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Sky-walk, literally

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InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

The BBMP, it would appear, likes to impart literal meaning to the term sky-walk. This set (pictures below), coming up at the High Grounds junction (facing the Sophia school, and behind Basava Bhavan), has a ground clearance enough for a BMTC bus to pass under, even with a full grown adult standing erect on top. The question however is will anybody, however energetic, ever use it, even with the four landings that have been very thoughtfully provided for each flight? Not only is it user unfriendly, its ground structures have taken up almost the entire width of the footpaths, forcing the pedestrians (including the Sophia school children) to go on to the carriage way.
 

The entire purpose very obviously is just to provide prime advertising space targeted at the high-spender airline passengers, a large majority of whom have to pass that way everyday. Another instance of revenue-oriented approach to governance - pedestrians be damned!

Muralidhar Rao

Comments

rs's picture

The other point with this

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The other point with this skywalk is that they must have spent a couple of crores on it - and nobody will ever use it. This is not a high pedestrian zone - in fact, i have hardly ever seen a pedestrian here. On the other hand, at Yeswantpur near the station, there is tremendous need for a pedestrian crosswalk. Instead, poor people risk life and limb trying to cross Tumkur road. God save Bangalore  !

 

Ramesh

idontspam's picture

 This is not a high

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 This is not a high pedestrian zone 

Very high usage by the students of the school for a large part of morning & afternoon. Now the thing is these overpasses dont lead the school children to a safe parking place where they can board buses or the hundreds of cars which clog the area to pick them up instead they just drop them on the other side where the same hundred cars will clog the same streets. 

rs's picture

There are kids near the

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There are kids near the school in the mornings and afternoons, but the Skywalk wont really benefit them. They have no reason to cross the road. Besides, the same thing could have been better achieved by having a traffic cop maintain traffic for a couple of hours when the kids are entering or leaving school.

Anyway, I think it is important that many schools adopt the policy of making all kids use school buses - as they have done in Bombay in many areas. I live near Cluny convent and every morning and mid afternoon there is a huge jam and unnecessary noise and honking caused by the vehicles coming to pick up kids.

Ramesh

 

idontspam's picture

 They have no reason to cross

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 They have no reason to cross the road.

You should spend some time there.

Besides, the same thing could have been better achieved by having a traffic cop maintain traffic for a couple of hours when the kids are entering or leaving school.

This is the current practice and it throws the traffic out of gear due to the sheer volume of vehicles passing thru and the volume of kids waiting to cross in all directions. The security assists the cross over directly across the school but not the other sides (sankey road & palace road) it reduces throughput as well with sankey road being a corridor. Also the traffic jam by vehicles double & triple parked runs all the way around to the golf course side on sankey road.

So while the skywalk being there isnt an issue its too high and doesnt reduce the jam caused by the parked vehicles. It does however allow for safe crossing of children. If lets say basava bhavan was a designated parking area then the one arm of the skywalk should land inside with parents being asked to pick up kids there. The skywalk also blocks the entire sidewalk on all sides and the sidewalk now needs to be built around it thereby destroying the geomety of the road. 

Ravi_D's picture

We need sky walks...

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.....but not the ones that are built.

This seems to be a common theme. We need something, and something finally gets done, but only that it doesn't work the way we expect. Underpasses on Nrupatunga Road are another example.

How do we turn this tide around? Can we ever get to the day the majority would say - we needed it, and we got it just the way we need it.

idontspam's picture

 How do we turn this tide

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 How do we turn this tide around? 

BBMP needs some simulation software and training in non-destructive testing

Rithesh's picture

A subway Would Have Been A Better Choice

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A subway would have been a better choice, the total ascent or decent in a subway is less compared to that of an over head crossing. The total decent will not be greater than 12-13 feet (9 feet -ceiling height and 2-3 feet of roofing material). In case of s skywalk it is around 22-25 feet. 

The construction cost of the subway and the skywalk is almost the same (Subways cost a bit more). The only reason BBMP prefers over head crossing is because for the advertising real estate. 

Sometime back there was a proposal to install escalators in skywalks - the maintenances and operations cost was to be taken care by the advertising revenue. Seems like BBMP just wants the advertising space and the revenue!

Naveen's picture

Escalators may help

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The majority of skywalks all over the world are almost identical to what BBMP is building with multiple landings (pictured above). It's just that pedestrians, already burdened with excessive road traffic & one-ways that force them to walk long distances refuse to use them. Absence of barricades doesn't help either.

