Traffic jams continue in Bengaluru despite measures

Government authorities have promised many changes; but results are far from noticeable

BMTC regulation is an important concern. Pic: Arindam DS

The Central Silk Board junction which is infamous for the traffic snarls  figured in the list of  seven worst traffic spots of the country. This is according to a research carried out by Ola, a private cab aggregator. The study found that the average traffic speed in Silk Board has fallen under 9 kmph.

Bengaluru may be known for its greenery, IT industries and start-ups, but choking traffic is a main concern for Bengalureans. Several attempts, trial and error methods to solve the traffic issues have not been helpful.

If the Silk Board junction tops the list, Tin Factory, specifically the KR Puram suspension bridge, is also one of the spots with unbearable traffic jams. “During mornings and evenings, the traffic is so bad that the vehicles move very slowly. I am late for work almost every day because of it. Only god can save the Baiyapanahalli side of the flyover,” says Ashwin, a techie working at a MNC.

Bannerghatta Road  is another route that is riddled with horrible traffic. Being one of the most used roads, it has seen its own share of  traffic snags. Last July, a waterlogging incident led to a two-kilometre long pile up of vehicles. It is a busy, and a heavily used road. On Tuesdays, however, the road is known to be rather less occupied, due the fact that the Bannerghatta National Park remains closed on that day.

Outer Ring Road can be touted as an example that describes the rest of the issues with city development. This road was planned in 1996, back when the population of Bengaluru was 43 lakhs. Now, it is more than 84 lakhs. This road, like many others, were just not intended for holding double its capacity.

Old Madras Road is no better; it is filled with unmaintained roads and congested traffic. Also, many cabs, after transporting their passengers, return on this road empty. That is a waste of road space, fuel and time. It also a host of many SUVs, trucks and other heavy vehicles.

In August of 2016, the consultancy behind the Revised Master Plan for Bengaluru 2031, (a master plan of the city that is supposed to make this city optimised for future population growth and its sustenance) powered by Bangalore Development Authority, proposed to build three  flyovers, an underpass and other relevant changes to KR Puram. This was proposed specifically to deal with traffic woes of the region.

The local authorities are not oblivious to these issues, they have made a few attempts to address them. The city’s traffic police and civic authorities have collaborated, and marked 12 roads in the city as ‘High Traffic Density Corridors’. This proposition was made in September 2016.

Authorities have promised stern rules; but execution has been less than satisfactory. Pic: Arindam DS

The civic bodies intended to start small scale implementations immediately, followed by large scale plans. Parking alongside and running heavy vehicles in HTDC was deemed illegal right away.

The first step of implementation included restricting roadside parking, filling potholes, illuminating all streets, BMTC regulation and drainage cleaning for better water flow.

The long term plans included construction of 2 metre wide footpaths, carriage ways with equal width, dedicated bicycle tracks and more.

But these measures too have not been effective.

HDTC areas have reportedly remained the same even after multiple complaints and probes. With a number of vehicles only increasing, the matters are just getting worse.

The residents of HTDC areas claim that not much has changed since the proposition. Mohini, a 2nd PU student living in Bilekahalli says “I am sure that the civic bodies are taking action, but at what rate? I have not noticed any change in traffic impositions, or even bus regulations.”

Many others, of other HTDC areas also seem dissatisfied. A resident of Dairy Circle, Pramodh, a software consultant, says “ I work at Accenture, and when I am going back home at night, the traffic is barbaric. I am stuck in my cab for an hour at a stretch, between Dairy Circle and Sagar Hospital. I don’t think enough is being done.”