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Skywalks or Pedestrian Crossings


Yesterday's incident with 'vasanth' has brought this issue of 'pedesterian crossings' to be of top priority and it need urgent help. I am starting this thread to initiate the discussion for your esteem inputs. I am also hoping that thsi discussion will result in comping up of atleast few Ped-Xings at main juntions. This definietely needs a lot help from other quarters like sponsorships, PPP initiatives, BBMP co-operation and Citizen watchdog groups etc. the way I look at it, there are no 2 opinions about need for hassle free PED-Xings. So lets'

1. Let's discuss and agree on type of PED-Xings and its perfect use.

2. Let's make a list of all junctions where the PED-Xings/SykWalks are absolute necessary

3. Details of a Skywalk/Ped-Crossings in terms of cost, implementation and time it needs.

4. Discussion on ways to maintain it

5. Discussion on way to get financial sponsorship from Private sector or PPP model

6. BBMP's role and its co-operation.

Hoping that this initiative would find the right kind of support and help.


kbsyed61's picture

Vasant - Your take on this !


  Hope you are slowly recovering from yesterdays shock. Could you pls shed some light on this issue?



Vasanth's picture

I have recovered from the Shock

Hi Syed,

I recovered from Yesterday's shock. I didn't disclose at home since they will get worried. Life in Bangalore has become very very difficult mainly due to vehicles. Five years back when I was living in Mysore, I used to come to Bangalore weekly. I didn't had any vehicle in Bangalore. Walk, BMTC and occasional auto was my only means of transport. Now, it has become very difficult to travel that way. Main culprits I am seeing is the increased number of 4 wheelers and that 'gaadi shokie' our Bangaloreans have.

As you rightly said, I too was just thinking to involve private operators , mainly advertising campaigns using skywalks. Instead of having road side advertisement boards, let the advertisers build the skywalks for us and have their advertisements all over the skywalks.

Height of the skywalks should not be too much, otherwise people will be reluctant to use the skywalks. Maximum should be to enable a closed container truck + 1 or 2 feet as a buffer. On either sides, we should have a welded structures  like this '|-|' to prevent vehicles damaging the skywalks. Same like we have near railway tracks to prevent trucks to damage electric traction.

Steps should be close to each other seperated by say 6 inches max making it easier to climb. 

Another side, a sloped access to enable the wheelchairs to be taken over the skywalks. I wish if we could get elevators working atleast for the handicaps!!  Sponsorors like Kingfisher who spend crores togehter on campaigns like T20, may be even ready for that.

This should be placed infront of all the bus stops since people usually cross roads to access the bus stops.

A standardized design should be used for all the skywalks in terms of height and steps. Only the length of the skywalk should differ based on width of the road. This should be tested in 2 or 3 pilot sites and then introduced everywhere.

I think skywalks with welded structure will be very easy and less time consuming to build.

We will present my story of about to be killed to BBMP comissioner. Let him feel what it is to cross the Bangalore road. If possible, we will take him to the same site at evening 7' o clock and make him to cross the road like an aam aadmi. 

We should have a skywalk campaign. Advertisers will be rushing. We can even have biddings on important roads like the MG road. Skywalk advertisements should cost less than the normal board advertisements which doesn't serve any purpose.

I also want to take our traffic police head on these kind of sites.

To start with, we need the BBMP and traffic police to 'feel' the need for Skywalks. Most of these officials travel from home to office and everywhere in their cars and don't have the 'feel' of it.

Naveen's picture

The Mother of All Ills is the traffic


Vasanth - Noted yr ideas about skywalks.

Skywalks & subways - how many were built & how many are actually being used ? As far as I know, only the one in front of City Rly Stn & the one on tank bund rd, majestic are in use because there is no other way for pedestrians to cross the roads at these points. All others, such as the ones in city mkt, shivajinagar, etc are filled with garbage, hawkers & animals & are being avoided even by those that might otherwise have liked to use it. On airport road, Indiranagar & Residency road, there are newer, cleaner skywalks, but are rarely used. Pedestrians all over the world detest climbing staircases, & this is a fact that we have to accept.

The real problem behind all this is the relentless increase in traffic & the resulting increase in competition for road space. If this can be addressed & the no. of vehicles brought down, we might see an increase in safety for pedestrians. If pedestrians wish to cross, motor vehicles are expected to slow down & let pedestrians pass, but here the vehicle is the king. It's time we take steps to push the vehicle down to where it belongs.


bangalore-guy's picture

skywalks and some discpline.

