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Corridor Improvement Plan - Airport Road

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So now, elections over, pressure on BJP to perform etc etc, its time for city's local government to deliver more on the Big10 promise. While we can criticise the mish mash that city's local government is (BBMP, BDA, BMTC etc, and then ABIDe, two ministers assigned to the city), good work or unplanned work, bit it does seem like there is work happening on the ground inside the city. Of special interest to us is the key part of the whole big10 promise - Big10 corridor improvement plan, eventually with dedicated bus lanes. The plan is already in the works - I am sure Praja folks would have noticed the tenders and work for widening Hosur Road near CMP and Military School.

Let us focus on Airport Road, and think deep - how exactly would this stretch become a corridor?

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Before that, some basic questions about Big10 corridors, and the answers that I know. I will keep correcting the answers as we know more.

  • Will Big10 Corridors be made signal-free?
    • I hear the answer - "mostly yes", but "not 100%"
  • Isn't "signal-free" a car-centric word - when will dedicated bus lanes appear? -
    • The plan appears to be signal-free first, then dedicated bus lanes.
  • Any chance that there may be some intersections where bus lanes would be signal free or ramped, but not the car traffic
    • Most likely not.
  • How many bus lanes, and where?
    • Two bus lanes, I am guessing on the pavement side of the road, and not in the center (Pune types).
  • Any special plans for big junctions (like Airport Road and Outer Ring Road), to make it easy for us to change the buses
    • Nothing spectacular that we are aware of, however, improvements are on the card to make it easy for people to move from any bus stand to another at big intersections

So now, whats the plan for Airport Road? I think I have seen maps that show all the intersections on Airport Road that are marked for improvement (in Abide blueprints back in January? not sure). Assuming that we are talking the stretch from Trinity Church Road to Varthur Lake, or Kundalahalli - take a closer look at the route. I would think that Intersections are expected to get one of the three types of treatment:

  • Close the median, force merging traffic to take U-turn at major intersections
  • Magic Box like work to remove signals from Airport Road
  • Keep the signals, may be leave 2 or 3 in total, either for lack of options, or as a way of controlling the flow on the corridor

Will continue this via comments or edits. And please keep love/hate for Big10/Abide/BBMP type comments out of this post. Let us keep this one geeky and detailed.


silkboard's picture

6 points till Suranjan Das Road

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Candidates for improvement till Suranjan Das Road. Everything else on this stretch should probably get "close the median" treatment. Manipal Hospital / 80 feet road too could get that treatment, that would reduce the magic box candidates to just 5 on this stretch.

s_yajaman's picture

Messy junctions need some radical ideas

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Happy at least there is some strategic thinking here - Corridor and Big 10.  There will never be agreement among everyone on the specifics (magic box vs. synchronized lights, cars vs. buses, etc).

Airport Road has some very messy junctions - Domlur, Manipal, Suranjan Das Road, Marathahalli (mega mess), Kundalahalli (disgrace).   They really need to think on how they will manage traffic pileups at the last two when the rest of the stretch is signal free

Also need a pedestrian plan for each of the Big 10s.  Was driving along BG Road the other day and footpaths are non-existent for long stretches.  Simply unacceptable.  Footpaths are still missing on NH7 a year after road widening along the stretch from Mekhri Circle to Hebbal.  People still stand in the blazing heat and the pouring rain to catch buses at Hebbal.  The plan is still very car centric. 



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

pathykv's picture


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Without provision of safe pedestrian crossings at bus stops, signal-free roads will only increase casualities of bus commuter-pedestrians.

Any new project should be pedestrian-centred.


kbsyed61's picture

How about A day out on this stretch?

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 Since you mentioned real geeky discussions and real time inputs, apart from getting your hands on plans, tenders etc, working on ground might help you generate more data.

To start with plan a day out on a Saturday or Sunday to study the stretch first hand (you might be daily commuting on this road) but with much more in detail. Basically get the first hand feel of all the junctions, possible bottlenecks, bus stops etc. With that level of information, back to the drawing room for brainstorming and making sense of civic agency/govt's plans.

Another more potent effort could be to take the locally based experts/professionals in urban planning, traffic management, Road Constructions etc to on a study TOUR of the stretch. Get a first hand feedback on ground realities and usefulness of Govt's plans.

silkboard's picture

Can walk blind on this road

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I am sure, not just me, but several people can walk blind on this stretch, and know all interesections and all bus stands like the back of their hands.

