Case Study - ORR/KR Puram Chaos

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A book page to group together good threads of analysis/discussion on Outer Ring Road and Old Madras Road merge and de-merge chaos chaos near KR Puram Railway station. An area which could have been a multi modal transportation hub with a station, a major highway entering city center (NH4), and a major road to take people to other corners of the city (ORR) is a chaotic place and exemplifies what ails Bangalore. There are valid as well as not so valid excuses - Railways won't give land, one road is owned by NHAI, another by BDA etc, but bottomline, this place has all the ingredients

'Safe Passage' - for pedestrians at K R Puram, Benniganahalli

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Pedestrian Infrastructure

bus stand"Safe Passage" is about collecting 2.00 lacs signatures representing to emphasize need for safe pedestrian crossing at K.R.Puram Railway, Benniganahalli and ITI Colony gate. Why Signature Campaign?

As we know the gatherings once dispersed the existence of such emphasis also disappears in thin air. Signature Campaign will be in existence all the time for ever. The leaders representation will make the things happen. I am inviting leaders to take this on along with me and be a cause for this Safe Passage of innumerable lives who will reach home safely thanking every good soul who have stood for the cause.

The focus will be children reaching schools, Senior citizens move independently to cross the road and People reaching the work place with ease and peace.

I will work out more plan for action and in the process invite more from the community for us to take this forward.

CKannan

[PS: promoted comment to a post, some formatting to add an image, but content all intact {blr_editor}]

A solution for eastbound OMR/ORR lanes

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Infrastructure

Below is my visualization of SB's suggestion for a pedestrian subway combined with a "median bus-stop" (for Eastward bound lanes).
 

From Praja_posts

pic courtesy: CKannan

It seems (from my rendering of the picture atleast) that there is adequate space for a 'median bus-stop' for buses intending to use the Cable-stayed bridge. For buses intending to go to Whitefield, a curbside bus bay can easily be added beyond the Cable-stayed bridge entry point. A simple footpath can integrate the two. Also added, lane specific signage, something other forum topics have discussed in the past. So here's what's involved:

 

  1. Lane remarking
  2. Additional overhead signs- maybe two more in addtion to the one I've added, one each on the Benniganahalli overpass and one on OMR just after the RUB.
  3. 2 policemen for about a month; One to shepherd buses in to their exclusive lane and another to prevent them from stopping at the base of the bridge.
  4. A new subway and some added footpaths (space for both of which exists). With the use of magic box(es) the subway should take just a couple of days (maybe one weekend).

Admittedly, this is just the tip of proverbial iceberg. What lies ahead is convincing the NHAI, SWR, BDA, BBMP and BMTC that they need to do something about the situation now. Together.

transmogrifier
PS: CK, thanks for the pics, finally gave me the chance to sketch out some of my thoughts.

KR Puram Railway Station Jn Update

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Traffic

Finally BDA and Traffic Police seem to have woken up to the traffic problem at KR Puram junction (opposite railway station). BDA is proposing to widen the roads leading to the junction (on either side of the cable bridge).


The main hurdle to the project is the narrow junction opposite the railway station. Though there is ample space to widen the road, the land is owned by the Railways and they are refusing to give up the land.


However BDA is proposing an alternative. They plan to acquire govt land in the vicinity of the railway station and give this to the railways in exchange for the land next to the road. This proposal was submitted to SW Railways more than 3 weeks back. The Traffic police represented by Mr Praveen Sood, was also part of this meeting called by BDA.


SW Railways had started the construction of ticket counters in this land next to the road. They had responded positively by stopping any further construction. But nothing has moved since then. This is a high traffic density junction. The stretch is part of the ring road and also links Hosur Main road to Bellary road and Tumkur road (NH4 and NH7) and is also a vital link between the city and Whitefield area.


Even by the most optimistic estimates a person traveling to Whitefield spends on an average half an hour’s time here every day. Even if half of the workforce working in Whitefield take this route (the only other route to Whitefield is the old airport road) that is 20,000 people (only from the Whitefield area). If the junction is decongested, the travel time will reduce to 10 mins (5mins each way), that’s a saving of 20 mins. That is 20000 x 20 mins – around 6667 man hours saved per day!!!.


Industries (Devesh sir are you listening?) and Praja should pressurize SW Railways to accept this proposal. How about some petitions to SW Railways? Praja members with contacts in Railways, please try to find out the status.


The other major problem in this region – Benganahalli railway underpass, God save the people who have to pass through this. Oh by the way the Railways have put up some ads on the railway bridge. It is like the Railways telling us – you better stop, see these ads and then proceed - and repeat these steps atleast 5-6 times everytimes you have to pass through this underpass.

KR Puram bridge area - Good going traffic police!

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Traffic

OMR Ped 1I have waited to post this, 3 weeks to be precise because I want. After after our street photography adventure at OMR/ORR junction, I have been noticing a few changes at this junction of junctions.

