Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The great K R Puram road trap

The great K R Puram road trap



Sharan PoovannaFirst Published : 16 Nov 2009 06:50:14 AM ISTLast Updated : 16 Nov 2009 07:42:39 AM IST
BANGALORE: Picture this: three flyovers within a distance of 1 km. A railway station in the vicinity.
Bangalore’s own Hanging bridge. Huge construction zones and traffic that is bumper to bumper almost any time of the day.
For people commuting to and through K R Puram, the Hanging bridge which took four years to build and the flyovers surrounding it have failed to make travelling easy.
The traffic projections on which the bridge and the flyovers were built seem miscalculated as a majority of the vehicles take the road beside the cable bridge towards more industrial areas (ITPL).
You have to negotiate three interjecting roads, a few dodgy manoeuvres to get to the lane of choice and then finally to the road of your choice.
The Problem The four-lane road that leads to ITPL, Kolar and Marathalli from NGEF starts well, but the party ends as soon as you sink into cruise mode. Four lanes from either side converge under one railway underpass. This little space has to accommodate vehicles from both sides, from and towards the NGEF signal.
Go past this and the stream of vehicles from the Outer Ring Road join you at a crisiscross junction. Vehicles coming from Outer Ring Road and wanting to get on the Hanging Bridge have to cut through vehicles going beside the flyover towards ITPL and Marathalli.
Amidst all this there are pedestrians trying to cross the road, most of them forsaking the zebra crossing for other convenient but dangerous points.
The traffic from the other side is no better with vehicles coming from ITPL having to drive through the flow of traffic coming down the bridge towards NGEF.
A bus stop that is just before the crossing, expects its drivers to cut a 45 degree angle to get to the other side to the road that leads to Outer Ring Road.
Also, particularly dangerous is a bus stop at the beginning of the cable bridge towards Kolar, buses just stop anywhere around it than on the designated bus bay.
Faulty solutions? A speed breaker that has been built at the point of the criss-cross section of the Outer Ring Road and the road from NGEF to Kolar and ITPL has not proved to be effective.
A pedestrian crossing has been made, but has to be manned by a policeman at all hours, something not seen very often.
Both have failed to make the commute safer or faster.
New plans to the rescue The transport ministry has proposed plans to spend nearly Rs 2,500 crore to make many city roads signal free and has identified 100 junctions in the city.
The ministry has plans to make railway under passes and over bridges at the cost of Rs 355 crore.
Pedestrians are a vulnerable section as there are not too many safe points for them to cross over.
The ministry has also set aside Rs 800 crores for construction of skywalks within BBMP limits. The effectiveness of skywalks remain questionable with pedestrians not willing to do the climbing.
However, under the scheme, the ministry has proposed skywalks with escalators to make it more appealing fop pedestrian.

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