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Elevated 'through' corridor concept - a "plus" inside Outer Ring Road

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Infrastructure

Talking of vehicle movements, one need not addressed very well yet inside Bangalore city is separation of long-distance movements with local movements. One way this might be getting done today for goods movement  is by routing their city entry from the point nearest to destination on Outer Ring Road. However, Outer Ring road itself sees significant local movements, and the mixing causes jams and very severe time based restrictions on goods movement. For people mobility, look at BIAS-8, Elec-City to Airport, goes all around the city on ORR due to lack of a through corridor. And for those heading out from within the City to say Tumkur, Mysore, Chennai etc, you must "mix" with local movements unless you are very close to ORR.

A north-south, and East-west corridor concept ("plus" around Outer Ring Road) was in the news few years ago. While talking the subject with RK Misra recently, he said that he is working on a similar proposal now. His current drawings are attached below. It is fashionable at times to dismisss any road capacity proposal as bad, but in this case, as long as we keep to a "plus" connecting 4 points on outer ring road, and perhaps all the way till the long pending Peripheral Ring Road, this would create the "separation" that is required. I would say that instead of signal-free corridors, work on things like Bus Priority System, or any other surface based low cost or lighweight mass transit concept on radial roads. And use the money being proposed for signal-free corridors on the "plus" corridors. In fact, if done right, such corridors might come free to the government.

With limited entry and exits, the "plus" corridor could take significant goods and long-distance movements off of city's arterial roads, thus creating space for things like Bus Priority, and reducing pressure on pavements to make way for wider roads. And, if planned well, the elevated "plus" corridors could have express mass transit option on them. Say, like dedicated Bus lanes with lift based bus stops at points where there may not be "entry" or "exits".

Wanted to bounce this throught off with folks here, look forward to some detailed talk on the subject.

Here are the benefits, verbatim, as mentioned by RK Misra during a small discussion on this.

  1. This will take care of 80% of BLR traffic, connecting 5 major Traffic Origin/Destination commute points which are industrial zones & transportation hubs for Inter-State traffic too - Electronics City, Peenya, Mysore Road, Whitefield & Yelahanka/BIAL
  2. Being THROUGH Corridors, these will de-congest CBD
  3. No Acquisition - Fast Execution - These elevated corridors will go on existing roads with no need to widen or acquire - so no tree cutting or acquisition hassles
  4. It will increase capacity 3-4 times of existing road by virtue of extra 4 elevated  lanes.
  5. FINANCE - annuity funding model - paying over 10 years, so no money from state government is needed.

cheers,
SB aka Pranav

Comments

idontspam's picture

Underground not elevated

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We have discussed this before here, I support it but it HAS to go undergroud, not elevated, whatever the cost & it should be tolled along with congestion pricing so the people who use it pay for it. Or put elevated on steel becuse I am sure somewhere in the not so distant future our children will realize this ugly elevated mistake we made & will want to pull it down & take it underground like in other parts of the world.

Here is a list of elevated roads being removed across the world.

Naveen's picture

Thro corridors - is there need?

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Not sure if this is a good idea due to the complexities involved - in fact, I doubt if it's required at all in the first place :

1) The volume of daily local through traffic (i.e. those that are bound from one end of ORR /PRR to the opposite end on a daily basis) seems highly unlikely since employees would always seek to reside close to their work places. 80% of blr traffic - this figure may actually be much lesser since this appears unsubstantiated /guesstimated. Even for those that reside far off from their workplaces, the Metro will be an alternative mode & whatever this proportion, it is likely to remain in check, unless corridors such as the above are provided for cars & other vehicles.

2) Goods vehicles that are passing (i.e. traffic that is not destined for the city) will be using the future PRR (or IRR /STRR) as convenient. Thus, there are future plans to ease up the present mess on ORR by diversion of goods vehicles to go around the city where truck lay-bys & refreshment halts can be more easily provided. An additional distance of a few km on long journeys is the norm since it isn't much of a hindrance. In some cases, it may actually save distance if PRR /STRR is used (such as traffic from Mysore road to Tumkur rd, or Hosur rd to OMR).

3) Parts of exit highways such as Mysore road, Tumkur Rd, Bellary Rd & Hosur Rd have elevated sections for through traffic. So, traffic originating from the city can use these elevated roads /tollways to save time.

4) The route for BIAS-8 along eastern ORR is because there are no other BIAS routes that cover that part of ORR for pickups /drop-offs, & not necessarily because there are no corridors - other BIAS routes do ply through the city to ensure coverage for all parts & there really is no need for a dedicated "express" BIAS service from EC - I doubt if the numbers justify this yet. For the future, there are options being considered such as HSRL or Metro airport extension.

This idea appears to be along the lines of Bangkok & LA where even after building several elevated /elevated-over-elevated roads, congestion has actually gotten worse due to induced traffic.

 

idontspam's picture

A feasibility study is

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A feasibility study is definitely required before such things are taken up. North South doesnt need it as from EC to BIA, if engineering is done right, a clean 4 lane corridor can be established with provision for turn & exit lanes inside the city. In some sections that is already 6 lanes some of that can be taken over for NMT + Turn & exit lanes. In fact other than the section between Minsk square to Vellara the rest of the section is 6 lanes or more already. 

I am increasingly uncomfortable with these projects because of the incapability of aybody to fix the surface roads. I cant have any confidence or trust that a new road wil be any better. I think these flights of fancy from people (including me) can only take of if we show the ability to utilize the surface roads more efficiently thru better & equitable engineering. 

