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Choked connectivity to Whitefield - solutions?

ಮೇಲೆ
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Public Transport

If you look back, or go ask city agencies, they would say that a lot has been done to improve connectivity to Whitefield. A six-lane railway overbridge at Marathahalli, 2006. A prominent Big-10 service (G-1), 2010. A once-every-5-minutes air conditioned bus service (335E), 2009. Road improvements (Varthur Road, Mahadevapura main road), since 2003.

And yet, here is some statistic for you.

  • In 2005 Dec, when Marathahalli Bridge was barely 2 lanes worth, It took 10-14 minutes to cross it at 9 am. It just looked a lot worse when you went through the stretch. Last week, time taken to cross it at 9.30 am has been 9-12 minutes.
  • In 2006, time it took to go from Varthur Kodi to HAL Airport, despite all the airport rush used to be 20-25 minutes. Times I recorded were at 9 - 9.30 am, on Mondays and Tuesdays. Today, you would spend 30-35 minutes to do the same distance. 40-45 minutes if you do this on BMTC Bus.
  • Using the Bus a lot for my commute gives me the opportunity to note commute times (something that I anyway need to do to collect data for BPS concept paper). My 6 kilometer commute has taken 20 minutes or more (least 19, max 32) over all days of last-3 weeks when done on car. And 25-40 when done on BMTC.

Alright enough of build up. The summary is that despite valid claims of investments in public transport, as well as roads (and pavements too!), average speed of movement during commute times is 15 km / hour. And this is the story when you go "out from" Whitefield to the Fringes of City. I am guessing that if I were doing the reverse, average effective speed would be no more than 12 km / hour.

Why? And what next? After a good start, is Whitefield area set to repeat the same choked-suburb story? To be continued.

 

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akauppi's picture

In the same time, elsewhere..

ಮೇಲೆ
114 users have liked.

Not that it's really helping the situation, but... a report from New York:

Bus vs. Big Wheel

What I like in your approach is measuring the times it takes to move. In order to make something better, data is needed. Of course it should be the city's job to track that data but if they don't, private citizens can. Especially with the use of smart phones, such collection could even be automated.

Meaning you'd have an "app" which you inform at the beginning of a trip and it measures the progress (or lack of) and pushes that to some website. If even some people do this over time, it'll add up to usable statistics of the city traffic as seen from i.e. buses.

Would this model work in current Bangalore? Do people have i.e. iPhones, Androids or other that can run such?

- Asko Kauppi

BM Design Oy

Helsinki, Finland

- asko

We're developing a light weight automated transport solution, especially suitable for Indian urban challenges. Initially launched in April 2010 in Delhi, we're progressing with CAD design and strength simulations in 2011

silkboard's picture

best way to take timings data

ಮೇಲೆ
102 users have liked.

Thanks Asko. Reminds me that someone too asked how such data was collected for Bus Priority System work. No special apps on phone, nothing fancy at all. Easy way is to just take pictures from the phone at predefined spots and points of interest. Do it for a full week, and that's it. You get time (saved as photo's timestamp) and for later remeberance, the spot where you noted the time (in the photo!). Can sit anytime later at leisure to do the calculations.

We could do an Android accessible app to make it easy for many of us to  uploading time data at one same place. Or to start simple, a basic form for people to fill in data from predefined spots (I was <here> at ___). Data really helps in doing anything next - advocacy, protests, planning, suggestions or whatever.

sanchitnis's picture

Data can be recorded using Google My Tracks

ಮೇಲೆ
116 users have liked.

Hi,

We can use this applications which does exactly what was requested: Take records of timings, speed as well as upload on google spreadsheets for sharing with others.

http://mytracks.appspot.com/

My Tracks is an application for your AndroidTM phone that enables you to record GPS tracks and view live statistics – such as time, speed, distance, and elevation – while hiking, biking, running or participating in other outdoor activities. Once recorded, you can share your tracks, upload them to Google Spreadsheets and visualize them on Google My Maps.

Sanjay

 
akauppi's picture

Finding a business model

ಮೇಲೆ
113 users have liked.

I've got a friend startup here in Finland, planning to make bus usage in "developing economies" (starting in Latin America) easier and faster. They're called BusFaster. I love the idea and approach of making things cheap and simple.

What is their challenge imho is to find the right route into existing burocracies when it comes to public transport operation and planning. This will also shape what their actual business model will be.