Rightly pointed by Naveen, that just building the skywalks would not serve the purpose. We need to make sure that people use it and that these skywalks dont end up becoming garbage bins.

My thoughts below:

1) As for the design of skywalks, our own IISc came up with good design and we already have some of those setup in Bangalore. I would like to also add a ramp to the design for the differently abled persons.

(see :

and (see : http://www.bangalorebest....)

2) Building skywalks in my opinion is the easier part. The far tougher job is to keep it clean and encourage people to use it. The road around the skywalks should be barricaded so people are forced to use the skywalks. Ensuring the cleanliness is a much tougher task, one idea could be to provide advertising space (thinking loud) on the pathway of the skywalks aswell. So the advertiser will ensure it is kept clean and the ads are visible (I am thinking loud and open to criticism).

3) I would not vouch for keeping the height of the skywalks lower than what the mandatory height is, that would not be a good idea in my opinion.

4) Rightly pointed out by vasanth, skywalks are a must near bus stops. They should also be available near junctions (if there are no bus stops near by).


narayan82's picture


People are often lazy to use skywalks. Also sometimes they are so badly planned you have to pretty much walk the earth to get to one!When there is a sidewalk, a fence/barricade must be errected on the median to force people to use the skywalks.For example the skywalk outside Bangalore Club.badly planned and no enforcement/ease of access! I was looking forward to have skywalks with escalators! Advertising is a great method of revenue. But from BBMPs p.ov they probably want ot make a bigger profit by spending less. Skywalks should be errected at almost every jucntion, and elevated pathways can also be created linking them. These can be buil on a Private BOOT basis.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
blrsri's picture

magic underpass for peds better

Skywalks makes people climb twice the height and getting down..this is to accomodate the tallest busses and trucks below..

hence magic underpasses, like the one at anand nagar, should be deployed..

This will address the issues listed above 

Bengloorappa's picture

Skywalks and Aesthetics

I understand and completly appreciate the need for Skywalks and associated funding using ad revenue generation, but there should be a fixed set of rigid norms for how much advertising area should be reserved, otherwise it will end up being a scar on whatever beauty is left in our beloved city.

for ex: There can be a big banner ad covering 75% of the two longest faces of the Skywalk, while on the interior of the Skywalk itself, the operator should be allowed to cover only 50% of the area with space for aesthetics.

silkboard's picture

Motorized or lift based skywalks

BBMP had floated tenders last year for mechanised or life driven skywalks at selected locations on BOT basis. See details here. It talks of:

"BBMP is planning to erect skywalks fitted with aesthetically designed capsule lifts which are suitable for out door erection at 30 select locations"

Importance of maintenance is well recognized, thats why:

"These are proposed to be erected on DBOT system, where BMP provides the land and the DBOT partner shall design, erect, operate and maintain the sky walks. The charges towards electricity, back-up power and the manning of the lifts including replacement of equipments and spare parts"

About a month ago, BBMP said that they have evaluated the technical bids and the final bids will be opened on April 18, 2008. So we should be hearing more in this pretty soon.

BTW, about the costs:

"Each escalator costs Rs 40-50 lakhs and with four escalators slated in each group for either side of the skywalk, the cost is pegged at around Rs 2.5 crores...

Bengloorappa's picture

Skywalks Package by BBMP is coming

Items that we are disucssing here has been thought out or has already been overlooked by BBMP as they are planning to execute a 14 area-wise package of Skywalks, each with 4-5 of them!

Maybe we should get more details from the BBMP.

BTW, the 15 year contract clause to recover 2.5 Crores of investment seems a bit of an overkill to me as ad rates are not going to be static.

silkboard's picture

Who runs Bangalorebuzz?

An offtopic question. But does anyone know the guy(s) behind Bangalorebuzz. I am sure we will all love to have him here on Praja. I hope he/she/they know that copying and pasting full articles like that is "technically" illegal.
navshot's picture

skywalks - more than ads

I have been thinking about this. How about promoting private guys to build skywalks that doubles up as a mini shopping complex? Requirements should be... covered escalators and a lift on either sides. The crossing area itself should be covered (and if possible air conditioned) and could have shops that could be rented out. Maybe width could be around 30 feet or so. This works better in crowded areas.

On the other hand, we could have underground passage with same concept - escalators and lift on either side (maybe even parking space), fully air-conditioned and would have shops. This works where pedestrian crowd is less (for example in many places across NH-7).