Escalators are an option, but I noticed during my recent visit to Hyderabad that a new one built in banjara hills is already inoperative. I tried to ask around & was told that due to heavy rains, water had "seeped in" & damaged the motor! High power consumption & maintenance costs are another problem, but can probably be tackled by roping in private parties in exchange for advertising revenues & rentals from kiosk spaces, though this may still not cover full costs, rendering it unviable.

Naveen's picture

Subways can be designed better

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See this old post.

rs's picture

The problem with subways is

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The problem with subways is that the BBMP has decided to keep most of them locked most of the time. The one in Malleswaram at Malleswaram circle was never opened and has become a garbage dump - and its hugh entrance blocks the footpath. The one in front of the Planetarium seems to be always locked as well.

I dont see why they have to build this ugly elaborate roof over the subway. Why not just have a staircase going down - which is more open and would have better air and light.

Escalators in an open area never works.

Ramesh

 

Naveen's picture

Escalators can work

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Escalators in an open area never works

They are working fine in Singapore (People's park, Orchard rd, etc).

Naveen's picture

To prevent flooding

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elaborate roof over the subway. Why not just have a staircase going down

How will you prevent flooding in heavy rains without a roof ?

rs's picture

How will you prevent flooding

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How will you prevent flooding in heavy rains without a roof ?

Well this is just a question of designing proper drains - most cities in the world have rain and most cities dont have these elaborate,roofs - so there certainly exists a solution. For example, here are two from Singapore and NYC, where it does rain at least as much as Bangalore.

 

 

 

 

 

idontspam's picture

 This overpass roof is by no

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 This overpass roof is by no means elaborate, at the very least if you are putting up so much steel a shelter from sun & rain is mandatory for people who are walking on it. In Singapore some shelters start from the bus stand all the way to the nearest HDB flat/complex

abidpqa's picture

Not user friendly

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Nobody uses the skywalk at Domlur. The one near Majestic only visitors use it. At Tin Factory, many people use it, but there are many ways to avoid using it, eg. people going to Udayanagar can go under the hanging bridge. It is unreasonable to expect pedestrian to use skywalks that are 20 feet tall. It is very difficult for senior citizens etc. to use them. It is really noninclusive. Dont they see accessiblity concerns while making it?

Maximum height that is comfortable is about 10 feet. If they could design such a sky walk people could use that.

Regarding subways, they are relatively unsafe and unclean. Because of lack of monitoring, the garbage etc. just builds up. What if power fails. I dont know if emergency lighting is provided in subways here, if we are on top of the skywalk it is at least open.

murali772's picture

GoK report on MFOB's

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On googling for ground clearance for over-bridges, I chanced upon this "pre-feasibility report for development of modern foot over-bridges" commissioned by the IDD, GoK, from which I got the figure of 5.6M (18' 4" approx) for the ground clearance. I wonder if that's what has been provided in this case. Whatever, the report is for 'mechanised' FOB's. Where it's not mechanised, making for such a climb is a defenite recipe for failure.

I am sure the clearances at the Seshadripuram and Cantt station RUB's, both of which also have heavy vehicles passing under them, are much lower. I expect there is a minimum clearance specified, in the range of say 16', and no upper limit specified. So, our friends have apparently made merry going just by the 'ad visibility factor'.   

Excerpts from the report on Pedestrian Subways:

  • The pedestrian subways have been often used in major cities as an underpass facility for pedestrians on busy traffic road intersections. Subways are however the least preferred options by city administrations as well as pedestrians due to its inherent shortfalls such as:
  • The execution time and inconvenience caused to normal traffic flow during the construction period
  • Shifting underground utilities like water lines, drainage lines and underground cables
  • The cost of constructing underpass is relatively high, thus making it an expensive affair
  • Impact of Ground water table and underground seepage of water/ rainwater
  • Pedestrian Safety issues
  • Subways are more prone to anti-social acts and hence considered unsafe

I think I agree.

Muralidhar Rao
dvsquare's picture

Till better ways are implemented, current ones shud be enforced

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Its all fair and correct that, skybridge is at an height or may be other genuine excuses, but this is also true that even if you find some better alternate ways, and if it involves a little bit of extra work, people will find excuses not to use them. Hence I am of the opinion that till the better and alternate ways are implemented, we shoud follow what's right now in front of us and at the same time fight for our right and get that done.

If you see the example of Domlur Flyover at the 100 ft road on indiranagar side, the bridge near the Adidas showroom, rules are made and sign-boards are there to let the flyover traffic flow smoothly, no right turns etc allowed and sky-bridge there for pedestrians. But not a single thing is followed and make that flyover jam. To make it worse, I see traffic police standing there, trying to make way for vehicles in all the directions instead of stopping them, and also making way for pedestrians, instead of forcing them to use the skybridge.

