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Flyovers - Thank God the ‘truth’ is out!

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Ah, was I glad to see major newspapers talk negative about flyovers last month!! The irony is that these folks are responsible for building the hype around the ‘f’ word. Anyways, good. We finally realize these things are not the panacea. Yeah they aren’t, and I'll tell you why.

By the way, its not just the mainstream media, Union urban development ministry too has the right language now. Did you read this last week:

"The Centre has directed states and cities to draw up comprehensive mobility plans giving priority to pedestrians, non-motorised and public transport as rising travel demands have resulted in a disproportionate increase in private vehicle use … Officials … explained that the comprehensive mobility plan … is required to focus on the mobility of people instead of vehicles."

Not to say that things like flyovers or elevated expressways are not needed. But if their net result is going to be increased incentives for using private vehicles, then they are not good for our crowded cities. Sorry, and period.

Now for some problems with flyovers on regular city roads.

=> Instead of multiple smaller and manageable jams, they create few large unmanageable ones.

=> Flyovers discourage use of public transport. These things are “perceived” to be good to drive on.

=> These are expensive to build. Installing synchronized signals and recruiting traffic policemen may cost less. Also, a flyover always creates the need for more in the vicinity, so there are ‘hidden’ costs to building one.

=> Flyovers are harder on pedestrians. Pedestrian walkways, if at all planned on flyovers, make us do some climbing. Since flyovers eliminate traffic lights, pedestrians are forced to take risks and cross through running traffic.

=> City gets a bad look. Go to Richmond Circle / Double Road area. Instead of the open and expansive feel of past, you have ugly looking pillars and underbelly of the flyover now.

[PS: Has anyone imagined what will happen to areas around Silk Board junction once that elevated expressway opens?]

[Notes: 1) Posted originally on June 19 2007 2) Image sourced from BDA website]

Comments

tsubba's picture

This I didnot

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This I didnot understand.... "Flyovers are harder on pedestrians. Pedestrian walkways, if at all planned on flyovers, make us do some climbing. Since flyovers eliminate traffic lights, pedestrians are forced to take risks and cross through running traffic." Why are pedestrian walking on the flyovers? why not under it? perhaps you are talking about situation like, Airport road flyover where apparently there are no ground level crossings & SG was heard promising some crossings. that is poor design. i think designing flyovers for streets is a little bit like making a kid wear his daddy's gloves. most best practices use flyovers for grade separation only of two main channels and these main channels are always classified as highways.
silkboard's picture

ground level crossing, yes.

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Tarle, yes, its about no 'friendly' ground level crossing. Since you eliminated signals, how do I cross - Walk on the flyover, or risk a frog run? I have seen people do both.
tsubba's picture

the moment they construct a

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the moment they construct a flyover they mistake it to be a highway. jaise idhar inhe mid block ped crossings Daalk choDte. humm bhi ped crossing Daalne ka. turn around times for ped crossing only signals also low no?

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