Saturday, January 23, 2010

Expressway opens to chaos

Expressway opens to chaos

It was not a sweet beginning for the much-hyped 9.5km elevated expressway built at an outlay of Rs800crore.
Its trial run on Friday turned out to be a terror run. What caused the chaos? Ironically, it was the hoarding welcoming Bangaloreans to the expressway, at the starting point in Bommanahalli. As the hoarding was hanging low, tourist buses found it hard to pass through. Commuters from Electronic City heading towards Bommanahalli and those in the opposite lane were stuck for more than half an hour because of this. Vehicles piled up for up to five km. The police then tried to remove the hoarding, but that only added to the chaos.

Flop show at Hosur Road on first day

In theory, the country's longest expressway should provide the commuters an easy path to Bommanahalli and Attibele. The reality, however, is different

Senthalir S and Sunitha Rao R. Bangalore



The maximum speed allowed on the Hosur Road expressway is 80km. But on the inaugural day, traffic on the much-hyped 9.985km elevated expressway came to a standstill at 6 pm.
A billboard welcoming Bangaloreans to the four-lane, elevated expressway at Bommanahalli was the culprit. It was too low and a tourist bus could not pass below. This led to lining up of vehicles up to 5km on the expressway. Enthusiastic commuters coming from Electronic City to Bommanahalli and those moving towards Electronic City were stranded for more than half an hour on Friday evening.
"We have been waiting for the past 20 minutes to take the flyover. I am returning home after work and I thought I could reach early if I take the expressway. But now it seems that it would take time," said Ashok C Konti, a harried telecom company executive, told DNA.
K Parvateesam, manager (technical) of highway traffic management system (HTMS), said that the chaos could have been avoided but 'it didn't occur to us'. Once the vehicles were allowed to enter the expressway, too much of enthusiasm and commuters caused the confusion.
In theory, the country's longest expressway should provide the commuters an easy path to Bommanahalli and Attibele stretch that are known for immobile traffic.
But in reality, there are too many vehicles on Hosur Road and those using the expressway will run into this traffic as they hit the highway.
The expressway traffic will be about 1.5 lakh PCUs (Passenger Car Units) per day, thus making it the second busiest toll road in the country and the third busiest in the world.
In the reverse direction, the commuters from Electronic City faced traffic congestion near Silk Board junction and BTM Layout, on day one itself. The residents of the BTM Layout are, in fact, having nightmares.
A senior traffic police felt that unless the traffic hold-ups near Silk Board and BTM Layout were controlled, there would not be any change in the time taken for commuters, in both directions.
"The Silk Board junction is already congested with traffic flowing in from HSR Layout, Madiwala and Hosur Road. With more vehicles descending from the expressway, the situation will get worse," he said.
Also nothing has been planned to reach the city centre via the Jayadeva Hospital or to ease traffic jams at Jayanagar (9th Block), Ragi Gudda, Nanda Theatre Road, RV Road, JC Road, Town Hall and Majestic.

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