Saturday, March 29, 2008

Trapped in a bottleneck

Trapped in a bottleneck
It’s a picture of chaos, and frustrating traffic jams. The rail-over-road bridge in Benniganahalli needs to be widened, but the authorities appear to be sleeping over it
B Pradeep Nair and Sujit John | TNN

The road is six lanes broad. There is a flyover and a modern cablestayed bridge. Yet at most times of the day, the traffic inches forward at a snail’s pace. You’ll be lucky if you can cross the 2-km stretch from Benniganahalli to K R Puram railway station on the Old Madras Road that leads to International Tech Park Bangalore (ITPB) at Whitefield in 15 to 20 minutes.
The benefit of a 6-lane stretch between NGEF and RMZ Infinity commercial complex is nullified as the road narrows at the Benniganahalli rail-overroad bridge. So narrow that two heavy vehicles can barely cross each other. Compounding the problem is a bus-stop near the bridge. The traffic at this spot is thrown into further chaos with vehicles from C V Raman Nagar joining traffic on Old Madras Road. This spot is a picture of depressing contrast: there is a swanky complex — RMZ Infinity built to international standards and housing many MNCs — and right before it there are open drains, huge stones strewn around and vehicles almost nudging each other, trying to squeeze through the narrow bridge. Worse, under the bridge, the road is uneven and potholed, slowing the traffic further.
Once vehicles manage to squeeze through the bridge, there is brief respite at the flyover where the road is broad. Most vehicles on this stretch head towards Whitefield.
Even before commuters can heave a sigh of relief, the traffic stalls again — this time at the spot where the cable-stayed bridge begins. These vehicles keep to the left beside the hanging bridge; and this stretch is again narrow, partly on account of heavy vehicles parked on the side. It narrows down further under the bridge close to the K R Puram railway station, slowing down traffic on the entire stretch.
There are also two bus-stops within a 500-metre stretch: one at the spot where the cablestayed bridge begins, for passengers going towards Kolar, and another near the K R Puram railway station for passengers heading towards Whitefield.
TOI solution: Broaden the rail-over-road bridge and the road adjacent to the cablestayed bridge. Have pavements for pedestrians, relocate the bus-stops, providing for a bay so that it’s not right on the main road.

CHAOS : A view of the Benniganahalli rail-over-road bridge


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