I suggest that a police should be there, and may be elderly people or disabled people can be made exception and are free to use the road to cross, with the help of police cop standing there, but others should use the skybridge and vehicles should not take right turns there, causing the straight flowing traffic jam. Think of this scenario, you have a flyover to avoid signal but as soon as you are exiting the flyover you have a signal, and there is a huge queue build-up on the flyover.

Deepak

Rithesh's picture

It was the advertising mafia

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DNA reported that the advertising space on skywalk at Sophia's school was sold off for (to Vantage) mere Rs.10000 per month for 35 years!!

The report also states that had it been auctioned, BBMP would have earned atleast a few lakhs per month. Also seems like the installed skywalk was shifted from Jayanagar and necessary safety certifications weren't obtained.

Full article - http://www.dnaindia.com/b...

I cant recollect but i read had else where that there are restrictions on advertising boards in and around the Vidhana Saudha region and this is supposedly a violation of that law.

pathykv's picture

AD MAFIA

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This case is similar to the Bus shelters made in hundreds at unwanted locations just for advt. purposes without taking the needs of the bus commuters into account.

K.V.Pathy

idontspam's picture

Standards of vertical

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Standards of vertical clearance from other countries from wiki

Minimum vertical clearance under overhead structures (including over the paved shoulders) of 16 feet (4.88 m) in rural areas and 14 feet (4.27 m) in urban areas, with allowance for extra layers of pavement. Through urban areas at least one routing should have 16 feet (4.88 m) clearances. Sign supports and pedestrian overpasses must be at least 17 feet (5.18 m) above the road, except on urban routes with lesser clearance, where they should be at least 1 ft (0.3 m) higher than other objects.

Our own IRC speficifies 5.5 meters (18 feet) for highways. Magadi road DPR specifies vertical clearance to be 4.5 meters (14.7 feet). There are 14 feet high overpass on our highways at some places. So inside the city anything more than 14 feet is unreasonable

ssheragu's picture

pedestrian overhead crossings

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ssheragu

today I saw a news item that Praveen Sood ACP (police & civic authorities) together will ensure construction of foot overbridges for pedestrians along the Nelamangal expressway; while this is laudable, the fact that these bridges will be over bridges will mean that no one would or will have the patience to climb these bridges for crossing the roads; so these may not serve their purpose;

hence it woyuld be most appropriate for these bridges to be underbridges; THESE BRIDGES NEED NOT LOOK LIKE GIANT TUNNELS BUT UNDERBRIDGES WHICH SEAMLESSLY MERGE WITH THE LEVEL OF THE ROADS AND HAVE SHALLOW SLOPES INSIDE OF STEPS FOR PEDESTRIANS TO WALK; will anyone in Praja would know the e-mail address of Praven Sood so that this can be sent or Praja being a well recognized pass on this for implementation

many thanks

Srinath Heragu

idontspam's picture

Escalators maybe?

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Underpasses in Bangalore are repeatedly being misused and lies in disrepair. case after case, mostly due to our poor civic sense and bad maintenance.

Overbridges have the advantage of not getting flooded or locked or misused. It also costs lesser and can be dismantled later if required.

I would instead recommend that escalators be fixed to the overhead walkways being built.

ksnandan's picture

Might have escalators

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@ssheragu 

 

According to this article - http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...-up-along.html

 

NHAI to construct pedestrian facilities costing Rs one crore each

Its costing 1 crore for each skywalk, so it most probably would have escalators. 

 

ssheragu's picture

pedestrian overbridges / escalators

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ssheragu

the problem in underbridges is not in the underbridges, but because of faulty construction;

as I said they should not have an opening right in the footpath meant for pedestrians but have an access from one side of the footpath (next to the footpath); further they should not be huge tunnels but should be seamlessly merging with the footpath; lastly, these underbridges should have slopes and not steps

with respect to escalators, I feel that one problem would be the requirement of power and maintenance

many thanks

Srinath Heragu

nl.srinivas's picture

 To be honest, I am scared to

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 To be honest, I am scared to get into  these "tunnels".God knows when you will get mugged especially in the nights. When you have to cross a 4 lane or 6 lane road, it has to be a huge tunnel.

I still feel over bridges are better than the underpasses and they should not be too high so that it makes it difficult for people to climb up and down. Escalators are a good idea provided they are maintained well. Don't know why maintenance  can't be outsourced to private companies. The companies can get real estate for advertising at a discount if they are ready to maintain the escalators.

