Saturday, December 27, 2008


What’s the best way to avoid gridlocks?
R Krishnakumar | TNN

Bangalore: As the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) clears the decks for underground construction of Namma Metro, the possibilities of a huge traffic gridlock around Minsk Square and Ambedkar Veedhi have been referred to chief minister B S Yeddyurappa. Convener of the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) task force and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar has written to the CM, highlighting the concerns over a possibly chaotic traffic logjam that could cause “severe inconvenience’’ to the public.
As part of an alternative traffic plan, temporary one-way roads have been proposed on the flanks of Ambedkar Veedhi, cutting into properties including the Vidhana Soudha and the Karnataka High Court. In a December 20 letter, Chandrasekhar said the BMRC had maintained that some alternative plans could not be implemented because of “ownership issues of certain buildings, primarily BSNL at Minsk Square’’. The MP requested the CM to review the situation along with ABIDe and take stock of the possible impact.
It’s learned that the task force had debated a host of plans to minimize the gridlock’s impact on Ambedkar Veedhi but the parallel road plan was arrived at because it was the most “practical’’ alternative. With concerns already being raised about the traffic — the stretch also routes bus traffic towards the Kempe Gowda terminus in Majestic — the stage is set for another public debate over planning before implementation.
Chandrasekhar told TOI on Friday that among the alternatives proposed was traffic routed through Cubbon Park but that was shot down because of the narrow roads and the potentially massive damage to the park environs. “The parallel roads as an alternative was arrived at after discussing five alternatives. The proposal was made before ABIDe and the clearance obtained,’’ N Sivasailam, BMRC managing director, said.
According to BMRC, the commencement of work on the stretch also depends on the timeframe in which work on parallel roads is done. Under a cut-and-cover model, the work is expected to be completed in 20-24 months.
Praveen Sood, additional commissioner of police (traffic), sees a “greater challenge’’ when roads around Minsk Square will be closed for the Namma Metro construction. “There will be trouble because Cubbon Road will be closed. On Ambedkar Veedhi, at present, we are looking at the options of having buses ply on the proposed parallel roads. Otherwise, there will only be one route for buses coming from the GPO towards Majestic: to take the already choking Raj Bhavan Road,’’ he said.
Towards traffic solutions related to work on Namma Metro’s other reaches, we are identifying less-used sub-arterial roads for commuters. It won’t be mandatory. On Ambedkar Veedhi, the traffic plan could be well supplemented if the plan to widen Seshadri Road and Palace Road is implemented.
ABIDe convener writes to CM seeking a review of traffic plan Temporary roads proposed
on the flanks Traffic through Cubbon Park was among alternatives Work on parallel roads will precede Namma Metro construction


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