The sight of escalators/lift and shops should attract pedestrians who'd eventually want to cross over to the other side.


-- navshot
Naveen's picture

Skywalks with shops - a good idea


Navshot - I think this is a very sensible solution a-la churchgate, mumbai, where there is a subway with shops & eateries.

I dont know of any overhead ones though - construction costs might be high due to increased strength to support it, etc, but maybe it's possible.

I think in mumbai, they have opened a new one across metro theatre in kalbadevi with the same features. In this case, the municipality owns all shops created below ground, & leases it, I think.


Bengloorappa's picture

Skywalks with Shops - think again

Ad revenue should be more than sufficient to support maintenance and operation of skywalks. Converting skywalks into shopping areas may eventually resemble Majestic area next to the Subway with overcrowding and just pollutes the purpose.

There could be other incentives such as enclosed walkways with cooling(not air-conditioning, just fans and coolers using Solar energy) for peds to escape from the external heat and pollution, albeit for a few seconds.

We all know too well where this can end up with over zealous marketers and tenants encroaching on whatever little might be left of the pathway on the Skywalk. Some civic amenities should be left the way they are meant to be, without trying to extract the last rupee possible, no ?

bangalore-guy's picture


Shops on the skywalk will make things much more complicated. Keeping things simpler might do us good in the long run. What possibly can be added is public convenience (read toilets) at the support pillars on the two sides of the road. As that space in between the four support pillars would go waste, we might aswell use it for some relief to the public.
navshot's picture

Shops v/s no shops

Well, my idea is still a wild idea - details need to be worked out. Ofcourse, at the end it may turn out to be a bad idea.

But, historically I've seen that if you leave it to BBMP to maintain it, they'll ignore it. Take any of the sky walks or subways - they're usually dirty, stinking, filled with garbage, dark (subways) and such. BBMP might get good revenues from ads and those who put up the ads can't care less, as their objective is met. I'm not sure if escalators/lifts stop working, if/when they'd repair it.

Whereas if shops are there, its in the interest of shops that it'd be maintained. BTW, I don't mean shops lined like in national market, burma bazaar or such in majestic area. It would have to be slightly upmarket.

And, its a good idea to have public toilets too as pointed out by bangalore-guy.


-- navshot
bangalore-guy's picture

skywalks : should be maintained by private players not bbmp

The idea is to rope in private players, who would bear the cost of the skywalk as well as maintain it. They would own the advertisement space and can generate revenue by selling the ad space. The ad rates they can command will obviously depend on how well they can maintain the place.

I am in favor of having more ad space on the inner side of the sidewalks, and if possible even on the floors :) ( you must have seen ads on the floors of Malls, they stick good quality stickers to the vitrified tiles, something of that sort if feasible can be worked out) so that the floors will be kept clean to showcase the ads.

Basic idea being, let the private operator make money out of it, the better he can maintain the more money he can make, and public benifit from the skywalk. BBMP can just monitor and make sure that the aesthetics and cleanliness of a basic level is maintained and have certain clauses in the agreement which can allow BBMP to act strictly in case the maintenance and cleanliness is not proper.

A rough calculation can be done and based on that after a certain period (when we are sure the private player has made sufficient profits) the contract can be put up for grabs again at a higer/prevailing rate and auctioned.

ssheragu's picture

while skywalks are welcome,

while skywalks are welcome, any skywalk should always be associated with escalators as the sheer height of a skywalk will deter a pedestriam from using it if there is no escalator (a perfcet example is the skywalk near NAL / Manipal Hospital on Airport Road).

in fact skywalks can be provided in places wher a panaromic view of the city is possible so that it will be an added attraction for people to use it.

at all other places, underpasses / subways for pedestrians, with slopes not steps to enter the underapss / subway should be provided

any skywalk or underpas / subway should be left to private control where the private player can advertise and make money but at the same time maintain cleanliness of the place and eliminate all hawkers from the skywalk or underpass / subway.

Srinath Heragu

vmenon's picture

the metro is the best chance of making blre a walking city!!


Really do not know which thread to put this under , but here goes.

Assuming that I do not have to espouse the virtues of walkways/pedestrain access/skywalks etc to most out there..then  i believe that the  metro is the best chance we have of really getting this direction to happen in our city planning.

