Thursday, September 29, 2005

Ready for some adventure on City roads?

Ready for some adventure on City roads?
Deccan Herald

A trip through the peak hour traffic on the city roads gives one a clear picture of the enormousload of work that needs to be done to decongest these roads.

It’s ironical that one of Bangalore’s most clamoured roads is dotted with real estate hoardings, promising a peaceful living away from the city’s chaos. Hosur Road, which links Bangalore with one of its most flaunted landmarks - Electronic City, redefines chaos as it gets weighed down by mass vehicular movement which continues to test motorists and traffic policemen.

On any given working day, traffic which converges from different directions — Audugodi, Koramangala, Dairy Circle, Madiwala, Tavarekere, BTM Layout, HSR Layout and others — hits the main stretch of the road after the Silk Board Flyover and then on, it’s a snail race negotiating long signals, errant drivers and crawling trucks.

The stretch after Madiwala Police Station, which comes under the National Highways Department purview, is set for some extensive revamping but right now, it’s still a long road. In peak morning hours on September 26, a bike ride down Hosur Road — from Audugodi to Electronic City — left this reporter with a new spirit for adventure and a bad back.

8.25 am, The Forum Signal: The stretch between Audugodi Police Station and the signal which forks traffic to Koramangala and Madiwala is cluttered, mostly by motorbike riders.

Car drivers honk on as traffic gets piled up. Adding to the clamour are bikes and auto-rickshaws which block diversion to the left, towards Koramangala. Many of them don’t wait for the green to flash.

8.40 am, St John’s Nagar: From the corner petrol bunk to the signal routing traffic straight (Sarjapur Road), left (Koramangala) and right (Madiwala), the road is packed.

The service roads running in front of St John’s Hospital and Hostel on the left and right respectively, are relatively free but you can spot inter-state buses straying on to them to beat the rush.

8.50 am, Madiwala Market: Traffic tests the best of movers and turners here. Regular rides down the road seem to have seasoned many of the bikers. They dodge, duck and wade through seemingly impossible openings. The cars, meanwhile, lose out on the race.

8.55 am, Bommanahalli: Here’s where even the racers down gear and wait. Heavy traffic from the HSR Layout direction on the left and BTM Layout direction on the right converge after the Silk Board Flyover.

Trucks and cars look better off here, packing the stretch in a crawling line. Bikers take the service roads, but even there, it’s a race against time. There are also trucks parked on the thoroughfare.

Traffic constables plead and swear, among other things, to get things moving. All you do to know the progress ahead, is watch the brake-lights and indicators in front.

9.10 am, Garvebhavi Palya - 7th Mile: Many trucks have diverted to the various bylanes on both sides of the road. Traffic drops after Chikka Begur Gate and the stretch till Singasandra is less congested.

9.30 am, Electronic City: After losing some last-lap races with a flurry of fast cars, it’s finally Destination EC. A 11-km ride in 65 minutes isn’t quite race material, but there’s always tomorrow.

The long and short of it

The State government has identified areas which need immediate attention to ease the traffic on Hosur Main Road. The short term/rapid action plan envisages implementation of the measures in three-six months and the new amenities are proposed to serve three-five years from implementation. The budget for the entire revamp is Rs 50 crore.

As per the mid-term plan, Hosur Road is proposed to be converted to a six-lane road. Pedestrian subways, foot overbridges and connectivity of service roads are also being planned.

There are also long-term plans for road resurfacing/asphalting.

Additional/alternate roads (Electronic City - Begur - BDA Layout/IIMB - Bannerghatta Road and Electronic City - Naganathpura - Kudlu - HSR Layout - Outer Ring Road) are in the pipeline. An elevated roadway from Silk Board Junction to Electronic City is also planned.


“We are going to be more tough on truck traffic on Hosur Road, which is one of the main reasons for the road’s traffic problems,” says Mr M A Saleem, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic - East). He says notification on the new stipulations for truck traffic will be issued soon.

Mr Saleem feels that road-linking will have a key role to play in the future of Hosur Road. “On the left, two roads connecting Sarjapur Road to Hosur Road and on the right, a road connecting Bannerghatta Road to Hosur Road need to be developed. They would ease a lot of traffic of Hosur Road,” he says.

Things to be done by Govt

Improvement of six critical junctions — Begur Cross, GB Palya, Kudlu, Naganathpura, Electronic City Phase I and II.

More medians and islands, signboards, pedestrian crossings and pedestrian refugee islands.

Parking of trucks and vans on service roads to be prohibited.

Parking of LCVs to be provided near Ch 5000 - Singasandra.

Shifting of the five existing bus bays to new locations providing shelters.

Trucks starting to and from factories/offices on Hosur Road to be prohibited to ply at peak hours - 7 am-11 am, 4 pm-8 pm.


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