 


ssheragu's picture

ssheragu

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underbridges v/s overbridges

while some of the concerns of nl srinivas are appropriate, I wish to clarify as follows;

the underbridges can be at most 8 feet or 10 feet in height and need not be big tunnels

the underbridges can be well lit (if power is available for escalators, half the power can be made available for lighting the underbridges)

the overbridges cannot be of small height, as they have to allow all sorts of vehicles, big and small to pass below them

lastly an unedrbridge as specified can be constructed and tried for its utility value

many thanks

 

Srinath Heragu

murali772's picture

hare-brained solution

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After the skywalk near Sophia High School constructed by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike flopped with the people, the Palike has planned to install lifts in its new skywalk. The tender floated on January 7 invites agencies to implement this project on Design, Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (DBOOT) basis for a licence period of 20 years.

For the full report in the New Indian Express, click here.

When sky-walks of similar design have failed elsewhere in the city, if they are still persisted with, obviously there is a mafia operating within the BBMP with a vested interest in pursuing these projects. And, the hare-brained solution proposed makes one wonder if another mafia has taken over, and who amongst the babu's and neta's are involved in it all.

 

Muralidhar Rao
ssheragu's picture

sophia skywalk; underpass

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ssheragu

As I have been quoted time and again, skywalks will almost always not be a success, because of the labour involved in climbing up & down;

the obvious solution is to have an underpass, which SEAMLESSLY starts from ONE SIDE (far end of the footpath) goes under the road and emerges on the footpath on the other side; further the underpas should have slopes not steps to climb up & down; in fact a pedestrian underpass can at most be about 8 feet in height

hope at least BBMP will have the sense to go in for underpasses not skywalks;

many thanks

Srinath Heragu

murali772's picture

surprising!

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@ ssheragu - you would still recommend pedestrian underpasses, even in the face of this report almost totally condemning them?

If yes, may be you should try going through the ones at Basaveswara circle (first you'll need to unlock the gates, though)

Muralidhar Rao
rs's picture

Underpasses

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The basic problem is not the underpass - its the fact that they dont maintain them. If they are not locked they are filthy. But most of them are locked.

The problem lies in the design. You have to make them well lit and wide enough and comfortable. Also, efforts shoudl be made to make them more aesthetic. I see no reason why they need to make a grotesquely ugly cover for them - all it does is make them darker and more unpleasant.

One place crying for an underpass is Tumkur Road near Yeswantpur station. Every morning there are thousands of people trying to cross the road and this causes a great inconveniece to both pedestrians and vehicles. The solution lies in buiding a large underpass - like something they have in Bombay at Churchgate station or Metro - where they have shops below.

The problem with overpasses is that no one uses them.

murali772's picture

how about this option?

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@ rs  -  what you say is true. In fact, even the approach to the Kempe Gowda bus station from the Kapali talkies road is a fairly wide and decently built sub-way. But, the ones at Basaveswara circle, as also many others, are a nightmare.

And, for Yeshwantpur station, wouldn't something like this be better?
 

Muralidhar Rao
rs's picture

In Yeswantpur what you

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In Yeswantpur what you suggest will work for connecting it to the TTMC but I dont know if it will work to cross Tumkur  road - the metro comes in the way. I'm not sure if one can build an overpass below the metro which is high enough for buses to pass under.

So at least to cross Tumkur Road an underpass seems to be the best option. But the way they build them ( Magic Boxes ) are completely useless. They have another locked one at Vijay Nagar on Chord Road - which would be uselful if it was open and of course completely useless ones at Malleswaram Sampige Road & 5th cross and in front of the Planetarium ( which are also locked ).

In most places - like the subway entrances in most cities - they dont bulid roofs for the stairs of the underpass - here they do which makes it darker. less airy and ugly and much dirtier.

Alternatively I suppose if the Metro station is well defined and cleanly linked to the station this might provide the necessary overpass - but I doubt they will be so thoughtful.

Ramesh

 

Sanjeev's picture

In Yesvantpur : Skywalk crossing all 6 Platforms, METRO Start

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What we need at Yesvantpur station is :

Skywalk starting outside  Station at Old Entrance ie PF-1 side and having entry / exit  to all Platforms and then entry / exit   outside the station on Tumkur Road  side end ie PF-6,  then connect the METRO station at same level and with entry / exit to Tumkur Road on Yesvantpur station side and then cross the Tumkur Road,  provide  Entry / Exit.

This will help Commuters of Yesvantpur station, METRO Station and NH-4 road crossing,  connecting  Vegitable market of Yesvantpur to Yesvantpur Yard.

Also provide  two lanes for cycle as seperate bridge.

All these are big task where MP's,  Local MLA's and Transpor Minister, Urban Minister, BMRC,  DRM of SWR, BBMP, NHAI need to  agree and work out the solution.  State should come forward in investing for this facility.

Recover the cost thru' sponsorship,  Advertisments & Vechile Parking

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