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Traffic finally flows across CBI Jn Magic Box

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Infrastructure

Finally The CBI Jn seems to be open to public, Not sure if some lessons have been learnt... There is no tar on the road still! Its got this "super rubble" finish that tests out vehicle road fitness!!!

Or Probably BDA Jn flyover construction taught BBMP that any amount of compression using vibra-rollers are not as good as actual traffic! So now, as the traffic "rolls" over the junction and we already see certain areas showing resemblances to the Moon! Wonder why we should have the Chandrayan just come to CBI Jn! Please wait i will put up some more updates on this. PhotoYogi

Comments

blrsri's picture

bad approach to bldg roads

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We have seen many infra companies doing a very good job in laying roads..including l&T. All it needs is the right approach to lay roads.. one possible explanation for BDA doing this is to open the road for traffic early and reduce congestion! but inturn help the tyre seller cartel! :P btw videos are that much better!
asj's picture

Why a magic box?

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Seeing the layout using google maps and sat imagery I just fail to understand why there was a need for a magic box? ASJ
kbsyed61's picture

It's a high volume national highway !

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Doc, This magic Box at CBI junction is a much needed help for the people who live in the vicinity. The Magic box is at the width of the National Highway -7 (connecting B'lore & Hyderabad) and it is also the major connectivity road to new airport. This road carries lot of heavy traffic and now added airport traffic. There is a justification for Magic Box on this particular junction. The question is whether this has been done the right way by taking care of the ped Xings? For better perspective go thru' this thread: CBI junction Magic Box Syed
asj's picture

Don't get it

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Syed, Saw the image. And I don't get it. There are junctions, are there not? How is traffic regulated at these intersections for vechicles? Are there traffic lights? If yes, the solution should have something similar to this video below - http://uk.youtube.com/wat... Naturally with no first hand knowledge of the actual site, its hard, but it is hard to see how traffic can be regulated here without signals and why pedestrians crossings cannot be segmented from refuge to refuge and integrated within the signal cycle. This is a pot shot, I may be totally wrong. ASJ
kbsyed61's picture

Junctions with Traffic signals

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Doc, These are 2 junctions regulated with traffic lights. Please bear in mind that this particular stretch is not more than 4 lane road (2 on each side). Staggered ped Crossing would help if the traffic is not mixed with trucks. What you saw on the video is ride from BIA side going towards Mekhri Circle (or may be vice-versa). With this magic box, they have removed the signal at CBI junction. I am assuming they are regulating the traffic from CBI junction onto NH-7 (Bellary Road) through the magic box. The magic box is underneath the NH-7. Magic box is a good solution provided they have executed right. Since I am also current not based in Bangalore, I have not visited the site physically to ascertain the answers for my question. Hoping PhotoYogi can shed more light on this. Syed
asj's picture

Interesting stuff

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Syed, Cheers. Seems interesting the whole concept, I am trying to understand how and where pedestrians figure in all this (or do they not at all)? ASJ
s_yajaman's picture

They don't

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Pedestrians don't feature in most plans. At best as an after thought. They fend for themselves. Footpaths/sidewalks are considered a luxury in Bangalore. The BBMP has crores of rupees to spend on flyovers but none to spend on sidewalks. Srivathsa

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

kbsyed61's picture

MB as a replacement for the flyover!

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Doc, In comparing this CBI Junction magic Box with the example you have in youtube is, the existing Bellary Road (NH-7) now has become a flyover for the thru traffic. BBMP instead has made the NH-7 a flyover by using the magic box and eliminating the signals on this junction.
idontspam's picture

right solution - for once

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ASJ, this place is better served by what will be implemented - for once. It is an arterial road connecting north with city center and south. Pedestrian facilities is always an after thought but they have actually made a magic box subway at the end of the flyover(The video doesnt go that far) which probably hasnt been opened yet. So cross overs are there but I dont know about pavement on the sides. BUt knowing the BBMP i doubt it will have anything that will be gold standard. I doubt they will even make it to IRC standard. Praveen had to cut short the shoot to go back and collect parts of his car that were strewn all over the place - just kidding.
Rithesh's picture

Get ready for another Underpass

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Doc, This Magic pass is one of the two magic passes that will be built in this stretch - the other one being near the Sanjaynagar cross (to the south of this one). Together they plan to have a signal free stretch - no signal for entering or exiting both Sanjaynagar to the west and RT nagar via CBI junction on the east of this junction. Grand plan - hope they are right. Photoyogi, Completely agree with you on that compression issue man. For BBMP (its not the BDA that is handling this) this seams to be like some rocket science. Both at the BDA junction and cavery junction magic pass they seam to be relaying the road every other month. One problem with these structures is the aesthetics. All these structure are an eyesore. There is nothing called symmetry and everything seams to be so adhoc. Even the railing and the medians are so uneven. Without the trees it is even bad.
j_venu's picture

Good Solution but Lack of Execution.

