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The joys of crossing a road

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InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

ORR KR Puram 4The pedestrian chaos at ORR-Old Madras Road interchange can'tt be stated in words, so I tried this video last week (find it below). The place is a live example of collaboration, lack of it rather, between multiple sarkaari bodies. Bring this up with a babu in Bangalore and instead of ideas or initiatives, you will get stories of how things can only fall between NHAI, Railways, BDA, and the Traffic Police but not improve. Oh yeah, the job of taking initiatives is best left to the citizens.


Some bonus things for you to note in the video , that is if you have never been to this side of the city:

  • Notice how call center cabs create the jam as you hit the bridge from Whitefield side. Notice the Unisys cab picking up passengers in this video.
  • You wont miss the flood of pedestrians crossing over to catch the bus. This is 9:00 am, and there is no ped-xing signal, or cop to help them cross.
  • Enter the OMR/ORR road merge area next to HP bunk. The place isn't as crowded in the video, but notice the folks walking around freely everywhere on the road. Why? The buses stop everywhere.
  • Last, towards the end of the video, notice the call center cab picking up passengers at the foot of the flyover.

Some photos as well of this buzzing area. In one of these, notice a traffic signal on Old Madras Road right at the foot of the cable bridge. Haven't seen it working recently, and not sure of its purpose - to let people pedestrians cross, or to control the ORR/OMR merge?



If you read this post till here, would you be game to join in for a "cross the Old Madras Road" event at this spot!? 10-15 of us will experience the joys of being pedestrian first hand, and take some pictures to mail to ABIDE, BDA, Traffic Police etc.

Comments

nijavaada's picture

really, its something else!

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-Nijavaada
idontspam's picture

On the same topic

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A thought for pedestrians

psaram42's picture

Only crying baby gets its milk

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nijavaada's picture

how you take it is not going to affect how it takes you!

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-Nijavaada
s_yajaman's picture

Off topic - please nip this in the bud.

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Admin,

Clearly off-topic.  Please nip this in the bud.  This is about crossing roads and how migration and linguistic diversity and Nandan's book fits in is hard to imagine.  Crossing roads has always been a nightmare in Bangalore and most Indian cities.  And it is not just out of state migrants that drive rashly.  Even migrants from Mandya/Maddur (many of our yellow board brethren), our local autos drive equally badly.

Nijavaada - I think a separate thread on sustainable development and issues related to migration is welcome.  I agree that we are on a path of unsustainable growth. 

Srivathsa

 

 

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

s_yajaman's picture

Raised pedestrian crossings don't work too well

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I know a number of these are being planned, but my experience is that they don't work for the pedestrian for a number of reasons.

a. They don't reduce speed enough.  I have seen cars go at almost 30 kmph over these (Yes 30 kmph happens sometimes in our city ;)).

b. No channeling of traffic into lanes just before these (they can use bollards for this).  Yes there are lane markings, but there are at least 2X vehicle lanes on any stretch of road. So imagine the plight of person stuck in the middle of this crossing.  Yes, most times they come out alive, but it is not fun to be stuck in the middle.

c) Nothing to warn motorists about 50 m before that there is a crossing coming.  They need to put warning about 50 m and blinking lights on either side of the crossing so that motorists can expect this - same goes for pedestrian crossings. 

Traffic has to be channeled into 2-3 lanes at these crossings via refuges so that pedestrians cross one lane at a time and know that an extra lane will not be created by an enterprising motorcyclist.  I think this needs to be done at pedestrian crossings as well, with the added advantage of streamlining traffic into lanes.

Srivathsa

 

 

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

Nitinjhanwar's picture

Why pedestrians are not fined?

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http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&resnum=0&q=pedestrian+crossings&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=8&ct=title#

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&resnum=0&q=pedestrian+crossings&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=8&ct=title#q=pedestrian%20crossings%20in%20india&hl=en&emb=0

These are examples where the pedestrians should be fined.

