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BTRAC road divider menace

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TrafficPedestrian Infrastructure

Image003Its slowly taking over all roads in Bangalore and this needs to be stopped immediately. In the name of BTRAC they are laying these road dividers which I am sure in not in any of the road design books.

 

Its 2 feet wide. The roads that they are putting these on are low traffic ones and narrow lanes. For example is the road adjecent coles park. The road is so narrow that they have car parking to the left and that leaves less than one lane for normal traffic! What if people need to drop or pick kids from the park? They will block the whole road or even worst..what if a vehicle breaks down?!

Its 2-3 feet tall. whys it soo tall? to prevent jay walking? But these are being put in totally residential areas where old people and kids cross roads..by putting these we are forcing people to use vehicles to even go across the road!

They are immovable and of solid concrete:
Earlier we used to have deividers which can be shifted as needed..these are being cast in solid concrete and in case of accidents will not leave any chance for survival for people!

The above example is of the divider currently on mysore road..its 6 inch hich and 6 inch in width..this has done its job quite well and hold up well too..this is the best option for bangalore on roads where we need road dividers..

I cannot imagine Murali Sir and PS Ram Sir tryin to cross such streets

What are they trying to do here? Jayanagar roads are already spoilt with these and they are using these other places too..this needs to be stopped immediately!

Comments

narayan82's picture

Improved my ride a bit

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On the contrary this has made my ride better. It has been errected on the Indiranagar - Domur Service road. And now I dont have to worry too much about menacing drivers cutting lanes/sides trying to over take.

The advantages of this mamoth structure are

  • No Two wheelers/cycles try running thier bikes over it or trying taking a short cut to cross the road.
  • No pedestrians try to jump across two often.
  • No Car thinks he can do a james bond leap over it.
  • I understand this is long lasting as those 6 In dividers suddenly become zig zag and a few stones are oftening missing. People tend to move it to create a gap so they can cross the road.

But, this divider has a gap every 100-200 meters. So pedestrians can cross by walking a maximum of 50-100 meters. Also since now they ALL cross at one place its easir for managing it (sometimes a lollipop man is present)

But your point about parking is valid too. After errecting such a divider the cops shoudl man it well so they enforce no-parking zones and make sufficent room elsewhere for drop off areas.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
s_yajaman's picture

Elephant Rock Road done too

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They have put up one long divider on Elephant Rock Road as well.  Long needed - but they have forgotten a minor detail of pedestrian crossings.  So you have one at South End and one at 9th Main.  Not a great idea.

Srivathsa

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

silkboard's picture

they have helped

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It has annoyed "very local" drivers (they are now forced to drive a bit more and take U-turns), but seems to be helping longer distance traffic by preventing frequent interruptions due to vehicles crossing over. I thought the dividers idea is a good one as such, certainly has helped cut some unwanted action on the roads.

But why so tall all across the road lenght? Valid question. Perhaps to doscourage pedestrians from crossing over anywhere they wish. When putting up these dividers, if they simultaneously construct:

  • Either those new elevated speed-breaker cum pedestrian crossings so that peds don't have to have to literally jump over these small walls or a ped cross divider with bars (see picture below) at ped-crossing points
  • Clear Markings and signs to guide pedestrians as to where they can and they can't cross the roads

Above two should help. But perhaps the stres is only on roads and vehicles as always, a strategy which won't pay in long run. blrsri's angry post is an example - he wouldn't have opposed if the job was done with clear thoughts for pedestrians as well.

Example from Pune (ped crossing cuts in the divider):

srinidhi's picture

Exactly it helps the drivers only!

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Many of you have already driven in foreign cities..please give me a city's name where they have such huge barricades on the road?

Road manners as they say..we start emulating while driving outside India, like, as soon as we see some one waiting to cross the road..anywhere..valid or invalid..we stop the car and show the wave of the hand asking for them to cross..albeit waiting for them to acknowledge the gratitude..
thats not good for India?

The 6 inch dividers do go astray..but they can be placed back in place!

The question that remains is not actually how tall..but how wide too..2 ft is way too wide when the road width are constricted!

narayan82's picture

Its wide enough - but needs to be supplemented

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Srinidhi,

In most countries, even if you don't have a barricade, people will behave as if there was one made of steel! Here the 6 in dividers have proved that it merely divides the road, but is treated more like a pothole!

This divider is good - and serves the purpose. Pedestrians hestitate to cross, motorists prefer not running over the divider.

But, as SB pointed out dedicated junctions must be well planned and painted. So crossing the road is easier, elevated and at dedicated parts. We dont want people to cross and any point of the road even if its the shortest route!

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
srinidhi's picture

so we will remain the land of snake charmers?

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or even worse..we can graduate only as slumdogs?? who can be controlled by leashes only?

Apologies for the comparisons, but cant we really not improve at all?

