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New underpasses/flyovers on ORR - a suggestion

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Public Transport

Marathahalli UnderpassYou may have noticed that Outer Ring Road upgrade work is picking up serious momentum. Work on service lanes is in full swing, and it seems like survey work is on for the new underpass/flyovers as well. So if all goes well, we should have a nice six lane "corridor" from Hebbal to silk board junction. Good show indeed! At the same time, it'll be good to look ahead at the impact of this ORR upgrade project.

With time, all points on ORR that will get a flyover (7-8 are planned) will tend to become public transit hubs. Look at Marathahalli, silk board, K R Puram, and the new Ramamurthy Nagar underpass. Folks arrive, and then they want to go into the city, or up and down ORR to their destinations. To experience the pain of these adhoc hubs first hand, I recently took the E-City Volvo from BIA, got down on ORR at Marathahalli, and then caught another bus towards Whitefield.

Look at these maps of the walks I made. Green or Red are your options, no big difference, both involve the same amount of pain for lack of paved footpaths, and shelter at bus stands.

What if BDA joined hands with BMTC to develop these as transit points to facilitate easy bus interchange? I have two suggestions on this count, and both would be design suggestions for the ongoing ORR upgrade work.

1. Underground bus bays at underpasses

Look at this pic of Marathahalli underpass. Notice the two spots marked there. What if there was work done under the Airport road and along the edges of ORR to create the following:

  • bus bay that could hold two buses, one bay on each side
  • Along with the bays, do elevators, or steps to walk up to the airport road, or to get down from airport road to ORR.

Marathahalli Underpass

There is no land to be acquired here, we are talking about digging work and basement type construction under an existing wide road. This simple design measure could be used for new underpasses to make things easy for commuters who would change buses after arriving at ORR.

2. Space above roads: mini transit centers?

Why not think about the space above the road intersection as well? Again, taking Marathahalli as an example, what if there was a 5-6 floor high building right on top of the point where ORR and Airport road intersect. Think a mini-TTMC, a PPP can build or own such "mini" transit points. The features would be:

  • Regular Traffic would flow on the ground and at underpass level as it does today
  • Ramps for buses to come up to half a dozen bus bays on the first floor
  • Floors above the bus hold area can be exploited by the PPP via commercial development

With above two design considerations, or anything on similar lines, you would be creating planned transit points. Without such measures, opportunities to facilitate public transport at each new underpass on ORR could be lost forever.

Comments

murali772's picture

most crucial

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124 users have liked, including you.

Indeed most crucial, SB. With the government slowly waking up to the need to give primacy to the public transport user's needs, I expect they will be open to such suggestions now. On our part, we need to press for it.

And, even where the jobs have been completed, they need to figure out simple solutions quite like the ones suggested by you.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
kbsyed61's picture

It makes sense,

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SB, Murali Sir, It makes a complete sense and need to provide for Transit centers at the junctions as SB had pointed out. A transit center for change of Buses should be the priority and followed by pickup/drop facilities with Taxi/Car/Autos. Then Parking for 2 wheelers and cars would be a bonus, provided space and facilities exists at the spots. In this Bicycles should be given a free parking and charging a premium for 2 wheelers and cars. May be to start with, as SB has suggested, Just a Bus transfer facility with Bus Bays, bus shelters/stop, Elevators/Stairs would go a long way.

silkboard's picture

Thanks

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Thanks Murali and Syed.

Actually, I was at this underpass again today, and realized that getting a two bus long bay on the sides of the underpass will not be super easy. The underpass has to reach certain depth before you can dig underthe surface on both the sides. And if the digging is going to be under private property, then you are eating away property owner's rights to build basements. This one can be solved by allowing construction of extra floors as compensation.

But, when doing new underpasses, one can certainly plan for more depth so that bus bays are possible right under the road being passed.

Another thing I wanted to check was plan for pedestrian underpasses or skywalks on this stretch of ORR. I am sure these would be in plan, but it'd be nice to see a sort of project plan for Outer Ring Road upgrade project.

We would also want to know if there is any work done on ORR near the famous K R Puram station area. No idea yet.

silkboard's picture

ORR upgrades for free?

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And BTW, one reason (besides real estate) the new Hyderabad Metro PPP bid is so cheap is the fact that the developer gets to use the space above Metro stations. If you think the same here, and let private parties build mini TTMCs at each of these underpass on ORR, could we get Outer Ring Road upgraded to a real expressway for free!?

Just a thought.

Naveen's picture

Access to Bus Stops at Underpasses

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Hi SB,

A really noteworthy observation - & rightly describes how neglected the bus commuter is.

A simpler & easier solution would be to arrange for buses not to use the underpass, but to take the exit & have a stop on top near the bridge (where other buses along the perpendicular road would also have stop/s), after which it can cross the road & use the road leading down to rejoin ORR.

Such bus movement might interfere with traffic along the perpendicular road. Buses will hence need to be prioritized for cross movements to make this a success.

 

SB_YPR's picture

Simpler solution?

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@Naveen,

A simpler & easier solution would be to arrange for buses not to use the underpass, but to take the exit & have a stop on top near the bridge (where other buses along the perpendicular road would also have stop/s), after which it can cross the road & use the road leading down to rejoin ORR.

That would defeat the purpose of constructing the underpass - to enable traffic to proceed seamlessly on the ORR! And I'm sure the last thing we want is more (avoidable) delays on the surface.

@SB,

Why not think about the space above the road intersection as well? Again, taking Marathahalli as an example, what if there was a 5-6 floor high building right on top of the point where ORR and Airport road intersect.

I feel constructing a building bang in the centre of the road will pose problems. First of all - the structure's got to have pillars or something to support it - will the fragile bridge over the underpass be strong enough to take the load? Also, the pillars or whatever are going to impede traffic that turns at the junction (Say, Bellandur-Whitefield traffic). Finally, these will be an impossibility where there are flyovers, as opposed to underpasses - CSB, Hebbal etc.

In conclusion, I feel that the cheapest and easiest option would be to improve the footpaths around the intersection to truly world-class standards, possibly with a shelter above them.


Regards,
~~~~
Manish, Nagarbhavi.

~~~~

Manish.

Naveen's picture

Solution for Bus Users, Not General Traffic

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Manish,

This suggestion is for buses that pick up people at bus stops. If it causes delays for other general traffic that move underneath or on surface, it is acceptable since conveniences for people that use buses is more of a priority than "seamless" travel for road traffic, above or below.

Improving foot paths will still require people to walk long distances to interchange buses & this is an inconvenience to them that needs to be avoided. Delays to traffic is not the one to be avoided.

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