What Dr ASJ has complied below- albiet with not the scenario of Road Traffic in India is the benchmark to be adjusted for the mixed traffic scenario of India.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&resnum=0&q=pedestrian+crossings&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&resnum=8&ct=title#q=pedestrian%20crossings%20in%20india&hl=en&emb=0&start=10

nJ

-nJ-

919462900144

www.nitinjhanwar.biz

silkboard's picture

pedestrian enforcement

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True Nitin, its perhaps time to start on enforcing some on pedestians as well. But, I would believe that if you provide safer measures and clues to folks for crossing the roads at places like these, a lot of folks may prefer not risking injuries.

Srivathsa, we have talked subway vs elevatedin past. subways win for these main reasons:

  1. You go fewer feet down than up as the skyway must provide higher clearances
  2. In a subway, you have to do the easier job of stepping down first. That is a lot more inviting. Starting with a walk up is relatively discouraging.

Providing an "island" for pedestrians to wait will help a bit, ASJ had posted examples of this. But why can a subway not be tried at this location? Mind you, a subway from station side to the petrol bunk alone will not solve the problem. You would have to move the bus stands as well. See this pic - you have an "island" bus stand on Old Madras road at the foot of the cable overbridge.

Old Madras Road, Ring Road, Entry Road to Whitefield, Commuter Railway station, shuttles running to the nearest Metro station wherever it will eventually come up - this particular area would be a first-class public transportation hub. Someday.

asj's picture

Need traffic lights

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The video shows a problem for which a simple solution is to install a set of traffic lights with adequate pedestrian phase.  What is also needed is mid block pedestrian crossings with quality refuges. I feel sorry for communities ripped apart by median grade separators which refuse to respect need for people in such densely populated areas to cross across.

Elsewhere I have posted a draft policy on integrating pedestrian phases with vehicular phases. 

The video NJ is referring to - actually, if you see that location during rush hour, you will see 10 times more vehicles and traffic - everything runs smoothly, even cars move faster because of traffic lights which stop vehicles hindering / conflicting with eachother (we can see in SBs video in the first half just where pedestrians are crossing under the flyover the huge truck and car also causing exactly the same hassle as the pedestrians).

It seems as usual they have an elevated road to by pass junction as a solution leaving everything under / adjacent to the elevated section is total mess - so common is this problem that - this is a signature of sorts to prove that this video is from India.

ASJ

silkboard's picture

How would you make ORR signal free?

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The eventual plan is to make ORR signal free. That signal (on Old Madras Road) perhaps makes sense for OMR traffic - they anyway hit a jam right up ahead near the railway underbridge.

Why not take the concept of "island" bus stand a bit further? all the folks who are crossing over the OMR/ORR merge area (the latter half of the video) are probably changing busses. If both sides' bus stands were to be on the median, would that make the situation better?

You'd end up needing a subway anyway. But the subway would have an opening at this island bus stand as well.

The buses rushing towards the median will definitely slow down the traffic, but who cares. The traffic anyway crawls here. Those dreaming of expressways on these zero-access-control roads can litrally take a walk.

asj's picture

Freeways

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SB,
Making ORR signal free will not be easy.  I Refer you to the post of Freeways are Freeways - without clover leaf like designs its impossible to be free of signals.

One other thing I noted in the video - in UK too when traffic comes to a standstill, pedestrians cross between vehicles - no one minds. The reason for vehicles coming to a virtual halt is not the pedestrians (they don't have so much respect). The traffic jam is due to vehicles moving in different directions and at odds to eachother inside the junction is the cause of the problem. Add to this lack of pedestrian crossing facility and pedestrians start taking risks.

In contrast, generally, in UK, because ROW is respected and clearly defined, vehicles move at 30mph - no pedestrian (even the most demented will have spinal reflexes that will stop trying to go on to the road) will dare cross the road until they get ROW. 

In short, the real problem above is not the pedestrians. 

ASJ 
nijavaada's picture

subtle reality..

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If Praja felt I was not in the hold of the thread being discussed here, I regret that my comment has not worked its logic into the Praje here.

But my comment, and this thread are related nevertheless. Moving that comment into a separate blog/thread wont separate the issue from the ground reality beneath this trivial manifestation of a systemic issue - the road crossing problem i.e.

