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BBMP (and BTP) and inclusive development

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Urban Development

One look at the typical projects happening in Bangalore and it is quite clear that for the BBMP the city is a thoroughfare meant to enable cars to zip across the city with minimal inconvenience.  There always seems to be enough funds for flyovers, underpasses, road widening and asphalting.  In fact the 2009-10 budget clearly says "The road sector is the primary focus of the infrastructural initiatives of the BBMP."

I just visited the BBMP website.  There is nothing there (at least easily visible) that says something about why the BBMP exists, what its objectives are and a citizen's charter.  Is it there to solve traffic problems? Is it there to upkeep roads?  Is it there for the general upkeep of the city? Nothing.  Any organization without a clear objective delivers just the way BBMP delivers.

All this begs the question - where does equitable and inclusive development fit into BBMP's scheme of things.  

  • Cars  are evidently a priority for the BBMP.  But even here, the BBMP thinks that the only reason people get into cars is to reach the other end of town fast.  No thought has been given to organized parking. 
  • Bus commuters - the less said the better.  There are no bus lanes planned when roads are widened.  Bus shelters are missing, pedestrian crossings are not present near bus stops, one ways (this one courtesy the BTP) ensure that bus commuters have to walk quite far to catch a bus, no proper drainage leading to flooding near bus stops, etc
  • Cyclists - we just keep hearing plans for a cycle lane in Jayanagar.  For some reason there is never enough space on newly widened roads or on one ways to keep 3 feet for cycles.  Chandigarh e.g. has cycle paths along most roads.
  • Pedestrians - the second lowest priority for the BBMP.  Pavements are non existent on many arterial roads.  Roads are widened without thinking about how the very young or the old can cross these.  Signal free corridors are planned on which one might have to wait for 10 minutes before scurrying across the road risking life and limb.  Children (if 10-15% of the population) cannot have an independent life because they are constantly in danger.  Cars are parked on pavements where they exist.
  • Differently abled - heaven help you if you are blind or wheelchair bound.  There is not a pavement that has tactile tiles.  Let alone that there is always the chance that one will fall through some gaping hole in a pavement.  For wheelchair bound people there is simply no way they can go around without the very real chance that each ride could be the last.  Most buildings don't have ramp access into them.
  • Children - must be number about 1.5 million.  But no spaces to play, no safe journey to visit their friends independently without being chaperoned by their parents in cars, no public spaces to hang out except malls.  BMTC buses are anything but child friendly. 
  • Senior citizens - count for nothing.  Neither in BBMP's scheme of things nor in BTPs.  They cannot cross roads safely, cannot go out easily.

BBMP needs to get out of its fixation with signal free roads and cars.  It needs to have a clear vision of what  equitable and inclusive development looks like.  A city is not about traffic or cars.  It is for people.  And the BBMP does not get it.

Comments

s_yajaman's picture

Vancouver accessible street design

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97 users have liked.

This is what can be called inclusive design.  

http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/streets/design/documents/AccessibleStreetDesign.pdf

Some principle have been first laid out based on which the design has been done.  Instructive.

 

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

srinidhi's picture

'Tender SURE' should help

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95 users have liked.

'Tender Sure' should help in addressing many of then points raised above in blr..Praja has played its part in the documentation/reviews of the MG road DPR document..

The money assured to MG road deveopment thru TenderSURE is being tabled in the budjet session this week and once passed that work is spoosed to start..

some news on that here

 

idontspam's picture

about time too...

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83 users have liked.

about time too... lets hope it turns out well without compromises being made on the ground

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