I come back to my earlier point that the 6 inch blocks do their job better than anything..they go astray..but can be placed back..

there is a junction on mysore road just after gopalan mall where the 6 inch dividers were taken off by people to allow them to turn easily initially..the authorities placed them back...this happened for 5-6 times..now people have gotten used to taking a longer route for their turn..and the aesthetically better dividers are doing their job that much better..allowing the occasional pedestrian to cross peacefully!

If that can work on mysore road..I cannot imagine where it cannot?

Ravi_D's picture

Define the purpose first

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I think the first question we should ask is not if something works or not, but why do we need a devider in the first place. Which of the below is the 'primary' purpose?

1. Stop vehicles from intruding into the opposite lane

2. Avoid spontaneous 'U' or right turns

3. Force pedestrians to use zebra crossings

4. Provide enough muzzle to stop people from destroying them

5. Provide a safety barrier between traffic moving in opposite directions

6. Avoid highbeam from the opposite Scorpio from blinding your eyes at night

7. Or analyze and streamline current general traffic, emergency vehicle & pedestrian movement on every major road

I'd vote for 7. If that is the case, one-size-fits-all solution is not the best.

Ravi

narayan82's picture

Dividers

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Srinidhi,

We have tried, education, signs, advertisements and none seem to work. Enforcement is the only way people here get it! Its not possible to have a cop every 100 meters with a challan book! Hence the need for structural elements such as dividers.

This does not mean we cannot change. I am sure these dividers arent immortal - they were laid without any foundation. I am sure in a year or two we will see many "gaps." Hoepfull by then, we can realise the value of not taking the "shortcut" and change for the better.

I've never seen a 6 inch last more then 2-3 months. Even the divider (about 1 ft wide with mud in between) on Inner  ring road (Opposite Embassy Golf Links) and already its got a dirt track it across it for 2 wheelers!

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
asj's picture

Dividers: Some thoughts

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Firstly I refuse to believe pedestrians are cause of problems and hence we need dividers - if that was the case we would have kerb side railings not median dividers.

The main chaos is caused by indisciplined, un-trained, selfish drivers who think they can turn right, left or U whenever it suits them. The chaos and gridlocks caused in such circumstances slows traffic no end - a perfect time for a pedestrian to chance his / her luck crossing over. In UK, where merging and leaving main roads is systematically done by vehicle drivers (suitably aided by superb road layouts and markings / signage), traffic flows so fast that not even a demented person will attempt to cross the road (even pet animals know when not to cross - speed of approaching traffic decides this). 

I also disagree with suggestion that education, signs et al have been tried. Show me one non-signal controlled junction where there are GIVE WAY signs on poles and road markings. Also what education are we talking about - the ribbon cutting 7 days long road safety  weeks? Is that education, if so we should treat any one who has been to school and college for few days same as people with graduate / post-graduate degrees.

We have no text equal to British Highway code, no theory tests, a practical test that never demands any more skill than ability to move the gear stick - that's education?

I won't keep trying to direct people to my videos or posts on driver education, any one new to same could use the search engine.

Height of dividers - it can't get any more absurd if we think stopping glare from high beams is the reason for them being taller (there is no question of useing high beams on city steerts with traffic and street lighting).

Where dividers are needed, these should incorporate pedestrian refuges. Try walking 500 m to a signal and back on other side and see how long it takes.

Ravi has voted for point 7, I agree with that - but one has to see benefits of a 6 inch high divider. I wish I could change to video mode quickly enough, but here is an image of the 2+2 lanes with a concrete divier http://better.pune.googlepages.com/footpaths_divider_height.pdf which is 2 feet wide but 6 inches in height. Two buses were at a bus stop. The one behind had picked its passengers and was ready to move, driver gave right indicator and moved out. As he moved in to the right lane to overtake, the right front corner of his bus went over the divider (the dividers limit to 6 inch height allowed this) - footpaths and dividers have to have a height in keeping with the vehicles clearance from the roads.

Finally, other than dividers there are many other ways of managing traffic - road layouts - check here for more http://better.pune.googlepages.com/roadlayouts.html

ASJ

srinidhi's picture

actually we dont need dividers at all!

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atleast for narrow lanes..I have reported this before.

It was about benefits of road markings..I pass through bull temple road everyday(one in the pic above) and there was no markings till few months ago and the traffic was really uncontrolled..however lanes were painted about 2 months ago and there was a marked improvement in driving manners though there were occasional rouge drivers..

now..unfortunately this 2X2 ft barricade/divider has been put up to reduce the lane to 1.5 each way..causing problems to motorists and pedestrians..

very unfortunate!

narayan82's picture

my experience

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A contemporary comparision - which happened in front of my house - shows that the larger divide has a better effect. The follwing happen:

  • U Turns and right turns happen only at designated areas
  • People dont cut to the wrong side of the road
  • Pedestrians get a breather between two opposite lanes of traffic

I dont really think education,signage alone is going have any effect on existing drivers. The mentallaity of taking the "shortcut" is embedded. this is not going to be easily out done. What we need to do is enforce to effect the existing riders and educate the new riders (learners).

