Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Bus lanes may hit a dead end: experts

Bus lanes may hit a dead end: experts

Space crunch and high cost render dedicated space on roads for buses unfeasible

Bosky Khanna. Bangalore



The recent proposal to introduce dedicated bus lanes on 10 major roads in the city has not gone down well with civic experts and road engineers. They opine that this is not a feasible idea and would be an unnecessary investment.
Bannerghatta Road, Bellary Road, Tumkur Road, Magadi Road, Sarjapura Road, Old Madras Road, Mysore Road, Kanakpura Road, HAL Airport Road and Hosur Road were identified for comprehensive improvement, which included providing seamless connectivity, road widening, provision of proper footpaths and dedicated bus lanes.
Experts said that dedicated bus lanes would require bus movement at the rate of one bus per minute, adequate space on the rest of the road for other vehicular traffic, and proper left and right turning system that would not affect other motorists.
"This idea can only be implemented on Outer Ring Road (ORR) from Hebbal to Central Silk Board," traffic expert, MN Sreehari, said, adding, "A road should measure at least 10.5m, 11m or 18m in width on each side to introduce bus lanes. Also, we need continuous bus movement in the bus rapid transit system, wherein only buses will be allowed to ply in the barricaded area. Once introduced, it cannot be removed."
Urban planner from Plan Arch, AS Kodandapani, said that a similar system was introduced for autorickshaws a few years ago, but it failed as these lanes needed to be barricaded. He added that a dedicated bus lane was workable in emerging cities. But for existing cities like Bangalore, the best solution for traffic congestion was a rapid rail system. Chairman, Centre for Infrastructure and Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning, Indian Institute of Science, Prof TG Sitharam said that such decisions required a detailed study of traffic volume. "I am sceptical if we can enjoy the luxury of such large space, and buses plying every minute. This will also remain just another idea," he said.

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