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Should MG Road area be pedestrianized?

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Metro RailTrafficPedestrian Infrastructure

A peak into what the some of the authorities think about an issue that we have been discussing here at praja. We have been discussing a hypothetical test case to see how metro would work - say you come to MG road by metro then how do you move around the area then. say to commercial street, magrath road etc etc... So I thought it was exciting that some officials were discussing the same problem and with the same area as a test case.

BMTC - Upendra Tripathi's ideas ...
*Banning private vehicles and using only public transport (metro, BMTC buses and auto) in M G Road would help the traffic problems in this area.
* BMTC is ready to provide buses every five minutes and bus stops at a distance of 300 metres on M G Road.
* Turning M G Road and Brigade Road into pedestrian zones could be the other way. For this, shops and roads must be on the same level.
*In Delhi, during metro work, private transport was banned in the area, where work was on but in Bangalore, public transport is banned.

ACP, Traffic-East, M B Mallikarjuna Swamy counters....
*Banning private vehicles and depending only on the public transport is not a workable suggestion. There will be a big hue and cry from the public for private transport.
*All the agencies concerned with the issue must work out a solution together. A policy decision has to be made by the Government.Where Are The Pedestrians?
*The only solution can be road networking, roads over roads and flyovers over flyovers like Bangkok. Many global players can come forward if the State Government invites a global tender. The flyovers should connect the outskirts of the city, passing through the central and busy parts of the city. The Build- Operate- Own- Transfer (BOOT) system would work for such networking.

The Tripathi and Swamy have taken extreme positions. So what do you guys think?

Shibuya, Tokyo seems to have everything one of the busiest railway stations in Tokyo, flyovers, buses, and pedestrian friendly streets. [Generally, look around for Shibuya pics in flickr, very lively place. ;)]

What should we do? MG Road area is high impact intervention, ideas from there can then be implemented in other parts of the city.

Also check this magazine that contains articles about efforts at pedestrianization. It is an interesting read. It also has some articles on BRTS. Makes for some really nice sunday afternoon reading.


Arun's picture

Right direction...

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While Tripathi is thinking in the right direction, though lot of work needs to done in terms of providing parking space, educating shopkeepers about the benefit of no-vehicles, Mallikarjuna Swamy has talked like a typical Traffic cop. While not many traffic cops are good traffic planners, their inputs should be of great help. Flyover mele flyover...aithu aithu
Naveen's picture

ITDP Magazine

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TS - Many thanks. The articles in this magazine were really great, thanks for posting it for all to read. In Bangalore, I feel the flwg areas can be pedestrianized, for a start : 1) Chicket, all roads within 700-800 mts of the upcoming Metro station. 2) MG Road - Anil Kumble circle to Brigade Rd Jn. 3) Brigade Road - MG Rd Jn - Rex Cinema - Shoolay 4) Commercial Street - entire length 5) Ulsoor - from Someshwara Temple to Trinity Jn 6) Jayanagar 4th Block - all four roads around Shopping Complex. I am still reading articles from the magazine - At Jaipur, I had seen how they had successfully done it there. Also seen a street in Malta - Valetta, where they have done it - really superb & clean !
devanahalli's picture


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This is my first post on this blog although I have been tracking it for the past few months. Here is my two cents on managing problem areas in Bangalore, specifically high profile urban and commercial streets like MG Road Flyovers over flyovers may decongest the street but do we really want to to see these mammoth dehumanizing structures in and around MG Road or any urban centre? The elevated line and station of the Metro has done enough to scar the beauty of this wonderful boulevard. Plus you have to consider the "if you build it they will use it" phenomenon. Take the case of New York city (island of Manhattan) which has about 12 multi level/ lane entry points (bridges and tunnels) but each one of them is packed solid during rush hours. I think a smart way to deal with urban congestion is to adopt a London style "congestion pricing" (essentially you charge folks a toll for wanting to drive through certain areas at certain times). That combined with the Metro and extra city buses should go a long way. When you give people choices they usually will adopt the smartest one. Disclaimer: I do not live in Bangalore but continue to take a keen interest in all things related to the city where I lived the first 25 years of my life.
virtual banglorean
tsubba's picture

pedding up the place

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couldn't agree with you more arun. on the general ideas - pedestrianization is the ultimate symptom of real careful, solid planning and design and it will take some clarity of thought for it to be successfully implemented. love that you have used the word "educate" - something that is taken very lightly. but more importantly, the comment about about traffic cop is spot on. a cop, even when an ACP, is looking at things from an executive perspective. he can make great observations of existing conditions but his solutions are bound to be conditioned. it is almost natural that he talks of flyover-mele-flyover because at the end of the day he has spent a lifetime managing poorly designed intersections. very understandable that he says it. thanks but no thanks. that brings me to D(devanahalli)'s comment and his brilliant use of the word "dehumanizing" - think about it, how many of the city planners' decisions are based on humanizing the spaces? some heavy duty clear thinking there. must especially thank you for mentioning that subtle point about utilization. it is a very subtle, pithy comment that hides more than it reveals. almost nothing can eliminate congestion, only way is to manage it. but if you don't do that the city will die. bottomline is this, if there was a budget to invest, i would suggest that BLR invest in real trained planners and traffic engineers or spend it on retraining its engineers. Not that there is a dearth of these people in BLR. I myself know quite a few UoMich(one of the best schools on this subject) grads who are back in BLR doing work for its real estate planners. naveen ... you are welcome. this is all well studied stuff. i will try to put stuff that i have saved.
asj's picture

Pune has tried this with success

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Hi! Pune has a walking plaza. After lot of debate, hue and cry a pilot was started sometime last year. This year following the success of the pilot the walking plaza went live. I live in UK where very close is a high street which happens to be a pedestrian only street (buses and cycles are allowed). What a difference it makes to life of shoppers, its wonderful to feel safe (especially good for kids). Private car owners have several parking facilities nearby and seem happy to walk a few minutes. Business is good as people take a gentle stroll, do window shopping, try thigns out before buying, much better than driving in to a car park for a given shop and then not getting any choice.
silkboard's picture

where in Pune is this

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walking plaza asj? will go take some pics and post here. Back at Bangalore, didn't they try this at Commercial street once?
asj's picture

Pune walking plaza details

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As it happens its the MG road in Pune. What they have done is to make it a walking plaza on the weekends only (due to opposition from local traders). For those with access to online TOI, here is a link worth checking out http://epaper.timesofindi...
tsubba's picture


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wow! it has been on for a year? great. is it for the entire stretch? and where do they park? that link does not work. according to Deepa Mohan, lack of parking killed it. they used to bus people to commercial street.
asj's picture

More on Pune walking plaza

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Hi! The plaza had been suspended after a trial period during the monsoon and opened again in sept 07. There are several articles on the plaza, the link above in TOI needs indiatime username and password. The TOI link shows entertainers dressed up as giant cuddly animals for kids Here is another link with a wonderful picture/article http://www.indiatogether.... Cheers comment guidelines

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