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New Road Design proposal

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InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

As some of you may be aware, we had started some work to improving road design standards. To this end, I had started putting some documentation together (still only 20% complete) .

I recently realised that we had a pretty active residents association. In the discussions, I impressed upon them the need to plan and design roads in a well thought out manner, as detailed in the documentation. They had been facing many problems, for eg: they put in speed breakers as the number of accidents was on the rise, only to have somebody complain of a broken back because of the speed breakers.  They saw value in our approach and decided that we will do it right on the new roads that are getting redone. They have successfully pushed BDA to lay footpaths, storm water drains and tar certain roads in the layout. So to add, they are going to push them to do it the way we detail it out. To that end I am making a design proposal, which is in the attachment below.

This is kind of a rough first draft, to give the basic idea. Eventually will have to come up with more detailed drawings. Please have a look, and feedback (especially why it is a bad idea!) is most appreciated. The point is, we do not want to go with something which later on is more problematic that the current state. It will mean a big setback for further such work, as well as I do not want to comprimise on safety. On the other hand, success can be an eye opener to the lay public and govt. alike, on how things should really be.

The scope is limited to footpath and road design. Cannot alter existing structures (like electric poles, trees, lamp posts etc) as well as cannot touch utility lines. Please see the proposal for more information.


Road_design_proposal.pdf784.99 KB


srkulhalli's picture

Some comments on the proposal

131 users have liked.

Am shifting ASJ's comments here, adding my comments in italic

Thanks for going through it in detail !

  1. Arbitrarily placed structures - if authorities want to make this a model project, they should show willingness to remove the structures which can be removed - especially hoardings.

  2. One should push for a bold design and hence I would not mention 1.2 meter footpath when I want 3 meters
  3. I will add cycle tracks to the whole scheme

I would love to be given a fresh slate to design, but it is what it is. There is no such "single authority" and to get even this much through, the residents association will have to put in a lot of fight. I am kind of satisfied that we have at least got a foot in. At some stage, plan to go to BDA so that we can give some ideas on their new layouts.

Given it is what it is, an 80 ft road, with 10 to 12 ft on one side and around 5ft on one side with arbitrary placed poles on either direction, how would you accomdate all that you have mentioned. My current break up is


10ft(Footpath)- 6feet (parking lane) - 12feet x 4 (4 lanes) - 6 feet parking lane - 10 feet footpath

And for intersections/turns

10ft (footpath)- 12ftx 2 lanes (left lane can be partialy used for parking) - 1 lane for turning - 12ft x 2 lanes + 10 ft footpath

As such footpath is already 3m, only thing is it is not unobstructed 3m, because of obstruction, what I am saying is we need to ensure at least 1.2m of the 3m is unobstructed

  1. Page 5 concept of turning lane - I will show an images from UK (available in my collection), its more easy to understand for lay readers and even our authorities.

Please do. I was struggling to get a good image.

  1. Page 6 - on either side of  zebra crossings - for at least 5 meters there should be green shrubs not parking or hawking. This is the only way to protect this area as invariably vehicles use up zebra area for parking.

I actually thought having places for hand carts next to the pedestrian crossing would be good. That way, we ensure there is no parking, as well as give hawkers some offical place. Otherwise they WILL end up taking place on the footpath and reduce it further.

  1. Page 8 - It will be too much for pedestrians to manage to cross inside a U turn layout. I would keep pedestrians out of the equation here.
  2. Page 8 - Why not consider roundabouts for U turns.

What I have is kind of an extended roundabout. But I will think if we consider reducing it to a roundabout. There is a full refuge island in the middle, so it should still be OK for pedestrians to cross ? Whereever there is a pedestrian crossing, I have ensured that there is a refuge island.  If I seperate the U turn and have a seperate pedestrian crossing, there become too many slow downs in driving. There are long streches ~ 500m where there is nothing on one side, so there is not much of pedestrian crossing. It is here that I have given roundabouts with pedestrian crossing, there will not be much used, but at the same time, we cant go for such a long distance without a single crossing.

  1. Along the entire road there are many side lanes. Give way markings and signage should be part of the scheme.

I havent shown signages yet. As I mentioned this is a concept. Once approved, a lot more detailing needs to go in.

  1. Educating people about giving way to pedestrians at zebra should be part of the scheme. But not all crossings with median refuge have to have a zebra, some crossings should be such that vehicles have ROW and pedestrians cross only when there are not vehicles, thus pedestrians need educating too.

What I have done is there are some instrinsic elements of traffic calming happen at a pedestrian crossing due to narrowing of lanes, ump etc. This will hopefully automatically help resolve pedestrian/vehicle conflicts. So am not mentioning an ROW

Issue with education is it cannot be done only for a strech. Its a citywide thing, because the road is such that there is a heavy portion of non-residential vehicles. If even some of these do not obey the ROW and pedestrians get used to thinking they have ROW, it can become a dangerous scenario. But long term, I absolutely agree with you.

  1. Lane widths are too wide. 3.5m is needed for highways (a car / van is less than 7 feet, buses are 2.55 meters and IRC norms for bus lane is 3m). I would keep it at 3m

Am aware of the IRC. I thought about this for sometime. I was a little worried about buses stikcing to the lane if it is too narrow. Thanks for the additional feedback. I will rethink this.

  1. I would consider bus lanes as well if enough buses already ply here. But typically bus lanes are needed only on roads where traffic is 70% of road capacity. This does not seem to be the case as per your description of the road. Hence it can be left out. But if buses do run on this road, more attention is needed for marking / painting of bus bays and bus stops.

As you rightly mention, there is no need of bus-lanes because - buses are not too frequent, the strech under consideration is too long (1.4km), not enough width either. Absolutely agree on the bus-stop. Unfortunately two of the bus-stops are already placed. So I get to chose the placement of only an additional one. But still will do our best on the road markings.

  1. Speed limits need to be thought about, 30kph is enough for road within residential setting.

Yes. was thinking on similar lines. Did you give a look to the humps that will be put on pedestrian crossings. They are 125mm in height, 2m wide, and then with a slope of 1 in 20.(see presentation)  Do you have an idea if a vehicle with 30kmph can drive over this without much problem ?

Becuase there are too many pedestrian crossings, I dont want the vehicles to break every time. Instead, only thing is it should disuage fast moving and aggressive vehicles, but not be back breaking for 30 kmph traffic.

  1. No parking near junctions / use of yellow lines along kerb (again an IRC norm as well) is required. 


  1. It should work well, everything you need is covered here

Have seen this. Good collection





ssheragu's picture

road design

128 users have liked.


In your road design, I have  a comment

you have provided place for push carts (as probable place for hawkers)

in my opinion, with development and with India being a developed country by 2015 or 2020, there will not be any hawkers; so for the present a temporary recessed area can be identified every  5 Kms, where all the hawkers can be pushed; leer with disappearnace of hawkers, this area can be taken up for other utility

many thanks

Srinath Heragu

RKCHARI's picture

Road Design to Preferably Include SW Infiltration

145 users have liked.

Hi Suhas,

I would imagine final road designs would include a scientific point of source SW infiltration system as well as inclusion of road surface to be levitated with drainage cells.

Am sure after I gave info on recent developments in Ecological Road Building technology, you would have included the same.

Best wishes,


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