That this phenomenon is a problem in many a city, apart from Bengaluru, is not surprising, because as we would have all seen by now, migration - the uncontrolled flavour i.e. - has been infecting many cities in India. And Srivathsa needs to realise that my comment from no angle actually hinted that the rash-driving was exhibited only by migrant drivers. (And excuse me please, I wouldnt call drivers from Mandya/Maddur as migrants, just how you wouldnt call a Pune guy in Mumbai a migrant. But that doesnt give anyone an excuse to be callous on the road, of course.)

With due respect, the subtle reality that didnt occur to Srivathsa was the fact that the phenomenon of rash driving is arising as a chain reaction to uncontrolled growth, which is an eventuality of an uncontrolled migration of people that DO NOT WANT to fit into the cultural picture of the society. This unwillingness of the migrating to mingle and blend into the migrated society has led to artificial and unnecessary polarisation in a society that otherwise was doing fine! (I am sure people here have seen those glorious pics of Old Bengaluru!) This mingling could be culturally - which includes being able to communicate in the language of this land, to be able to respect the cultural values valued by this people etc.

Bottomline - it so happens that Praja has been that much more bothered about the problems relating to the roads in Bengaluru, because its such an intense consumer of this facility called road. But somewhere in its approach to solving problems on the road, it seems to have forgotten that the most widely present, and that one entity on the road that needs urgent correction are the people using it, & not the zebra, not the signal, not the road-surface or anything infrastructural. I am not undermining the importance of any such infrastructure, but just re-iterating the importance of the role the human factor plays in relation to such social issues. The Praja here might want to start thinking on these lines first!

So if this was off-topic, I take a bow, but earnestly say, that IMHO, this ought to be Praja's choicest topic, buddy :)

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
idontspam's picture

Thinking for tomorrow

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The ORR signal free effort is another example of why an overall master transport plan will be helpful to have as of yesterday. When ORR is being made signal free by building underpasses, a station platform can be accomodated on the median in the underpass and space left for stairs/ramps/escalators access to the street above. This way when tomorrow we decide to build a tram or BRTS dedicated line you already have some stations built with the surface street being the roof of the station. This is tremendous cost saving for the few stations that can be at the intersections,no acquisition and cost of building shelters fancy roof etc more importantly you dont have to think of building pillars and stations on pillars to avoid the junction.

This is the picture of a metro and tram station in stockholm which is built under a flyover built for crossing the rails. The metro platform is seen in this picture and the tram platform is to the left of the picture. Notice the efficient and cost effective use of space beneath the flyover without much fanfare and also how the tram feeds to the metro and shares the infrastructure. 

Station beneath flyover

Vasanth's picture

I remember posting 'I was about to be killed'

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I had posted 6 months back a forum topic ' I was about to be killed'. It was a nightmare crossing Mysore road during peak hours between heavy vehicles whose drivers are usually uneducated and do not give any value for human life.

We can cross roads where between cars and 2 wheelers somehow, but, inbetween heavy vehicles is highly risky. We started a thread with SkyWalks then. Recently BBMP announced swanky skywalks with escalators and elevators. No news heard so far about that.

I see an immediate requirement of skywalks on ORR, Mysore Road, Old Madras Road, Corporation Circle where many cross roads to change the bus stops and in much more places which I have unseen.

s_yajaman's picture

Improvement seen on NH7 from BIAL to Hebbal

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I travel to on work to Bombay quite frequently and usually take the 20:10 flight back from there.  In the past couple of months I have seen a good deal of improvement in people following the red light even at 10:00 p.m.  Most vehicles stop at the red lights.  The lights seem to be synchronized at 70 kmph or so.  People tend to drive in lanes - except at the red lights when the usual Bangalore behaviour takes over - driving on shoulders, forming multiple lanes within one lane, etc etc. 

I think the enforcement drive is paying off - thanks Mr.Sood.  I have not seen as many accidents on the road in the last 2-3 months.  There are lights for 75-80% of the distance.  Pedestrians can cross the road - not completely fearlessly - but much more safely than 3 months back when it was just mayhem.  

What is strange is that the compliance falls off once we hit Seshadri Road!!!  KR Circle is a free for all.  Urvashi is another free for all.  Some work is needed inside the city.

A new light has been installed opposite Martha Hospital.  Much needed.  Now how and how much it will be enforced depends on the police. 