  • The pedestrian walk signal which was not working (the traffic cops we had met that day had confirmed this) is now operational. See the photo, notice the signal in 'red' and vehicles waiting for peds to cross. Mind you, this as at 9.05 am on a weekday, peak hour at this location.

  • Remember how we noticed that the big bus stand area right after HP petrol bunk was simply not getting used? Now, the police makes sure all buses enter that bus stand and not block traffic on outer ring road.

  • Next, they have clearly marked (fresh white paint) a few zebra crossings in the area. I notice at least three of these, and at least one of the new zebra points also has a newly installed flashing warning light. Sorry, couldn't manage photos on this one.
  • Despite the new zebra points, and the operating signal, pedestrians will be pedestrians. Some of them still cross this 10 lane wide road at arbitrary points. Can't do much about them.

Since I don't cross the area from Benniganahalli side coming in to Whitefield, I am not aware of what they are doing or have done to smoothen flow on that side, but changes on the tin factory side are well appreciated.

Good going Traffic Police. Drops make an ocean, and we need many such drops of initiatives.

KR Puram meeting - pics

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TrafficTraffic jamsPedestrian Infrastructure

7 of us showed up, 6 in one batch and 1 on his own (came to know later) for this event. Met Kannan for the first time and speaking to him made it clear that he has given detailed thoughts to possible solutions for this chaos. He will soon be scanning and posting his sketches here.

We ended up spending most of our time on the Benniganahalli lake side of this chaotic place, so not enough pics from the more popular traffic chokepoint which happens to be right under the bridge.

I have been hoping to find some quality time to call out few points right on top of these pics, but for lack of time, its better to upload some random ones from the pack, and do any paints later.

Things I noted:

  • There is enough space for a two lane island bus stand which could be used by buses that will stay on OMR (towards Kolar), or on ORR (towards Hennur)
  • There is a huge bus bay right after HP Petrol Bunk, but is just not used!!
  • There is a pedestrian operated signal installed, but has not been working for many months now.
  • The island bus stand (opposite from HP Petrol bunk) is very popular. the buses on this side (near ptrol bunk) have lot more space to play with.
  • Saw two close shaves right when we were watching around, have even captured one on camera. This on a Saturday late morning?
  • Three traffic cops were parked, right near the temple, in "stand and deliver" mode, doing nothing more than paper checking from what I could see. There was one more traffic cop, directing traffic near the island bus stand. Anyway, they too moaned about pedestrian problems and said that the place needs a ped subway.
  • Vehicles, esp autos and cabs go in all directions under the bridge, even when one traffic cop was standing. Basically, there are self create and un-written rules that keep everyone happy - cabs/autos carrying traffic out of Railway Station, vehicles going in and out from Kagdaspura side.
  • Less said about pedestrian markings/pavements/signs/facilities the better. But its a two way street - peds are all over the place (their fault too), and there are no clear signs to guide them as well. One traffic cop I spoke to was very vocal about this (pedestrians on the loose!).

Some more tidbits:

  • That pedestrian operated signal has now been working for last few days. Perhaps just a coincidence :) But in any case, nobody respects the newly operating signal, red or green, vehicles just go and go.
  • One of the traffic cops told us that K R Puram police station maintains stats on accidents at this hotpost. (Kannan told us that 3 kids have died crossing the road under the bridge in last 8 months). Just getting and publicizing those stats should help.
  • Manjari suggested that we organize "Praja caps" so that it will be easier for us to find each other at Praja events. Great idea! She has volunteered to help organize the caps for us, eagerly looking forward to wearing them.

I think we should do more such field events, but need to organize and publicize better. Being on the street (and not merely seeing things from our bikes and cars) provides better picture of things.

Last but not the least, next steps?

  • Kannan has not approached any authorities yet. We should take his and our thoughts to Traffic Police. Let us approach Mr Sood, as well as BDA when we think we are ready.
  • Apparently, railways and BDA have agreed on a solution to get more road width for ORR under the bridge (unsure). Should check on this and track whatever they may have planned.

ORR choking near KR Puram station - one reason

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TrafficTraffic jams

Speaking of KRPuram shouldnt this entire length be only 2 lanes wide? Why are they allowing the use of the entire pancreatic bulge before the chicken neck? There should only be as many lanes as allowable for the entire stretch. So what do the "engineers" in the BBMP think when they lay asphalt? Do they know their profession has a meaning?

The adventurous bus stands - K R Puram

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TrafficPublic Transport
There are a few of these special bus stands these days that exist right before a flyover or an underpass. Just as the road forks and grade separation begins, you find some crowd. Buses usually stops to block traffic heading towards the underpass or flyover. And pedestrians either have to run across flowing traffic, or wait in the middle of traffic to catch buses. Needless to say, you get a lot of 'almost' hit-and-run and screeching halt situations.
Examples? A very crowded one near K R Puram station (like in this pic here). One just before Jayadeva Circle underpass. One or two near Dairy Circle flyover as well. You would know a few more.

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.