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Part II: Non-Motorised User Facilities

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Metro RailTraffic
Pedestrian Facilities
Excerpts from various sections of the CTTP report are as follows :
3.13.1.9: There is high pedestrian traffic in core area and some other areas in Bangalore. Footpath facilities are generally not adequate and their condition is deteriorating. Therefore up gradation of their facilities is very important.
5.5.8 (Preferred Strategy for Transport Development): Special facilities for pedestrians within the entire network specially in the core areas; Pedestrianization of selected shopping streets in side the core area going to be served by Underground sections of Metro; Provision of pedestrian sky walks, under passes, footpaths and other road furniture along the roads where necessary.
7.9: Recommends as many as 78 roads within ORR & 54 roads outside ORR for improvements & widening.
7.11.2.2 (Foot paths): Recommends a width of 2.0m for sidewalks for about 350 kms of city roads.

The welfare of pedestrians, particularly mobility–impaired pedestrians such as old people, small children, pregnant women, injured, those on wheel chairs, etc. has seriously been compromised all along in planning road widening to accommodate more vehicles & to increase the speed of the flow of traffic, leaving meager, broken down sidewalks.

As a result, pedestrian casualties & deaths due to improper facilities have been mounting. Serious steps need to be taken & a policy planned to modify all roads to provide properly leveled continuous pedestrian side-walks of 2.0m width as recommended in the CTTP report, even if vehicle carriageways have to be narrowed.

Pedestrian zones have been recommended at Gandhinagar–Chickpet, Brigade road & Commercial street. The more dense City market area & surroundings have not been addressed, though this is more pressing & urgent. Shivajinagar & surroundings have also been ignored. Pedestrian facilities in these areas, as also at Jayanagar shopping complex area & around Malleshwaram circle area need to be properly addressed & some restraints are required for reducing private vehicles around these activity centers.

Bicycle Facilities
Excerpts from various sections of the CTTP report are as follows :
3.13.1.11: Share of cycle traffic has declined over the years. This mode of transport needs to be promoted by providing cycle tracks along the roads.
5.1.2 (National Urban Transport Policy recommendations): Encourage greater use of public transport and non- motorized modes by offering Central financial assistance for this purpose.
7.11.1: Their use in Bangalore is not significant but still this needs to be encouraged on environmental considerations. Provision for safer and better section of road or cycle track is the best way to keep them on roads. This is necessitated more on roads in the periphery of city and in many areas in BMA. In CBD some side roads and lanes can be exclusively reserved for cyclists and pedestrians in peak periods.

Although there is recognition that non-motorized traffic needs to be promoted, Section 7.11.1 is vague & appears to accord low priority with insufficient thrust on road space allocation for providing physically separated & protected lanes for bicycles on existing roads. As has been seen in the city, increasing the width of roads to cope with the scorching pace of motorization without providing protected bicycle lanes has resulted in motor vehicles pushing off the bicycles. Without a continuous network of secure infrastructure, people will not risk bicycle travel, & perhaps this is why there are fewer & fewer bicycle users in Bangalore. Without users, investment in infrastructure for cycling may appear wasteful. Despite this, cycling infrastructure cannot be neglected as bicycles are a more civilized, pollution-free alternative for commuting & encouraging bicycle travel has the potential to replace a sizable proportion of the existing motorized traffic whilst reducing air pollution. For these reasons, they cannot continue to remain disadvantaged & uncared, & the position needs to be improved on the street for bicyclists. The lack of higher priority for dedicated bicycle tracks or bicycle & pedestrian–only roads in the city in road improvements is unfair & actually supplements further growth of motorized private vehicles that increase consumption of road space & worsens street congestion. The excessive priority favoring private motorized vehicles is evident here too. Available road space has to be managed, taking bicyclists also into consideration.

Allocating road space or some roads exclusively for bicycles & pedestrians may counter the strong pro-growth forces & motor vehicle owners; however, road and street design standards have to be bicycle-friendly to conform with international practices for energy conservation & care for the environment, & more particularly, for Indian conditions since cost effective mobility options would be made available for a sizable proportion of the economically weaker population. If bicycling infrastructure is in place as in many cities worldwide, the negative stigma & close mindedness in this country that views bicycling as only for the poorer classes will also be tempered & bicyclists will gain more acceptance as part of mainstream traffic. On street enforcement may initially be problematic due to widespread indiscipline & the excessive no. of motor vehicles, & bicycle use may take some time to catch on, but it has to be commenced at some point. For a start, the wider arterial roads could be upgraded with bicycle lanes & some of the narrower streets can be made off-limits for motor vehicles, whilst permitting bicycles & pedestrians only. With several mass transits being introduced, the opportunity may soon be available to push this through along with other necessary measures, such as traffic restraints.

Some Quotes about the bicycle :

HG Wells, Scientist: "Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race".

Iris Murdoch, Author: "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart".

Earl Blumenauer, Rep. US Congress, 1948: "Let's have a moment of silence for every American stuck in traffic on their way to a health club to ride a stationary bicycle".

Elizabeth West, Author: "When man invented the bicycle, he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision & balance for the convenience of man. And unlike subsequent inventions, the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, & of no harm or irritation, to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle".

Comments

Vasanth's picture

BDA and BBMP constructing PIERS and Girders for Namma Metro

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Many times I felt, instead of BDA and BBMP investing in construction of flyovers and underpasses, if they invest and participate with BMRCL to build namma metro, it would be even more faster and more routes can be covered. Simple work like the Pier Construction and shifting of utilities can be handled by BDA and BBMP too. BDA and BBMPs budget should also include in participation of Namma Metro construction - This will add more funds to Namma Metro. A sole organization involved in Namma metro construction is delaying the process.

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