Thursday, June 21, 2007

Flyovers flights of fancy?

Flyovers flights of fancy?
Madhumitha B & Nina C George
Flyovers are believed to be escape routes from the chaos that reign on any citys thoroughfares. But not in Bangalore where they appear more as flights of imagination in shoddy traffic management.

These are some of the flyovers planned, designed and constructed by the BBMP. These flyovers are no different from those constructed by the BDA. Here are some quick facts along with citizen’s voice and response from A K Gopalaswamy, chief engineer (projects), BBMP on where the problems lie and what went wrong.

Richmond Town Flyover
Constructed by the BBMP in 2000.
Total cost: Rs 18 crore.
Length and width: One kilometre and 14 metres respectively.
Purpose and design:
It was designed to connect and make way for smooth flow of traffic towards Mission Road, Airport Road, Double Road and Residency Road.
Present condition: Flyovers are meant to be fast tracks but looks like the purpose of Richmond flyover has been lost. This flyover has been made a two way towards Double Road and a one way towards Airport Road and Residency road. There’s a traffic police atop this flyover.
Citizen’s voice:
Sneha Oommen: I have never seen a traffic policeman atop any flyover. But here they add to the chaos and the volume of traffic has grown. The old plan was better and more manageable.
BBMP official speaks: We are planning to reconsider the two-way plan. We plan to have a meeting with traffic officials on reverting to the old system. There’s too much of criss-crossing of vehicles and accidents cannot be ruled out.

Lingarajpuram flyover
Constructed in 2005
Total cost of flyover: Rs 15 crore
Length and width: 860 metres and 11 metres respectively.
Purpose &
design: To facilitate smooth flow of traffic and reduce travel time.
Present condition: The flyover is narrow and uneven. The bus stop is located at the beginning of the flyover causing a heavy traffic jam for people travelling from Kammanahalli toward Cooke Town.
Citizen’s voice:
S Victor Alex, senior officer in Siemens: It’s hell to get across this flyover. The bus stops right before St Charles School not only causing a heavy traffic jam but poses a threat to schoolchildren who cross the road. There’s virtually no way under the flyover.
BBMP official speaks: This flyover scheme was designed five years ago when the flow of traffic was fairly ok. We had a problem acquiring land when constructing the flyover. That’s why the narrowness. We’ve asked for defence land. Once that comes through, we plan to construct two additional lanes below the flyover to facilitate flow of traffic.

Banaswadi Flyover
Constructed in 2005.
Total cost: Rs 5 crore for the main flyovers and a total of Rs 2 crore for the flyovers leading to Kammanahalli and Byapanahalli.
Length and width: The Banaswadi flyover spans a distance of 580 metres long and seven meters wide; the Kammanahalli one is 120 meters long and and the Byapanahalli one is 320 meters long with both measuring 5.5 meters wide.
Purpose and design: To facilitate easy flow of traffic and provide connectivity to Banaswadi, Byapanahalli and Kammanahalli.
Present condition: Violations galore on the connecting flyovers to Kammanahalli and Byapanahalli which are one ways. There’s criss-crossing on this flyover as well. There was no median on the main flyover until a month ago.
Citizen’s voice:
G Radhakrishnan, a cyber cafe owner in Sevanagar: I use the Banaswadi flyover every day. It’s crazy and chaotic in mornings and late evenings. Traffic just doesn’t move and since this narrow flyover is a two-way, there’s no escape route for those who get stuck. We can’t even overtake. And the roads connecting Kammanahalli and Byapanahalli will best serve as a road where beginners can learn and perfect their driving skills.
BBMP official speaks: We are aware of the criss-crossing. We have asked the defence ministry to part with some piece of land so that we can widen the flyover to 14 meters. We’ve recently put a median on the main flyover to prevent criss-crossing and facilitate easy flow of traffic.

Grade Separator at Benniganahalli (BDA)
Length of flyover: Left and right carriage way: 821 m and 937 m respectively; Bangalore carriage way: 247 m.
Agency: M/s East Coast Constructions India Ltd. & Nagarjuna Construction Company Ltd.
Estimated Cost: Rs 30 crore
Contract amount as per tender: Rs 27 crore
Total cost of the project: Rs 36.56 crore
Date of commencement of work: 18 August 1999
Target date of completion of work: 17 August 2001
Actual Date of completion: 27 December 2002
Traffic composition at the junction: Not provided
Citizen’s voice:
Dominic Mathew, Executive Director of Hindustan Aviation Academy: “I travel everyday from Hennur Cross to Marathahalli and back via K R Puram. The traffic near the flyover is chaotic during rush hours. It takes 15-20 minutes to cover a distance of over a kilometre. Wider roads on both sides of the flyover would have been better. It’s a virtual crawl for the vehicles taking the Ring Road and the Whitefield road. A normal flyover on pillars would have given more space to both side roads of the flyover. To think that the cable stay bridge took four and half years to build is mind-boggling. Some say it's an engineering marvel, though the Empire State building took only one year and 45 days to build in the 30s.”
Subramanium D, Maintainence in-charge, ITI General Hospital, K R Puram: “There is neither a traffic signal nor a policeman stationed at the ITI Colony junction. Due to this, there is absolutely no traffic regulation and speeding vehicles pose a great danger to pedestrians. Service roads haven’t been planned properly and traffic jams continue at Benniganahalli bridge. When the authorities plan a flyover, they must take into consideration all aspects related to it.”


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