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Irrationality of dedicated lanes

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text of letter sent to the New Indian Express: I refer to the report captioned 'auto lanes may be allotted to BMTC' published in your columns on the 5th instant. The idea of 'dedicated lanes' for BMTC buses seems to have caught the fancy of every self-appointed traffic expert. And, there seem to be plenty of them in the city today, apart from the author. Now, going by plain logic, supposing in any given route direction, BMTC is operating at a frequency of a bus every 3 minutes, and the buses are moving at an average speed of 10 kmph, there will be a gap of 500 M between any two buses. As such, if a lane is dedicated exclusively for the buses, it will then push out 100 other vehicles from this 500 M stretch (making for 200 vehicles per km), assuming an average vehicle length of 5M, and near bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions. This is total under utilisation of high demand city road space. There is a telling picture of a stretch of road in some city, showing an empty stretch of over 100M behind a bus on a dedicated lane, even as the adjoining lane (in the same direction) is totally cluttered with vehicles of all kinds, particularly two-wheelers. Very clearly, even with having introduced high capacity mass transport bus services on dedicated lanes, the citizens still prefer to use their two-wheelers, leading to the problems remaining unresolved. The above is just one factor. The chaos the dedicated lanes cause at road junctions is another major factor. Further, with the dedicated lanes generally located on either side of the central median, providing access to commuters becomes complicated and expensive. Dedicated lanes on the edges are a new concept, but suffer from similar infirmities. Thus, while dedicated lanes may be OK on stretches leading to and from bus depots, or on stretches where the frequency is higher than say a bus every 15 seconds, on regular roads, they are totally ill-advised. Rather than dedicated lanes, total ban on private vehicles (meaning - vehicles other than buses, taxi's and auto's) on select stretches, during peak hours, would any day be preferable. The idea of the auto lanes on arterial roads was, in the first place, to segregate slow moving traffic. The purpose will be better achieved by banning slow moving traffic altogether on these roads, and confining them to the non-arterial roads. Eventually, however, it would be best if auto's are gradually phased out of the city roads over a couple of years, and replaced by four-wheeler taxi's, by incentivising the process.

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Vasanth's picture

JC road case:

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If the dedicated Bus Lane on JC Road is started on one side of the road, then the shop keepers will oppose since their business is impacted. Also, taking turn to the otherside of the road may become difficult. On the JC Road, few buses take right turn just in the road going towards Urvashi. But, none of the buses take left turn till town hall. Either Bus Lane has to be on the right or centre on the JC road. No point in having it on the left side of the road. There is no bus stop from Minerva till town hall. Frequency of buses is there atleast every 3 minutes with buses mainly coming from JP Nagar, Jayanagar and very few from Hanumanthnagar side. Most of the buses plying from Hanumanthnagar, NR Colony, Thyagarajanagar, Padmanabhanagar come via Market in the dense traffic. Few of them have to be rerouted through JC Road to best utilize dedicated lanes. Shoppers will oppose having it on the right side of the Road since most of the shops here are automobile shops and vehicle needs to enter near shop. Centre lane has to be utilized. Mixture traffic of buses with few going straight and few taking turn towards Urvashi theatre creates the problem. 1 solution is traffic turning towards right in the first signal has to be on the right side of the Bus lane after the minerva circle and traffic going straight should be on the left side of the dedicated bus lane. But, after the first signal, the entire right lane becomes empty. Traffic on the left side of the road cannot come onto right. Buses turning towards right in the Urvashi Road are Shivajinagar buses. These buses should be diverted at the minerva junction towards Lalbagh north gate - which is currently one way with traffic coming from Lalbagh side and only buses going fully from Minerva to Townhall should be allowed to pass on the dedicated lane. I am just imagining all permutations and combinations. Somehow, it is very difficult to implement. Murali is saying All or Null - no division - unfortunately Bangalore is not having so much space of roads dedicated fully for Buses/Taxis. That's why such a costly project of Metro is under construction. Otherwise for 7,200 crores we could have nearly 1,000 volvo city buses or 5,000-6,000 ordinary buses plying on the roads without any effort of Metro.
tsubba's picture

dedicated lanes, JC RD

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73 users have liked.
vasanth good catch. you must forward it BMTC and BCP without fail. to put murali's, point in perspective: bangalore has 4.8% of the total road length of KA but has 40% of the vehicles registered in KA. BRTS does not come cheap. we have discussed that here. maintenance is cheaper, and it has advantages in extending connectivity, but BRTS requires wide roads to begin with which donot come cheap. cannot handle the volumes needed in bangalore alone. need systems like metro. having said that, if there is any prayer to save bangalore then it is strengthened pubtrans of all type. in anycase the only plan that we have also envisages an extensive brts system. http://bangalore.praja.in... one way to look at dedicated lanes is this: there is massive irrationality in privtrans vs pubtrans. priv trans has no penalties for parking, not paying true value for fuel and so on. yet because of all this all are paying in terms of time and health. unfair for pubtrans which is a service in contrast privtrans which is a convenience. one more thing is hopefully accidents due to buses might perhaps reduce.
Arun's picture

Centre Lanes

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Dedicated lane in the centre is a good idea. At the Shivaji Theatre junction, right turn from JC should be made free by allowing traffic to flow on the right hand side of the road (poornima theatre road). On this road, turning right to JC Road can be made a free rigth turn by allowing traffic on the right side. Ofcourse parking should be kicked out on these roads.

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