Thursday, July 24, 2008

A ‘majestic’ plan for city

A ‘majestic’ plan for city

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The hustle and bustle of Subhash Nagar, popularly known as Majestic area, is evident to any passerby.

The roads are crowded, the shops buzz with customers and people fill the many theatres with their huge hoardings of Kannada and Hindi films that line the streets. It comes as no surprise that 30 per cent of the city’s population is concentrated here.

The traffic department has been blamed for years for the chaos in the area.

But it attributes the growing crowd to various factors. “The ground reality is different. Apart from the floating population in Majestic, the protest marches that often begin here add to traffic problems,” say officers of the department.

In the face of such expressed helplessness the people of Bengaluru had resigned themselves to living with the crowds here.

But it appears they don’t need to despair anymore.

The government is working on ways to decongest the heart of the city and make it more welcoming to both people living here and tourists.

The Bengaluru Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) has come out with an ambitious plan to decongest Majestic and its surrounding areas.

The inspiration comes from the recently formulated urban transport policy of the Union government. “The new National Urban Trans port Policy has clearly directed state governments to enhance mobility of people over vehicles. So we are looking at Majestic which handles the most number of people and large vehicles,” says a senior BMLTA officer. The idea is to separate pedestrian traffic from the vehicular in the core section where the Kempe Gowda Bus Terminus and city railway station are located. The plan provides for those coming out of the railway station and the bus stand to have a free walkway to any exit point unhindered by vehicles. A rapid assessment study will be conducted over the next three months in the area before the actual plan is chalked out. The study will gauge the present traffic conditions and pedestrian movement in the nine ‘key screen points’ which have been identified by the BMLTA. The screen points are the end points to either reach or leave the Majestic area. The BMLTA feels decongesting these points will ease traffic and pedestrian movement. The result could change the face of one of the city’s most well known localities.

lane plan Create more Traffic Transit Management Centres (TTMCs) and connect them with a dedicated bus lane is what the traffic experts suggest for decongest ing the Majestic area.

‘ A dedicated ring road is needed to connect all the TTMCs.

One such TTMC on Mysore Road has now become a centre of the city and the government must create more TTMCs on the outskirts so that buses are stopped at the fringe of the central busi ness district,” said a traffic expert from Traffic Engineering and Safety Trainers (TEST).

Traffic experts point out that every four seconds a bus either leaves the ter minus or enters it. “And instead of decentralising the majestic area, the gov ernment is mulling to erect a high-rise building right in the middle of Majestic area,” the experts added.

The government had decided to create a elevat ed road leading to Majestic. According to the plan the elevated road ‘ would accommodate exclusively the bus traffic.

However, the plan still remains on the paper.


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