwhile thought to make this a reality.
Further, every government official including top bureaucrats should compulsorily utilise the public transport shunning the dedicated vehicles meant for them. This will give them first hand experience of an ordinary commuter. BMTC executives should come forward voluntarily to make use of public transport as of other passengers which help them understand the problems the public face every day. This move will definitely solve the problem.
K S Someswara, 4th block, Jayanagar