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>>One problem with these structures is the aesthetics. All >>these structure are an eyesore. There is nothing called >>symmetry and everything seams to be so adhoc. Even the >>railing and the medians are so uneven. Without the trees it >>is even bad. Magic Box is a good solution but needs to be executed right. I reside here and used to take occasional walks to the construction site. I found that there is hardly anyone to Monitor the work for Quality. The Execution part is totally Adhoc. Right from fitting the boxes to concreting the outerwalls. Seems like Engineering is left to construction workers (reducing cost ?) . There is definete need to executer Neater , the final outcome should like one that is a Engineered . however if one ignore the looks CBI Junction Magic box is wide enough and this is a plus.
asj's picture

Right solution or just another quick fix

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I remain curious. I have added a touch of magic using MS paint to the original picture demosntrating the two magic boxes and the layout with traffic flows, see below - http://better.pune.googlepages.com/magicboxcbij.jpg So what we have is - 1) Free flow bidirectional to and from BIA over the flyover 2) Traffic from CBI can go to BIA via underpass (red). It can also take a right to reach ORR or go to Sanjaynagar via Magic box. 3) Similarly, traffic from Sanjaynagar can go to ORR via underpass (green) or turn right to go to CBI or BIA via second magic box 4) So although there is free flow (signal free) traffic on flyover, below it, there are four conflicting points - add two more if the blue and gray traffic wish to go straight and use the magic boxes for a U turn. 5) So below the flyover, unless the traffic from all directions is a mere trickle, signals will be needed for safety 6) My question about pedestrian facilities remains 7) Magic boxes or the some pics I have seen on the web suggest they could be narrow (one lane), but knowing how we drive, a rickshaw and bike may try overtaking each other within the magic box, what contingencies are in place for such eventualities, traffic will remain blocked, but can rescue teams reach in time? I like the story though - Commissioner remembers of a underpass in Sussex he saw in 1994, asks his team to come up with something similar and Vola!! Its like a road side quack saying he has cure for HIV (for goddness sake, would not the world know about it, I mean we would have seen this in place all over London if it were that good). Anyway, here is a link http://www.csbe.org/urban... which sheds a bit more light. Bellary road is full of junctions, thanks to growth allowed in close proximity to what was once a NH. How many such junctions are they going to tackle like this? The problem is 'congestion' the solution of magic boxes is like treating malarial fever with paracetamol, some immediate relief, but without anti-malarial treatment the eventual outcome is 'death'. To treat congestion, we need PT and TDM in combo (not one without the other). ASJ PS: I will be very happy if someone were to point out that the actual flow of traffic is different from what was orignially thought and indeed it is conflict free, if this is the case, I am sure many will want to know the exact fluid dynamics of this pipe work.
Naveen's picture

Magic Boxes - Only QuickFix, Not Longterm

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ASJ, You are right - quickfix is the right term for these 'Magic boxes', as they are called. The only advantage is that they can be assembled, compressed & the roads brought back to service in very quick time. Since pre-cast 'U' shaped elements are used, their size /weight has to be limited to facilitate transporting them from casting yard to works site. The maximum width of these underpasses is about 6 mtrs, but at this width, the load of the elements becomes very huge due to strength requirements for truck & other heavy traffic that will pass over them. Heavy lifting gear is required to position them on-site. They have some useful applications, such as for arranging pedestrian subways across busy roads or for arranging right turn exits from thoroughfares. However, our city has started fitting these narrow grade separators wherever they want to get rid of signals, & arrange uninterrupted flow of traffic, such as the long stretch of road leading to the new airport. Pretty soon, the traffic volumes are bound to increase & then, we will have long rows of traffic waiting to pass through these 'Magic Boxes'. My suggestion to BBMP was to use this only to permit buses (public transport) through them & for BRT, so that they do not saturate with excessive traffic over time, but they allow all traffic to use them. Thus, this is a short-sighted solution.
idontspam's picture

Right idea may be not right execution

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Let me rephrase what i said improperly. They had the right idea for this strech to make it signal free. They were right only in that thought. I cant say the same about methods used and the implementation. In that I would concur with all your comments on the same.
asj's picture