However, the real messy spots, the ones that need such assessment are the points where you expect a lot of people to change the buses. Three or four such spots

  • Domlur
  • Suranjan Das road
  • Marathahalli Outer ring road junction
  • Kundalahalli Gate

We could organize a "Praja street event" at Marathahalli ORR junction to gain first hand experience on changing the bus, and think possible ways for people to move freely between any of the 4 to 8 bus stops at this interchange.


Based on what we know - the plan still feels car centric. Dedicated bus lanes is one thing, you need a lot of support from other design elements to make these corridors the "rivers for public transport"

  • Pedestrian walk facilities, with focus on bringing people up to the bus stands from as far places as possible (bus catchment area expansion)
  • Pedestrian crossing facilities - slightly different from above, but I am talking control on pedestrian access to the road area - where they would cross, and where they would not
  • Bus change points - I think talked this enough in several posts
  • Design of mini-hubs that would be changeover points from local-loop bus services (plans are in the works so we are told) to Big10 buses
  • Parking plans (simple plan would be a ban on parking on the corridor) for commercial and "irresponsible" areas like Domlur (small stretch) and Marathahalli shops. I say irresponsible because new shops have been showing up without complying to parking byelaws.
  • U-turn provisions (because you will be closing a lot of open medians)

A full signal free corridor is unlikely - such a thing must start and end at points that will distribute traffic into smaller streams. Candidate on East end is Marathahalli - leave traffic and buses into Outer Ring road north and south, and towards Whitefield. But on the city side - you will have a big choke near Trinity circle.

Either way - its an interesting design challenge. I am eagerly looking forward to announcement of formal plans on this front.

Srivatsava's picture

Can we try exit/entry lanes, right turn lanes?

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    Yes, Bangaloreans are a insane lot on the traffic, with absolutely no traffic sense. But, airport road being used by so many 'educated' people (who mostly drive alone in their cars :P ), can we explore the possibilty of introducting the right turn lanes, exit and entry  lanes, left turn lanes, bus lanes etc.

     If we can have theme parks that show different variants of rain water harvestings, parks that make museums of jails, why cant we have a 'theme road' that shows different possiblties of handling road traffic.

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

Srivatsava's picture

U-turn bridges??

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    A good part of the signal free exercise is to close the median and hence, the right and U-turns. This is what has been done on the Bellary road.

    One of the problems of having gaps in mediand to facilitate U-turns is that drivers move to the right most lane and then exectute the U-turns. This blocks the movement of traffic on the other side of the road. And if  there are too many vehicles to take a U-turn, we may find that both carriageways of the road are blocked by cars taking the U-turns.

     On roads like the Bellary road, Hosur Road and ORR, where we have a good service roads, one option we have is to ban the U-turns from the main carriageways. Instead, cars should be asked to move to the service roads befor making the U-turn, and initiate the U-turn from there, so that they have more space to make the turn and hence can execute it much faster.

     Another option I see is to build bridges/flyovers to execute the U-turn. These need not be very wide bridges, typically just a lane wide. These can start from the left most lane of a carriageway and terminate into the the left most lane of the other carriageway. That will ensure that the road remains useful as a staright carriageway, without affecting the right and U turns. More importantly, these do not demand junction space, these can be put up between junctions.

     So, if a right turn is allowed at a junction, there will be a re-alignment of lanes/traffic before the junction that slows down the traffic. Instead, if it is blocked, the vehicles will continue another 100 mts, take a bridge for the U-turn and enter the left lane of the other carriageway, and take a left turn from there.

     I am not sure if Magic-boxes can help us in these U-turns. Presently on Bellary road, BBMP has put up magic boxes at road level to enable this. This makes the ramps on the main carriageway to steep for the users of the expressway. may be we can extend Naveen's thoughts on magic box ped underpasses to vehicular ones. Or we could explore other possiblities like Steel flyovers.

    Whatever the idea Sir-ji, Its all here on Praja....

-Srivatsava V

PS: SY, I read the subject of your post as "Messy junctions need messy ideas" and was perplexed, till I read it a second time!!

-Srivatsava V

blrsri's picture

U turn magic's..

76 users have liked.

 was exactly what was on my mind too..

we can discuss this on saturday when we meet in person! comment guidelines

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