People in Bangalore do not cut the law because they are not aware of - they cut the law because they know they can get away with it. Hence no amount of education seems to have much affect on these riders. Sure colleges and driving schools are where education can make a difference. But without enforcement (manual or automatic) things arent going to change.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
srinidhi's picture

how help spreading awareness..

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How I do it is I get in the way of the offender and refuse to move..like if a driver is 'slipping' onto the opposite lane..I stop in front of the offender making sure I am within the legitimate boundry..even if that means I am blocking traffic..

have a fight if needed..call the cops etc

Hopefully it might make a change some day!

narayan82's picture

who am I?

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Srinidhi,

I do my level best to stop others, but after a point its a bit never ending climb up a mountain. Maybe considering my size and physique - its an even harder task!

But, everyday one cannot have fights like this. This was Mr Praveen Sood's idea at unlock bangalore - which really didnt work. We need enforcement from both ends, citizens (as you pointed out) and an equally strong from the police. I/you/we cannot put limb and life at rish everyday to try and enforce the law. And I am not exaggerating - getting into a fight on the road can be fatal or disastourous!

Right now,On a level of 10 (being the highest) - our enforcement level would be about 1.5-2. Thats pathetic. bad infrastructure, bad training and corruption all lead to this. and unless it is curbed from all these ends, citizen policing will not work

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
asj's picture

How can we say Education will not work when its not been tried?

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How can we say Education will not work when its not been tried?

Show me one major road safety drive anywhere in India where masses have been included by way of a sustained media campaign.
 
This is not a task for us to do random acts of stopping people, while some may dare to do so and it may help, what we need is a united sustained long term vision to drive a change in driver behaviour on roads.

IMHO - we spend hours pouring over high speed rails, underground Metro trains, elevated flyovers, signal free ORR / PRR, skywalks, magic boxes and the lot. But no one wants to wash the dirty linen.

By now one would have hoped that a Praja Group was conducting driver education workshops (the tools are very much there) across Bangalore.

Instead of the many man hours spent over what flag and what language and who owns Karanataka - it would have been better if those man hours would have been spent translating the British Highway Code to Kannada (if not Hindi!!).

Apologise for putting it bluntly rather than spelling the truth out.

ASJ

idontspam's picture

Engineering first and then...

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would have been better if those man hours would have been spent translating the British Highway Code to Kannada

Does the British Highway code apply in India? Are we at risk teaching signs that dont exist on the roads. If I remember almost a year ago, I put the Engineering E before the education E. We agreed not to split hairs but if you dont have a stop sign or it was placed wrongly on the street (bad engineering basically) what is the point teaching the person to watch for that sign? This may sound like catch 22 but it is not. Get the engineering and lane marking right and forcefully bring RTO to the party. The only modernization RTO does is talk about out a new type of driving license every few years and hand out a fat contract. We have to remember we are paying for people to help us run our cities.

Dividers are welcome

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 No personal offence meant - but the majority of Bengaluru's drivers are no worse than buffalos. In Western countries even simple markings on the road are followed. But  even when road markings were done in New BEL Road (connecting MS Ramiah College and C V Raman Road),  drivers still used to cut lanes dangerously.

Now, after the divider is in place - driving on that road has become very pleasant. Such a thick road is definitely needed. I welcome it.

Subedar Chatram Road is another major mess up where traffic comes dangerously on to opposite lanes and causing major jams there. If such a divider is in place in Subedar Chatram Road - then traffic flow will improve substantially there.
asj's picture

Building schools but no text books to learn from

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IDS - I am left wondering if you have seen the Highway Code at all? Or whether you have seen IRC norms for signals, road marking etc. I know I have - despite being many thousand miles away I have ordered IRC norms from Delhi.

Based on my knowledge of the above I have no doubt in my mind that everything in Highway code very much applies to Indian roads. Highway code may call their rule on roundabout as rule X and MVA88 in India may call it Y - but the rules are same.

We have the roads (schools), but no black boards and text books (no signage and no road markings and of course no text book, no theory test, no reform in driver licensing) and we expect drivers to sudenly know concepts of defensive driving they have never heard of? If the drivers do not know what a blind spot is, why are we surprised to see them cutting across one another? Do we think that an average Indian driver knows rules of the roundabout, rules of ROW when merging or leaving junctions without signals, concepts such as tyre & tarmac, norms such as the 2 second rule, where to overtake, when not to overtake, do they know what a solid double white lines mean, will they know what it means to have one solid white line and one hatched in the center of the road?  

