Monday, July 26, 2010

BBMP's road plan is going nowhere

BBMP's road plan is going nowhere

Go for elevated roads
Rather than widening the road, which is a solution for mere six months, it makes sense to go for junction-free corridors as elevated roads. The 12 major roads, being widened by the BDA and BBMP with a budget of around Rs600-700 crore, should be created as high-capacity elevated expressways. Hosur Road, for instance, should be made junction-free with ramps. Make these roads on public-private partnership and then toll them. There is a need for proper urban planning to meet the requirement for a planned long term growth.

Road-widening is bad
I am fundamentally opposed to road widening as it is not a permanent solution. It causes pain and disruption. It's come as an ad hoc solution to the bad planning and lack of foresight of the state government. It's a band-aid solution. This has led to a push-back from the citizens, which according to me, is legitimate. This solution will last you for another year in the same bandwidth and infrastructure, but will not create a permanent traffic solution. It's temporary and disruptive. It does not solve the problem of growth in traffic, it does not address the issue of parking. It will cause traffic jams instead of preventing it. At the most, you will get one more lane, but only for six months.

Follow the London model
The only city which Bangalore can be compared with is London. That city has a historic centre and narrow roads, houses 9-10 million people, and has urban-poor challenges. But London has been planned well with a three-tier solution -- an underground metro, buses plying overhead and the parking. London discourages using private vehicles and encourages use of public transport. The parking problem has been taken care of based on the road capacity. Cars on roads have plenty of parking capacity. But in Bangalore, there is no incentive to use public transport. It has become a city of complaints, but when it comes to obeying laws, nobody wants to.

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