Cost of not having foresight

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Basically Bangalore and Pune (plus other cities) are having to pay for lack of foresight. I have attempted to show the difference between highways and city roads in another post and if our civic planners had any clue, they will have ensured no development happens within 30 meters of NH. But they allowed it and with every new development came another junction that crossed the highway. Now their solution to overcome lack of foresight is perhaps affected by the same pathos i.e. lack of foresight. I will now attempt to share what I might have done rather than rely on my memroy of what I may have seen in Sussex 14 years ago!! Lets begin with the basic concept of junction free highways. http://better.pune.googlepages.com/bellarytemplate.jpg As seen above, every few miles, the left lane on either side of the 3 + 3 lane highway becomes an exit and entry point and intervening brown section made part of hard shoulder. Now there is a problem here, the two sides on either side are divorced completely. Typically, the solution is to have flyover connect two sides. This is seen below on a section of M1 motorway in UK http://better.pune.googlepages.com/m1.jpg Note the sat image showing the flyover connecting two sides (station road). Now this could well have been an underpass, but it would have remained completely delinked with the actual highway. Instead, in India, what we are attempting now is to build flyovers after flyovers (now along with these magic boxes) at every junction we have allowed to crop up along the (so called) highway. What may be the solution? The solution is to create what I have in the first image above. To do this in the current circumstances is rather difficult, but ideally, this is what ought to be considered - http://better.pune.googlepages.com/bellarytemplate5.jpg Create entry and exit points as shown above on either side with intervening portion (shown as brown) having only 2 lanes on the highway. This intervening portion will not have any junctions any more. This will need repeating strategically along the highway and between each entry/exit junctions, the highway will become non-accecssible. But what makes the magic boxes even more badly planned is the treatment given to the Bellary road at the junction with CV Ramana road and further downstream at when it meets the ORR. http://better.pune.googlepages.com/bellarytemplate1.jpg With the above already in place what may be done other than magic boxes Its amazing that with two decent free-flow systems in place on either side, the need to overcome junctions at Sanjaynagar and CBI junctions was / is attempted using Magic boxes rather than - http://better.pune.googlepages.com/bellarytemplate4.jpg As seen above, all junctions between the two free-flow systems should be blocked off completely (red lines along the highway). And all traffic made to join the highway only via the free-flow systems on either side. This may be a slight detour, but on the highway the traffic moves without junctions. And as its the latter alone which can be done realistically, the objective is achieved without excess spending. The only reason then for considering a magic box, is to let pedestrians across (and by making ramps rather than steps, it more or less becomes disabled friendly too). Ideally this question will not arise as technically highways should be devoid of all pedestrians, but the circumstances are such that urban growth has been allowed too close to the NH. ASJ
kbsyed61's picture

Mekhri circle is a badly designed signal free junction !

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Doc, At the CBI junction, with the magic box, the signal free conditions are only for the Bellary Road traffic. For all other traffic leaving/joining Bellary road from/To Ganganagar still needs regulation at the entry/exit of magic box. Even that should be OK as long as some professional insight is given to the regulation. Hope this clarifies things at CBI magic box. If you look at all the flyovers that are built in B'lore, is poorly designed and managed. All it has done is giving relief to one set of road at the cost of more traffic blocks on joining roads. The example you gave is about Mekhri circle (CV Raman Road/Bellary Junction). The relief this flyover has given is for the traffic on Bellary Road. But it has created mess for to/from Jaymahal/CV Raman Roads. There is one practical difficulty for creating smooth exits and entry ramps due at this junction is due to office complex on one corner, Army compounds on 2 other corners and the litigated land of Palace grounds in the 4th corner. This poor designed is replicated in each and every flyover that is built in last decade or so. To me all these flyovers have done is pushing the traffic congestion from start of the flyover to the end of the flyover. What may work fine to the existing junctions is the addition of "JUG Handle" for right and U-Turn traffic. Later, I will post the updated diagram with Jug Handle turns.
asj's picture

From garden city to a match-box city

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Bottom line is - its not signal free as authorities want us to believe, only the highway is made signal free and everyone else has to go through some agony (as you describe with regards to Mekhri circle). The cheapest option would have been to combine what I show above in image 3 and 5 above (no road works would have been needed at all - I would have elaborated only that as an option but did not bother because its too late, given what is in place at Mekhri circle). I blame the people / drivers who put pressures on the authorities to provide non-stop driving experience. Part of living an urban life is 'delays' and hence need to build an attribute called 'patience'. A city will have junctions, a city will have roads which are clogged up (more so when PT is planned and implemented inadequately) - that is life, that is reality, we need to accept it. The authorities should be blamed for poor foresight, inadequate planning and then repeated knee-jerk measures bowing to public pressures. The Commissioner should say to the public - if you are frustrated by having to sit at junctions and traffic lights, leave your cars at home and use the buses. People would then automatically put same amount of pressure they put for wider roads and signal free junctions on bus service providers to come up with goods with regards route and frequency rationalisation. Right now we are looping around, solve problem at one junction, transfer problem to next junction and so on. Add to this the concept of 'induced congestion' where because people are told a certain stretch is widened or has magic boxes and flyovers - everyone starts using it, result - more congestion. From garden city to city of magic boxes or dare I say match-boxes is what is in store. And right now everyone is taken by the euphoria and the spin created by the word 'magic' and the story of how these implements can be put in place in 72 hours. Keenly await the Jug handle, but ultimately when we look up freeway designs we have no option but to use clover leaf and stacked (mulit layered) entry / exits - this is the only way to create signal free junctions. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), the designs are such that one needs more space as well as money to make these. In fact, a minute or two that I have spent scanning the ORR (via google maps), it too has junctions, and who ever is promising to make ORR signal free must have either got their plans wrong or have lots of money to invest or a brilliant engineers who deserve a medal - time will tell. ASJ PS: Again, this feedback ought to be sent to the authorities, otherwise our discussions are academic
idontspam's picture