The whole debate on 3 Es - I remember it too. I said, its easier to start education for people like us, much easier than getting engineering in place. In fact the 3 Es have to work together - but if people want to wait for engineering to happen first - I am left wondering not only how long it will take to see a decent well planned road, but also with the question - WHO WILL EDUCATE OUR ENGINEERS WITHIN THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION? If they had a clue, would we not have seen road layouts, junctions, signage, signals in keeping with IRC norms? IMO - these guys act and behave as if the IRC does not exist. So, it may well be that we need to get our corporation engineers to go and get re-trained and educated in concepts of traffic planning first anyway !!!

ASJ

PS: Dividers are welcome, why not, after all some roads are supposed to be dual carriage ways. But if we start putting dividers because drivers do not know the right way to drive, that won't take us too far - the gains will be short lived (there are plntiful videos on youtube where people are driving on other side of the divider as well). Its sad that small 2+2 lane roads are now candidates for dividers for all the wrong reasons - the scapegoat is the pedestrian - they are blamed for traffic chaos and need for the divider and they also become the biggest victims of dividers put randomly to keep those in the drivers seat moving. Talking of engineering, at least lets stick to the principle of engineering and use dividers where they are meant to be and for the right reasons. 
narayan82's picture

Reality Check...

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I read your post (ASJ) at work, and then rode home. And I observed very carefuly at the junctions.

There is a relatively clear sign, which you CANNOT miss, that says No right/straight - yet this car driver is standing below it looking for a break in the oncoming traffic to sneak by. A policeman managing traffic is screaming at him to go left and stop blocking the road - he is still "requesting" the policeman to let him go straight. Finally fed up, he curses the policeman and proceeds left as the sign indicated.

Similarly a "well educated" driver with his wife at the grocery store was parked waiting under a "No Parking" sign. And I dont mean in a non visible manner - but in manner where he has an air of "nonchalance" around him.

I agree a bit with MCadambi that a lot of drivers are like buffalos. Its not that they arent educated - they just dont give a damn! The "Short cut will cut short your life" theory still hasnt embedded in thier minds. The flout the very basics of driving. I'm not talking about the educated laws - such as lane discipline and giving way to right hand side traffic.

Very Basic laws such as One Ways, right turns and stopping at a red light dont seem to apply to a majority of the traffic. This, IMHO cannot be tackled by Education. We need strict Enforcement.

In fact. w.r.t dividers, I was suggesting earlier - that one every main road the straight, left and right lanes must have a 50 meters long divider at the signals. This way traffic is smooth flowing. Otherwise its mayhem. And face it - one look at traffic on Cubbon Road or IRR Koramangala and you know we are like a bunch cows.

In a way, such enforcement can lead to education. Once people figure it out that follwing the rules makes thier lives simpler, faster and more effiecent - then you can remove all dividers and have painted lines.

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
asj's picture

3 Es

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Its the 3 Es.

All are important. One can't do without the other.

If educated people behave like animals in what is meant to be one of the oldest civilisations, that is some food for thought. One can tame an elephant and perhaps we could do so with humans. But this has been tried alone for a long time - police are out there at every corner in all our cities, issuing fines, towing cars ......

Perhaps the education should be more about why is it that we have become a society where we refuse to follow rules? How come we have become a bunch of wolves (or another animal - your pick) with no values and morals? These are fundamentals of a civil society and we just do not have them.

We need not 1 out 3 or 2 out 3 Es but all 3 together to work in cohesion for a long loooooooong time.

I see lot of Engineering, I see many attempts at enforcement, but very little of quality education.

ASJ
nijavaada's picture

its the methodology

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I wish to appreciate ASJ's observations and inferences made there-in from the IRC. I uphold his stance with regards to all those innumerable instances of IRC terminology having little or no mapping into words that a common man (driving on our roads) understands. It is common sense for the traffic regulations and its underlying IRC or whatever be made available in a language, and a terminology that people understand. Come on, we have a billion population, and the system could at least generate employment by giving this translation (& maintenance) job to qualified individuals/groups.. thats how it must be.

Another perfect (& rather absurd) example of this out-of-contextness of enforcement and the lack of prior education is the YIELD thingy; Come on! How many people in Bengaluru did they make understand everything about YIELD before people landed at one of such junctions? In fact as outcome,  I have myself witnessed 2 or 3 cops handling such a YIELD junction very recently! What crap! A YIELD junction is designed to not need a cop there anymore.. In fact I must say LOL here. Because its that absurd an incongruency!

This could be a good read-along to show we've been talking about this all thru'.

