Monday, June 14, 2010

Road plans should fit into city's 'overall scheme'

Road plans should fit into city's 'overall scheme'

Team DNA. Bangalore



Tunnelling has been used all over the world. In the city, the Metro project near Vidhana Soudha will need tunnelling.
But not all are convinced that tunnelling can be a good solution. "There is no blanket solution," says practising architect Meeta Jain. "Hence, we cannot say that one thing will work for the entire city."
Planners need to find the right solution for the city, she says. Tunnelling is an option and that is being considered for the Metro project. "Tunnelling is not simple. Moreover, it can cause damage," she says.
Any option should be well thought out before being implemented, Jain says.
Jain says city's planners should have "a complete view and vision" for the city to ensure there is minimum damage when changes are being made.
"Avenue Road has its own culture. The entire area needs to be looked at in totality. Widening road there may only mean more automobiles. It is an old area and we should preserve it," Jain says.
If road widening is not be the ideal solution for Avenue Road, the state government should consider tunnelling a stretch of about 1.5km of road from Fort high school to Central College, SVS Subramanya Gupta, director, Advaith Hyundai, says.
Tunnelling with tunnel boring machine will be ideal for places like Avenue Road, Sachindra Bhat, a qualified structural engineer, says. The technology will not cause much disruption in the area while the work is progressing, he says.
"But why widen roads without a clear perspective?" wonders Jain.
"If roads are widened, they will again be filled with vehicles. Hence, there will always be a need to widen roads to accommodate the increasing population of vehicles," she says.
Many, like Jain, in the city feel that if roads are to be widened, the authorities should also keep in mind the need for dedicated pedestrian lanes.
As the pros and cons of tunnelling and widening roads are being weighed, there probably is also a need to re-consider policies governing vehicles on roads: is it possible to limit the number of vehicles on roads? Can the public transport system be improved so that it provides seamless connectivity?

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