Now they realize...

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Wider underpasses The underpass at the Anandnagar Junction in Hebbal, one of the earliest in this area, is meant for light vehicular traffic. It was completed three months ago at a cost of Rs 1.8 crore and open to traffic. As per the technical specification, the underpass was to have a width of 4.5 m but it's just 3 m. "It requires at least two reversing attempts to get a few cars enter it,'' minister Katta Subramanya Naidu told reporters during an inspection on Thursday. His car itself was stuck there recently. "If this is the state of our underpasses, there is no point in going for any more,'' he said. The BBMP has been asked to increase the width; alongside, the roads by the side will also be widened by another 5 m. According to BBMP commissioner S Subramanya, the underpass was a trial attempt. However, the technology used facilitates such dimensional alterations based on public experience, he said, adding that the required alteration would be done in the next few days. Further, a few other connecting roads would also be widened. "The road connecting to Sanjaynagar will be made into 100 feet, the one to Anandnagar will be made 80 feet while the Vishwanath Nagenahalli road will be made 60 feet,'' he said.
blrsri's picture

Better design for MUP approach

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3 mts was very small..4.5 is small too! However approaches for all MUP's shd be something as in the image below to facilitate smoother flow..
Naveen's picture

Curving of Magic boxes Not Possible, Yet

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Blrsri,

As of now, the moulds available for precasting elements to build these Magic boxes is available only for straight sections. Thus, only straight underpasses, or Magic Boxes can be built, at present.

Curving would require moulds that can produce eccentric elements, i.e. one face of the U section wider than the other, so that when they are assembled, it will result in a curved underpass- such is not available.

Ashok and Katta criticize the design flaw

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Shri R Ashok and Shri Katta Subrahmanya Naidu are not happy with the design: http://www.hindu.com/2008...
blrsri's picture

Its not about curving MUP

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I was pointing to the approach road to the MUP..this is still open for any redesign.. ASJ had done a good interpretation earlier in this post about the possible jams that can happen around the CBI jn MUP.. what I propose could alleviate the issues a little!

Having a one man show run bangalore is proving costly

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Having a one man show running the lives of 8 million people and growing is proving very costly for bangalore. The sooner we have an elected council in place, the better! Atleast people blogging here can interact with the councillors when approving such road designs.
asj's picture

Ibuprofen is not much better than Paracetamol for Malaria cure

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Its rather apparent that this plan is not going to help in the long run. Every modification we come up with is another by-pass surgery. So why bother trying to design and re-design different concepts? Instead of paracetamol, we are using Ibuprofen but both are unhelpful if the cause of the fever is malaria. Here is another good write-up http://www.kanglaonline.c... I have e-mailed the author to join us on this thread to share more. ASJ
blrsri's picture

ibuprofen causes gastric i guess

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parcetamol doesnt..! :) So one thing I have observed with bangaloreans is that they are too eager to fill any space available with their vehicles..so we need to be 'herded' like sheep to move in line..forcefully if needed.. So my thought was that guide ways should help!
asj's picture

Vital that side-effects are not forgotten

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Blrsri your comment is light hearted but actually very relevant. Not only is wrong treatment being used and dished our right, left and center - the planners have not considered the side-effects at all. ASJ
kbsyed61's picture

Criticism, Finding Fault is not Enough !

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mcadambi, I hope these are not the routine ruling party criticism for the works of previous governments projects. At last the ruling ministers found time to look ta the magic boxes. I am sure these Mbs are in use for last 6 months or so and misnisters has use them in their various election campaigns. Still, better late than never. Finding faults, criticizing designs and construction is not going to do anything. Unless these criticism are converted into opportunities to correct anomalies. I would look forward to the correction these MBs would be getting in coming days.

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