And BTW, talking about violators must stop in this thread about road planning. Fundamentally, road planning is there for rule followers, and not violators. If you follow rules, road planning comes handy to you. If you violate a rule, the way roads are planned will strictly oppose you on every inch. "As long as you're with the law/rule, you're safe, otherwise, God save you" must be the attitude. Besides the implementation and enforcements must be followable, understandable and practical (something like a rule which says, a person must not have a mobile on him while driving! What crap is that!?).

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
ebi.schubert's picture

broken window syndrome

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I agree with ASJ we need a way to do the 3Es. As far as people violating the rules, it is a case of broken window syndrome. If rules are not enforced and you see somebody doing it most likely others will follow.

Here is a link to how this was corrected in new york:

http://pierian.net/articl...


This is not a India only behavior it is human nature.  So if you strictly follow the 3Es and zero tolerance on the enforcement part things should improve.

-ebi
srinidhi's picture

Gida Mara kadi..

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There was a time when radios blared out songs encouraging growing trees..went like 'gida nnedi gida nedi..mane mundondu gida nedi' which meant 'plant a tree..in front of your house...etc'

Probably this was one of the reason why bangalore was green for some time..

now it is 'gida kadi..gida kadi' 'cut trees..'

Yesterday, because of theese road divider walls..two big trees were cut down at the junction of vanivilas road and shankarmutt road..

very unfortunate..

Ravi_D's picture

What a pity....

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We are buffallos, so we need the government to plant a divider, and have 10 policemen guarding to keep us in our lane.

We are wolves, we are not corrupt only when lokayukta is on a raid.

We are snakes, so we pretend to shake our heads when politicians charm us, and then find a way to bite them.

We are smart no doubt. How can you miss us smartly sneaking our way thru' a short-cut, inspite of those big dividers and policemen, somehow. And smartly sneak our way out if ever caught.

When do we - and how can we - use that smartness to become better? As a country, when do we become good citizens?

Think about it. I spent a few days in Kongsberg, Norway. Didn't see a single policeman (I was told the locals rarely see them as well). A small two way street had a lot of early morning traffic every single day. No divers whatsoever in the middle. Every day, traffic would back up at least about a mile and a half, would take us a good 20 minutes to pass that stretch. The opposite lane was empty. And no body, not a single soul ever thought of driving on the other side of the lane. Similar was the case in Houston everyday, when I went to work for five years (of course it was a curse of the other extreme there). In Ulsan, S. Korea. In Malabo, Equatorial Guniea (in Africa). In France. In London. In Yangon (Rangoon), Burma. In Singapore. And many other places on this planet earth. 

If they could all do it, why can't we? 3 E's or 3 F's. Just do it. If you ever wondered how an intelligent (add fairly rich and selfish) population can be indifferent to their own good (and act & live like buffalos), come see us. Welcome to Bangalore.

Ravi

silkboard's picture

asj - Educating our engineers?

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asj, I used to think like you till I got into all this. The 3Es are certainly needed, but one thing I know by now is that most people who should know IRC and standards (babus, technocrats, senior engineers etc) do know them well enough. They know, yes, most of whom I have met do. Educating them will be a pointless exercise. They will be happy to take it, and then giggle behind your back as you leave.

Educating drivers at random at our own voluntary cost and expense will be a futile exercise unless we can setup a recurring program with the help of RTO themselves. BTW, this education is supposed to happen at the driving schools when we get our license. I would rather work to fix what is broken (via strong tracking and questioning) than try to fix things downstream myself.

Folks, please don't belittle discussions as long as they are not needlessly emotive or negative. For anyone to do anything meaningful, he/she first has to understand stuff. We are here to share and build that knowledge, and with time, very likely to get into doing things. However, not everyone here buys that we literally have to fix things ourself. There are certain people and bodies who are supposed to do their job in full faith and spirit first and they don't. Many people I meet these days believe that

  • We can bring change by pushing those (who, BTW, are all very capable and educated folks) who may not be doing the best of their assigned jobs
  • The generation of lets-do-it-ourselves type NGOs is on the decline (except in causes of welfare)
  • We have been oversold on the "be the change you want to see" misquote.
srinidhi's picture

can we taper of at the corners?

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The current dividers being put up have blunt corners..It can be very dangerous in case of accidents which usually happen at junctions..tapered corners are a better design which can reduce the impact and also provide better visibility which is needed at the junctions

div

Its observed that on the HAL aiport road, near the command hospital, they have similar dividers..however they have tapered corners. I guess we can atleast make that!

blrpraj's picture

risk of tapering

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srinidhi, The risk of tapering would be that vehicles colliding with the barrier would ride up the tapered end increasing chances of a rollover/flip over. Ideally the end should be a energy-abosrbing (deformable) barrier; something like this -

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/environment/images/heritage/4305023b11.jpg

Or it could be water ballasted 2 or 3 cylinders placed at the beginning of the concrete median so that the water cylinders deform and abosrb all the energy on impact.
kamal's picture

