Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jamaluru

LEAVE YOUR CAR BEHIND,
The nightmarish congestion on Bangalore’s arterial roads is symptomatic of the city’s traffic problems. A Bangalore Mirror test drive confirms that cycling is faster than travelling by bike or car on MG Road, Hosur Road or Mysore Road. Let’s un-jam Bengaluru



START, STOP, START
STRETCH: M G Road - from Trinity Circle to Anil Kumble Junction DISTANCE: 2 kms; TEST DRIVE STARTED AT: 5:35 pm
Atest-drive was conducted by Bangalore Mirror on the busy 2-km stretch at peak hour between 5 pm and 6 pm. Four of us started exactly at 5:35 pm from Trinity Circle. Each of us used a different mode of transport: Car, bike, cycle and by walk. The destination was Anil Kumble Circle.
The cyclist got a head start on the road which is sandwiched between the pillars of the Metro and dug-up footpaths. Even though zipping bikers and cars occasionally forced the cyclist off the road, the latter still kept the lead. He reached East Parade Church junction at 5:39 pm while the others were still trying to get past the Nalli Silks stretch. Meanwhile, the foot soldier was making steady progress, unhindered by signals and the like.
As for the cyclist, he wouldn’t be startled even if somebody from a running company bus sneaked out his mobile camera to take his snap enjoying the ride!
Mayo Hall junction: Again cyclist reaches first, at 5:41 pm. But the cyclist faces the maximum problems crossing the Mayo Hall stretch as vehicles are zipping helter-skelter towards Central Mall.
The car and the bike are now ahead.
All four of us get stranded near the Cauvery Emporium or Brigade Junction signal at 5:42 pm. At the final stretch, the car and the bike clearly score. The cyclist is left behind. The walker is plodding on. The cyclist reaches Anil Kumble circle at 5:45 pm but the car and the biker, it turns out, have reached just a few minutes earlier. But you guessed who had the last laugh.






PEDAL POWER STRETCH: Mysore Road—from Sirsi Circle Flyover down ramp to Deepanjalinagar junction (leading to Vijayanagar) DISTANCE: 2.3 kms; TEST DRIVE STARTED AT: 7:50 pm
This is one of the busiest stretches in Bangalore city as it leads to six towns en route to Mysore. From two-wheelers to buses to trucks, every vehicle jostles for space on this stretch, which also houses the Mysore Road Satellite Bus Terminal, Big Bazaar and Gopalan Mall.
The BM team started from near the down ramp of Sirsi Circle flyover and the vehicle that reached the end point first was the cycle. Except for near the satellite bus terminal, the cyclist did not stop anywhere else till he reached the destination. Near the Mysore Road Satellite bus station, the cyclist had to stop as there was a small blockade. That apart, the cyclist went around in a cool manner. Of course, he had to breathe the polluted air.
The bike rider, who came second, rued: “It was mostly in the first and second gears that I rode, only twice did I get to use the third gear of my Pulsar 150 cc bike, which has five gears.
The top speed clocked was 40 kmph, that too only for a small distance.” The car, ironically, turned out to be a snail on the four-laned road. “I was shocked to find the pedestrian overtake me near the Gali Anjaneyaswamy Junction.
The top speed that I clocked was 30 kmph, I could not drive in fourth and fifth gears,” the car driver said.
The pedestrian, meanwhile, rued: “Had the pavements been neatly laid, I would have clocked less time.”









ROAD TO HELL STRETCH: Hosur Road --- Dairy Circle to Madivala check post (passing through Christ University and Forum Mall) DISTANCE: 1.5 kms TEST DRIVE STARTED AT: 5:50 pm
Dubbed as the city’s gateway to Tamil Nadu, traffic on this stretch is described as `chaotic and nightmarish’ by those who use it on a daily-basis. The road is home to Forum Mall, Christ University, Big Bazaar and Prestige Acropolis apartments --- all these places have high-density of pedestrian and vehicular movement.
When the BM team started, it was a smooth run till Christ University. After that, the road to hell begins. While the motorcyclist rode at an average speed of 30 kmph, the car crawled at 20 kmph. “The traffic, that moved slowly, actually stopped for five minutes



at Forum Mall as autorickshaws had been parked haphazardly, blocking the way. The car driver said: “We had to fight with the Tamil Nadu-bound buses and call-centre cabs going towards Electronics City for space to move forward. The car got into the third gear only once on this stretch, fourth and fifth gears could not be used.”
Another irritating aspect is the constant honking by motorists. “Everybody wants to get past the other, so they keep honking. It is deafening,” said the walker. Wading through a sea of shoppers is a difficult task here for pedestrians. Morever, the pavements are either occupied by hawkers or used as parking space by two-wheelers.
But the fastest here was a cyclist. “When there is a jam, just leave the bicycle and walk on the pavement. When the road is clear, start pedaling,” was his mantra. But the question that nagged him was: “How much time will those traveling in buses take to reach their destinations in this slow traffic?”

at Forum Mall as autorickshaws had been parked haphazardly, blocking the way. The car driver said: “We had to fight with the Tamil Nadu-bound buses and call-centre cabs going towards Electronics City for space to move forward. The car got into the third gear only once on this stretch, fourth and fifth gears could not be used.”
Another irritating aspect is the constant honking by motorists. “Everybody wants to get past the other, so they keep honking. It is deafening,” said the walker. Wading through a sea of shoppers is a difficult task here for pedestrians. Morever, the pavements are either occupied by hawkers or used as parking space by two-wheelers.
But the fastest here was a cyclist. “When there is a jam, just leave the bicycle and walk on the pavement. When the road is clear, start pedaling,” was his mantra. But the question that nagged him was: “How much time will those traveling in buses take to reach their destinations in this slow traffic?”


STRETCH: From Central Silk Board to Jayadeva Hospital Flyover DISTANCE: 2.6 km TEST DRIVE STARTED AT: 7:27 pm
Amajority of the vehicles coming from Hosur Road towards the city use this stretch to reach places like Jayanagar, Kanakapura Road, Mysore Road and Bannerghatta Road. This road witnesses bumper-to-bumper traffic during the peak hours, a major bottleneck being the Silk Board bus stop and 16th Main Junction. Incidentally, this is the road used by a majority of the techies working in Electronics City.
When the BM team started, it was hurdles from the word go. “There was a jam near the bus stop and it took some time to get cleared. We had to stop at eight different places,” the car driver said.
But it is a death trap for a motorcyclist or a bicycle rider on this stretch. “There are a lot of potholes on the road. Trying to avoid a pothole could prove dangerous as there are heavy trucks on the road. These monster trucks just don’t give way for smaller vehicles,” said the motorcyclist.
A walk on the road is a painful exercise, what with the drains at several places opened for cleaning.

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