Srivathsa

 

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

Transmogrifier's picture

Number of pedestrian crossings required?

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SB and others,

It's been a while since I drove through the area so I couldn't remember for sure...if there was money to pump into pedestrian infrastructure on this stretch of OMR/ORR how many crossings do you think are needed? Would one at KR Puram Rly Stn (KJM) and another where the buses stop (at the foot of the flyover) work? How many more is too much?

SB, I second the idea of a proper "island bus stand" albeit a modified one, putting one in the middle in the Eastbound lanes is ok since most buses are headed toward Krishnarajapuram, Hoskote and beyond. The Westbound lanes on the other hand probably need to stick to the orthodox LHS bus stand configuration. Putting it against the median would just worsen the issue of weaving before traffic climbs onto the ORR ramp. As also suggested these could be sensibly integrated using a ped subway (see pic below) that doubles up as a tool to cross the road (staggered crossings are not going to work here: this is still in theory atleast, a highway). Furthermore the depth of the subway can also be reduced by grading on either side the surface road gradually to reduce the depth of the ped subway to just a couple of meters.
 

From Praja_posts


As a caveat though, design of the the bus bay/island (and for that matter siting) is critical since needs to accomodate atleast 2 buses simultaneously (if possible allow buses to pass)  and have reasonable room for entering and exiting buses to join traffic smoothly.

On another note If I had a couple of hundred crore rupees to spare, I would have pushed for a 4lane dual carriageway 2.5 km long tunnel that starts between the proposed Namma Metro Byapannahalli station goes under the Nagvarapalaya intersection and the narrow IR Salem line RUB, and emerges on Whitefield Road right before the ORR ramp to Sarjapur (see pic below) along with necessary up/down ramps to allow access to OMR and KJM. This frees up pretty much all known choke points along this stretch and returns the space along the road KR Puram stretch of ORR to residents and businesses in the area. Now back to what's likely to happen..does anyone know of any plans by IR/SWR to widen the Salem-line RUB?

From Praja_posts

TM

s_yajaman's picture

Skywalks with escalators and subways.

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Saw this on bangalorebuzz. 

"Skywalks with escalators will come up at: 1) KH Road near Corporation Bank bus stop, 2) Hosur Road "T" junction with Tavarekere main road (opposite high rise apartments condominium), 3) Mission Road, at the foot of the flyover, 4) Magadi Road, near Housing Board Colony bus stop, 5) In between junction of Ring Road and 15th Main Banashankari II Stage 6) Airport Road, Marathalli Road Airport Road, 7) Marathalli at Junction of underpass ORR 8) KR Puram bus stand in front of BBMP office"

The numbering is mine. 6) makes no sense in terms of English I just can't make sense of it.  KH Road badly needed.  I really feel for the people trying to run across there.  I wish they had put one on Residency Road near Ashirvadam circle.  Mission road - good idea,

How they plan to maintain these and keep them going is a big question.  Even in Singapore, many of them used to lie broken down.

I also saw this

Pedestrian subways are BBMP’s latest priority

The subway work near Basava Bhavan is also getting completed, according to sources, in another three days.
Two subways- one on the Bellary road (near Veterinary College) and the other on the Basaveshwara cirlce towards the Raj Bhavan Road- have been completed and the subway on the Nrupathunga Road is the fourth one to be completed soon.

Lots more needed - RV Road (near West Gate), JC Road, NH7 (why not - if NHAI has a problem they can scream later),

More power to BBMP if it puts pedestrians even somewhere in its priorities.  Now for footpaths.

Srivathsa

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

asj's picture

The real joy of crossing safely

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I have always said, pedestrian crossing can be integrated within traffic signal such that they need not be given a separate time, instead their movement across pedestrian refuges happens in short segments when traffic is moving else where within a junction.

Here are pics I took last month at Oxford Circus, one of Europes busiest shopping streets -







Note the wide pedestrian refuges. Subways at Oxford circus lead to tube (and are not for crossing across - this is done as seen above). All the snaps were taken in one crossing phase when traffic moved across other roads on the junction.

And I can show images similar to above for  wide 3 + 3 lane roads too.

I dream of seeing such facilities in our cities some day.

ASJ
 

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