Road divider

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In the context of putting up new type of conrete dividers for the roads in bangalore, I have a case in my area ie New BEL Road.This road is upcoming fairly busy but medium width road.BBMP started putting up the dividers. But before it could go ahead people felt it is unnecessary and not wise to go aheadas the divider eats up 2ft plus 1 ft (on either side)of the middle of the already narrow road. This road is enjoyable and beautified because of the shadow trees on both sides. on one side because of consistant pruning of tree branches by BESCOM tree trunks have bent slightly bent towards the road. This bent along with narrowing of road due to new divider has caused an accident to cyclist hurting him on the head. Senior traffic polie officials came and inspected the road and stalled the work. It may be noted that the buses move on the centre of the road and allow the remaining road to be used by the smaller vehicles , this balance will get upset with divider in place. THis shows that decision of placing divider should be taken up after taking the width and nature of the trffic prevailing etc.
idontspam's picture

New BEL road needs divider

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I am a long time resident of the area (27 years) and feel New BEL road between Ramaiah hospital and Sadashivnagar police station is the most unruly in the city. There is rampant wrong side driving and overtaking. I lost my friend in the ealy 90s and have seen jams during my daily commute back home because of traffic indiscipline. Traffic has increased multifold since the airport has come up on this side of town.

I feel a divider is strongly needed on this road. The road width is sufficient (60ft or more) but is made insufficient due to parking and encroachment which should not be allowed on the main road. Bus bays need to be made since there are only about 5 stops on the entire stretch.

Having said that we have to ensure people can safely travel, so the tree incident definitely needs to be looked into before taking up the divider work. The last thing I want is somebody to chop of trees on this road for the divider because this street has one of the BEST tree cover in the whole of Bangalore.

No need to chop trees for the bus bays as there are adequate spaces to fit them in. No need to widen the road also as it is large enough (just prempting the standard reaction points by the authorities here).

idontspam's picture

The new 2 ft divider

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I need to see this 2 feet divider. It doesnt look too bad in the picture above. Sad I am not in the country. The reflective sticks would have worked as well on this road

But, standard lanewidth for local roads have to be atleast 10 ft. (highways 12 feet) so you need 40ft for a 4 lane road + 5 feet for divider and markings. I think New BEL road has this much all through. Lot of airport traffic uses this road and has become high speed. The pavements need crashbarriers and it needs to be made a no stopping zone.

I remember Praveen Sood mentioning last year he wanted these insitu type dividers and not the movable removable ones. He had some good logic for it as well.

narayan82's picture

Green Dividers?

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I agree that the divider needs to be as wide as it is, and as tall as it is. I only disagree that it needs to be made of concrete.

Why cant we have a row of plants or a hedge, on a base made of ocncrete (and mud in between). It would need some maintainance but would add so much more value to the city,.

The only way we are going to paint our city as green is by making small alterations in material. Imagine all these dividers were green bushes. Its safe too. If you do crash into its far better than crashing into concrete. Pedestrians too will beware before jumping over it.

I hope they consider such motives!

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore

Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
asj's picture

Clarifications

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First, no one is suggesting that it is education alone.

I certainly am not proposiong a one-off random act of driver education - if my previous posts are perused and indeed this one too, what I am asking for is a sustained reform of driver training - which of course means engaging with everyone concerned including RTA, driving schools and the lot.

I wonder what we are supposed to do if educated people in charge of infrastructure are laughing at the mention of IRC norms and the like (I certainly have seen no evidence of IRC norms being implemented any where - so what happens to this knowledge?). My prefer what Photoyogi did when his local footpath suddenly bacame narrow and increased several fold in height - he used the IRC to challenge the engineer in charge and get him to agree to rectify the footpath work.

Do we give up because some one laughs as we turn our backs? If NGOs are on decline (in Pune there is evidnce to the opposite) what is the new method - a handful of people going and meeting IAS officers like Sood and Chairman's of BIAL and BMRC - for all we know they are laughing as people leave their rooms.

If people think we can engineer our way out - and think we have not tried enough already (a short list is posted above of what has been tried out) - then please by all means pursue this method. i doubt it will work. Malaria needs treating with paracetamol, ibuprofen, steroids and anti-malarial medications. The former 3 treat the fever, the latter kills the parasite.

I hope, there is enough resolve to meed RTA people just the way there is interest when it comes to meeting bigwigs like Sood and company. I am not so optimistic on this one looking at a rather meek response to the Namma Auto initiative.

Once again, its about moving out of comfort zones and washing the dirty linen. 

I was laughed off by a few people in UK when I asked if they wanted to join me to create the road safety videos - they are not laughing any more.