And the reasons.

a) The  metro will only succeed if there is in fact,  at least a 500 mtrs radius circle around each station which is fully pedestrianised.You just cannot wean away people from motorised transport if fundamnetally access on foot is not available ( 500 mtrs ..a sort of a figure , i would actually plump for a 1km radius)

b)You can rest assured that the powers that be are not looking at this closely enough..oh yes there will be walkways /skyways nice and swanky just around the station..but the entire area that the metro should serve??

c) We are actually here talking of measures to protect the huge investments in the metro.( something like the access to BIAL Issue ..except that here pedestrain access is a lot cheaper and addresses a far higher need and population )

d)Right now in bangalaore it is  the "Namma metro" authorities who have the real money and the say. 

e)A lot of measures could be just enforcement..clearing of encroachments etc

Could also invlove other ciivc bodies (removing Bescom poles and transformers from pathsways)

f)The list of low cost measures which need a strong will or a strong citizen support can be quite huge.

g)There will be a lot of people citizen organisations out there who will join this effort.

h)The culprit ( no surprises) is the BBMP ..but bif the approach is to both teh Namma metro and BBMP together ..than maybe, just maybe.

And will this be of intrest or in the area for paraja WG on public transport??

And at any rate ..this nis trhe time to work on this , notr after the metro has come up and failed.




s_yajaman's picture

Advertising will pay for the skywalk easily

The basic issue is that Bangalorean (Indian!) motorists don't respect pedestrian rights.  We should not need skywalks in the CBD as traffic is expected to move slow and walking ought to be the norm.  

Skywalks need to be put on roads like JC Road where crossing 10 lanes of speeding traffic is a real hazard - but not just at one end of it.  Why should pedestrians have to walk 1 km to cross? These are people who do the least environmental damage and should really get the first preference in a city.  Maybe they are seen as losers and hence not given any priority.

A skywalk can easily generate Rs.1 lakh/month income for the owner just by putting hoardings on both sides.  What this will do to the aesthetics(?) of the city is another story altogether.  The skywalk can payout in 2 years.  The inside of the skywalk will need advertising space so that someone puts pressure on the operator to ensure cleanliness.

What is sort of painful in all this is how quickly public money is allocated for flyovers that move bottlenecks from one place to another but skywalks seem to need PPP and a lot of justification.  The BBMP needs to do some explaining on this.  For the JP Nagar underpass, the work order showed a spending of Rs.23 crores. 

I agree with Vijayan that the Metro and Rs.70 petrol is the only hope for making Bangalore a pedestrian friendly city.  Maybe the next WG could be on pedestrian facilities.



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

Naveen's picture

Perfect Pedestrianization !


No doubt pedestrians have been at the wrong end when it comes to use of available road space - even road crossings have been ignored on the highway to speedy growth & progress !

I think a WG is called for here too. Once the Metro is operational, many streets need to be converted to 'Bus & Pedestrian Only' use, such as Brigade rd, Commercial st, around Jayanagr complex, Sampige rd from market to circle /underpass, Gandhinagar shopping areas, Chickpet, City market surroundings & Russel market surroundings.


However, efficient bus services through these areas are a must if this is to be successful since long walks are not possible for small children, the aged, pregnant women & the injured or handicapped. Even healthy people detest the inconveniences of long walks to access bus stops whilst on their shopping or buisness errands, but will walk many kilometres or enjoy the cycling /jogging machines in health clubs as a past time & to trim their bodies !


As one american senator once remarked that he prayed to the lord to help all americans caught up in traffic jams to reach their health clubs speedily in their cars so that they could walk or jog there !


SB mentioned elsewhere - the BIAL bus services might just begin a turnaround in changing the habits of citizens & introduce & encourage them to use buses rather than move around in their private vehicles.


tsubba's picture

brigade road

i would think brigade road/commercial street etc would be a perfect cases. also the most visible examples to highlight pedestrian issues. niche mall-ish business set up. constrained ped space. if you open up the road for pedestrian space and make it a true mall. it could be wonderful. but the businesses are going to go ballistic at the thought. fronted roads means greater consumer access.
vmenon's picture

Do we realy need skywalks?


I Like your fundamental premise and logic..that skywalks/walkways need not be the solution in all places).what this kind of reasoning does is put a different spin on  the solution...from a high investment project to a an enforcement and education effort.

we do so little of the second kind...that all mega investments come to nought anyway because of fundamental behavioral and enforcement issues.

 and hey , I think this pedestraian stuff is demanding a WG all by itself!! comment guidelines

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