Tendersure is trying it, We need to take up the entire city under such a scheme & show what mobility engineering actually means. Because the key is not standards but its application in design of each road & DPR that is prepared thats where the balls drops.

silkboard's picture

the choice - one good investment, or recurring pain

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Elevated roads as such are certainly not something public transport and sustainability fans would bat for. It is very much an arguable concept. However, if you look back last 10 years, there is recurring pressure to build more and more road capacity. Things have come to a stage where signal free corridors, not 1 or 2, 10-12 are being talked about in the city area that is just not used to getting partitioned by fast roads. Even proposals like Bus Priority System come unstuck due to road width issues. Road capacity talk vs road usage for PT and pavements - we are in sort of a gridlock.

One could kill the road capacity constraints talk for once and for all by building the "ring and plus" system - Outer Ring Road, and at least two through corridors. One major road investment, and all road lovers can keep quiet for a decade. Focus can then peacefully shift to road engineering on surface, space for pedestrians, signals for us to cross on surface, and not from swarga or paataal loka.

Does anyone remember Tumkur Road before the elevated roadway came up? What if it had express Bus services, and elevated bus stands with lifts? Road capacity is getting added in adhoc ways (widening, tree cutting projects), and elevated roads that have come up have not seen much interest from public transport angle as enthusiasts like us have just ignored their possible utility for PT.

One massive investment in PT is underway (Metro). "Through" corridors, tolled, and free of cost to the city could pave the way for unhindered investments in Bus based PT as well.

I am only thinking aloud. Not entirely convinced myself.

Naveen's picture

Many Qs

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First – let’s be clear about what this is really about.

Is it for general traffic or for both, PT & general traffic? Anyways, it has to be a minimum four lanes wide + two other emergency lanes for vehicle breakdowns. This is difficult to arrange across the city since 6-lane street width below across the central areas is unavailable, especially the E-W section.

As mentioned previously, it is highly unlikely that there will be enough local through traffic from one end to the other & it’s also not a good idea to have truck traffic on these elevated roads through the city since it will soon become a serious pollution problem. Already, there are indications that even the short segment BETL is not seeing enough traffic (due to cost of tolls). In light of this, to make the project viable, vehicle entry /exit points will be needed every few km without disturbing other fast moving traffic with loop ramps (& attached toll booths). Do we have space for these underneath? Elevated viaducts & ramps will also consume space on medians below for support columns.

If buses have to operate on the elevated sections, many more questions will arise:

  1. Apart from elevators /escalators, jay-walking across elevated traffic lanes with fast moving traffic will necessitate appropriate barricades at bus stops & attendants will need to maintain ‘keys’ to open gates for bus boarding /alighting & lock the gates after bus departure, at least initially until sufficient discipline has been inculcated.
  2. Increased width of emergency lanes at bus halts would be necessary to make them suitable to be used as bus bays.
  3. Inter-modal transfer for bus passengers will become an even bigger issue than it already is.
  4. Ways have to be found for dealing with bus break downs midway & passenger evacuation.

Whilst it is common to have bridges, tunnels, bypasses & some small elevated segments along BRT routes , whole routes cannot be entirely elevated since there are many issues that pose obstacles - such as the ones described above.

idontspam's picture

North south example

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Was looking at the north south corridor. Just look at how much wastage in the new construction of hosur road from silkboard till vellara & bellary road from highgrounds to Hebbal. What pathetic engineering on a thru corridor road. Just flashback here to so many things that could have been done & how it is turning out now. Shame. Palace grounds land was acquired with money, nothing has happened since, cauvery & BDA jn still suck.

So now we want to fly over all the problems after years of building on these stretches? How can we trust these "engineers" to do anything effective? See here how turn lanes, slip lanes etc can help improve throughput why arent we building it then? Making the surface corridor world class can bring quality to the existing streets buying enough time to go the whole hog & build anything underground if it is still required. 

The problem is we are trying to augment capacity without optimising existing capacity. Why the laziness? If we had said it was elevated public transport ONLY then it will be easier to justify. Just additional lanes flying over the middle of the city is plain fugly.

kbsyed61's picture

Well said!

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IDS,

You are bang on. Seems we love this very much "Don't solve old problems, go for new ones". Unless the existing resources are put to optimal use, it will be a futile exercise for building new ones for faster mobility. Soon we will be left with 2 problems - Old and new one.

Somewhere it is lost on the planners, enthusiast that there is a limit to faster mobility across cities.

 

 

Naveen's picture

Improve existing roads first

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Agree - Indian city roads are the best examples for lack of application of basic road design features followed by mis-management. Vehicle congestion /chaos is always dealt with by 'widening' & 'augmenting' or 'adding' roads to the maximum extent possible, without any thought given to improving existing road designs & efficiencies.

What first needs to be tackled is the laissez-faire attitude on streets - this is the foremost in the order of priorities. Traffic police almost always remain spectators with little on-street enforcement, save for some traffic signal management & a drive against drunken driving.

Now, “free for city” elevated urban expressways are being proposed to attempt to address the "problems below", with claims that 80% traffic would be removed without considering that vehicle movements are always mixtures of origin /destination sources & such additions will almost always end up worsening the situation in the future with massive car additions, even if sponsors are found to build such monstrosities.

In large part, the public is equally responsible, especially, the car lobbies. A review of the citizens’ complaints in various newspapers indicate that road & vehicle movement complaints dominate these sections whilst the voices for pedestrian & bicycle features are few & far between.

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