First they ignore you,
Then they laugh at you,
Then they fight you,
and then you win

Whatever the approach taken, my best wishes to you (at least get the dividers and road layouts in line with IRC engineers recs)

ASJ
idontspam's picture

Luge tracks

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I have observed how all roads have become high speed zones. We dont have a speed limit either indicated or enforced on any road in the city, so everybody is racing on all roads at the same speed regardless of how small it is!  What is even worse I was told in the office canteen it was 45kmph regardless of what street it is. Maybe somebody just made it up because it seemed appropriate speed on a scooter.

How would I know!!! I dont read BBMP road building code (or wherever this speed limit is written) before I start driving. Or maybe there is no need to put up signs and we will have volunteers hand out pamphlets at signals which can be pasted on your windshields for posterity.

No wonder we build our roads to make it look like luge tracks.

kbsyed61's picture

Safe driving education - a small step

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Dr. ASJ,

 I couldn't agree more with you. Safe driving education drive would be a upcoming initiative. I know the support "namma auto" initiative is getting doesn't give you any comfort. But I am hoping that veeracb would be able pull it of with few more hands. I will work with veeracb to see that this time we will try to put some efforts. If nothing else, we could hope to save at least one precious life. Safe driving is not just driving as per rules, but saving ourselves and others from mistakes of a reckless driver.

 As for the laughing stocks, what can I say. If these laughing stocks, be it our babus or netas, had executed their responsibilities sincerely, we would not be spending our time here on Praja discussing these issues.

 Syed

srinidhi's picture

ode to the divider..

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BTRAC wanna thank you
for presenting a divider with a skew

you made a race track fit for a dash sprint
but inturn helped docs fit many a splint!

Created a huge jam on Bull temple road
everyday now..when none existed before!

You dont let any pedestrians cross the road
afterall why shd ppl walk when they should drive/ride instead!

May you go and divide more lives with you wall
probably it would be good idea to have a moat too to help the fall!

SB_YPR's picture

Not a menace at all

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Hi,

After reading the posts on this thread, and having seen traffic flow on roads smoothen out after introduction of these dividers, I would unhesitatingly say that these dividers are an excellent idea.

Pedestrians jaywalking across the road inconvenience both themselves as well as other road users. This kind of dividers will greatly reduce that. After all, these dividers aren't being laid for kilometers at a stretch - there's a break every 500-700m. However, the introduction of these dividers must be accompanied by two things - firstly, parking must be banned on both sides of the road for the entire stretch where the divider exists, and secondly, pedestrian crossings, or even better, skywalks should be provided at regular intervals.

Would also like to see these on some more roads - Mysore Road, Indiranagar 80 and 100 feet Roads, OMR are a few that come to mind.


Regards,
~~~~
Manish, Nagarbhavi.

~~~~

Manish.

Naveen's picture

"Educated" Drivers in the City

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This morning, I was driving in domlur, a quiet neighbourhood & was approaching a small intersection when all of a sudden a parked car on my left, just ahead of me took off almost like a rocket, attempting to turn to the right before I reached the crossing, only a few meters away.

He had obviously seen me & had decided that he could take off & "beat" me to the intersection & complete the turn before my reaching there. When he realized that I had not anticipated his right turn, he hit the brakes & began blaming me for this "mishap".

The guy appeared to be "educated", & the lady beside him also joined him in blaming me. I had enough & got out & asked them why they had not displayed any signals & if they knew any road manners at all. Meanwhile, a scooterist who had been behind me, stopped & said that he had seen it all & told them that this was a residential neighbourhood & not a highway, & that there were children around, so driving fast & rash was'nt acceptable.

The scene took an ugly turn when the couple asked the scooterist to mind his own business & the scooterist insisted that he was doing exactly that as he lived in the area.

Finally, I asked them to go first since this was what they had wished all along. They went away, glaring at me & the scooterist like as if they owned all the roads in domlur.

So much for the "educated" lot in our city that drives around in expensive cars such as the suzuki swift. What could one expect from the hired, uneducated drivers that arrive from rural areas that are filling up our cities ?

asj's picture

Lets stop blaming the pedestrians

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If pedestrians were the reasons for traffic chaos, we would use kerb side gaurd rails not median road dividers.

Its the selfish, un-civil ways of drivers described by Naveen which is the main menace. Dividers are in place on roads which were never planned as dual carraige ways across the Nation in many cities and towns simply because we insist on driving on wrong side of road, cut across from side lanes at will, without any care for basic ROW rules of the road. Dividers reduce all the chaos that arises from these parameters - its an illusion (of smooth travel) though, as many journey's probably need detours and hence time saved must be marginal. 

Instead, look at Western roads, because drivers follow rules of the roads, flow of traffic on single lanes is so fast that it stop any one from jay walking. But  the moment traffic demand excedes capacity on Central London roads, and vehicles are moving at snails pace, pedestrians always use this opportunity to cross over - but no vehicle driver ever honks, revs their engines or attempts to intimidate or hurry the pedestrian. Almost all drivers ensure the pedestrian has completed his/her journey before moving on.

ASJ

s_yajaman's picture

@ Naveen - Attack was the best form of defence

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Naveen,

The man was using attack as the best form of defence.  There was no way in the world that he could have been in the right.  You had the ROW there.

Next time ask him/someone like him what the purpose of the mirror sticking out next to him is.  For combing his hair or for some other secret reason?

And then we are surprised at the chaos in our city and think that wide roads will sole this problem

Srivathsa

 

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

asj's picture

Soon we will need walls and....

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Soon we will need walls and....perhaps bullet proof vests -

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/IT-company-employee-fires-at-three-/articleshow/4243051.cms

Educated holligans are driving our vehicles

ASJ
Naveen's picture

Quite Right

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No matter how much we widen roads or offer facilities such as flyovers or expressways, it would never be enough to satisfy this reckless lot.

With such people, offense is the only way, rather than try to be gentle as it rebounds back & he wins.

Road divider is encouraging people to go on wrong side!

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 Dear Sir,

      I live on Kanakapura Road and daily see people driving on the wrong side of the road.
      On Kanakapura Road, near Jaraganahalli-RajivGandhi Rd, there is no right turn on Kanakapura Road.
      People have to take left, go for 300 meters and take U-Turn.
      Instead 90% of the people take right turn and go on the wrong side of the road.
      It is not only small vehicles, even Auto Rickshaw, Vans, Matadors and some times big Lorry's take right turn here.
      This is one of the busiest places on Kanakapura Road and traffic gets stuck here, because of this.
      And sometimes vehicles coming from the right side that want to goto RajivGandhi Road will find it difficult to turn......thanks to all those vehicles taking Right from RajivGandhi Road.

      All this is happening because of the road divider and there is no policeman present at that place.

      Also, the argument putforth in support of dividers is, pedestrian crossing is reduced.
      But, it is not so. People still cross the road (though with difficulty).
      Now, they cannot stand on this divider - instead they stand on one side of the road and that is more dangerous.
      If you really want to see whether this method is effective, come to Banashankari Bus stand.
      You can see more people on the road (walking in all the directions) than vehicles. And people don't care for vehicles and walk as if road is a footpath!!

Thanks,
Narendra
 
s_yajaman's picture

@Narendra

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Narendra,

This is like saying traffic lights cause people to break red lights.  Agree that the divider design and lack of pedestrian crossings leave something to be desired.  But the minimum expectation is that people drive on the correct side of the road. 

On people walking all over the place at Banashankari, the pedestrian facilities there are non-existent.  What do they do?

Srivathsa

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

srinidhi's picture

traffic and heart attacks..

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A german study recently noted that most heart attacks happen in bad traffic..this is due to high stress that road users ungergo..peds included!!

It will not be long that we have such incidents being reported in Bangalore!

These dividers need peds crossing points at major road junction or atleast 150 mts apart..please guys any ideas on whom to approach on this..the madness needs to be stopped..!

 

Btw today..think it was cos of Prathibha Patil in city..and the metro works..it took more than an hour to get from residency road to HAL apt rd..I cursed her big time and BMRCL and road dividers and myself!

 

Public Agenda's picture

Addl Com of Police Traffic to Approach

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You canl decide who from Praja can represnt on the Bangalore City Road Safety Committee headed by the CoP but covened by the DGP (Traffic) for the State who is at Police HQrs. They  could soon have one of the quarterly , 6-monthly meetings

But since the mover& shaker for the Road Safety Action Plan for the city is Praveen Sood and likely that BTRAC also comes under him he is the best one to approach.

My own assessment is two pronged 

  1. Huge no of PWD enggrs have joined BBMP (35) who have experience on highways, expressways, which they have convinced Abide to many roads( convert 6-laning and signal free). Since they have been close to cement / concrete lobbies and there is a huge usage of the same in these new dividers. The enggrs might have put huge pressure for the dividers to be done like this  which also do look similar to crash guards on roadsides on some expressways
  2. There is likely to be a move to upgrade enggrs to Chief enggr level ( BBMP adminsitrator has already sent a proposal to UDD, GoK in Spet 2008 pending with the same and finance dept for promotion and financial implications since higher salary. 
  3. Each of the road works will generate more ( cash leakages for the corruption chain from police to BBMP to upper levels)

 I am not talking agains

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 I am not talking agains the dividers.
My only concern is regarding people who have to cross these roads.
If the dividers are high, then people may trip & fall down and that can cause accidents.
I don't think high dividers are acting as detterents to pedestrians crossing the road.
They are only causing hardships.

And I think people who have decided about these high dividers are not the people who walk on the roads and hence don't know the problem of pedestrians.
 

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