If here are people wanting to keep Bangalore on their radar, you can take contact. Personally, I think if they can pull through a succesful demo in Lima applying the same in Bangalore would be no problem.

What do you think? :)

- asko

We're developing a light weight automated transport solution, especially suitable for Indian urban challenges. Initially launched in April 2010 in Delhi, we're progressing with CAD design and strength simulations in 2011

sanjayv's picture

Traffic data

ಮೇಲೆ
103 users have liked.

What is missing is some traffic count information over the years.  Looks like the time spent has not changed.  But I will bet that traffic has exploded.  There has been a lot of new housing in this area as well as stores, malls, hyper bazaars and such.  The problem is that it looks like there is more to come that will definitely make things worse. Will somebody happen to have the right data?

Another interesting thing to do would be to look at the Revised master Plan (however imperfect that document is) and the situation as it exists today.  I got a look of a small section around my home and was STUNNED, to put it mildly.  Some of those roads and changes do make sense, especially in this area where nternal road network and connectivity is very poor.

The plan had all these roads and wider roads and such in there which has not translated to reality.  Now there is extensive development on and around some of these planned roads and if they try to implement the plan, it just is not going to work or it will mean a lot of these new developments lose part of their property / buildings.

idontspam's picture

 Some of those roads and

ಮೇಲೆ
103 users have liked.

 Some of those roads and changes do make sense, especially in this area where nternal road network and connectivity is very poor

RMP is called the Retarded Money-making Plan. Apparenly they squeezed some macro level pin the tail on the donkey style widening schemes & our BBMP uses that as a good excuse to ram thru band aid fixes.

A master plan has to address the modal share traffic mix for a projected population & work backwards from there distributing the residential & commercial districts by spreading that mix around. 

In fact someone was mentioning that the draft master plan was put out for public consultation without all the road widening in it & then the road widening was added after it went back inside for finalization. 

sanjayv's picture

Retarded Money Making Plan

ಮೇಲೆ
110 users have liked.

Apparenly they squeezed some macro level pin the tail on the donkey style widening schemes & our BBMP uses that as a good excuse to ram thru band aid fixes.

 

Maybe the RMP can be much better.  I do not know enough about this, but this seems to be the accepted wisdom.  However, some plan is better than no plan.  Since the Whitefield area is now an agglomoration of tech parks and housing developments with no structure or plan, what I saw in a portion of the RMP made sense to me.

Vasanth's picture

Metro Extension to whitefield should get more pressure

ಮೇಲೆ
105 users have liked.

One strange thing about Namma Metro is it is getting extended in all other reaches except reach 1. Already  Nayandahalli to Kengeri extension work started, RV Road to Puttenahalli extension work started, Peenya to International Exhibition Centre extension work started. But not the reach 1 extension to whitefield which is going live ahead of all other reaches. Namma Metro is saying Phase 2 and no civil works started. This is the highest traffic density area due to ITPL and other IT companies, but why is this stance of BMRCL.

It needs pressure from the residents of whitefield as well as from IT companies for the quick extension of reach 1 from BYPL to Whitefield.

Karnataka Govt. is always 10 steps behind the world

ಮೇಲೆ
116 users have liked.

The apathy of us Bangaloreans is the Snail speed of the Karnataka Govt. Looking at the growing traffic and population the highly intelligent govt. decides to develop the infrastructure with a plan that the development would be completed in two years, projecting that the population might double in that time... So brilliantly the development plan is made to handle the double volume...

But due to the high speed working style here, the same planned work actually finished in 5 years, by when the volume has actually increased 5-6 times...

How can you expect the same infrastructure designed for double the volume of 5 years back, be able to handle 5-6 times of the volume of today?

silkboard's picture

Back to the subject - commute time choke points

ಮೇಲೆ
116 users have liked.

So here is how the choke points look, and its getting worse.

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silkboard's picture

Solutions

ಮೇಲೆ
103 users have liked.

A) Public Transit

#1 - BPS on 335 or G1 route. Either will do. BPS from Richmond Circle till new TTMC at Whitefield is doable, in 3-4 months or less.

#2 - Commuter Rail, with shuttles between TTMC and Whitefield station. Not as easy to do, but possible. A new station at Marathahalli, right under the railway bridge would also be needed.

#3 - Smaller buses as shuttles in Whitefield Area. Will help separate local traffic from commuters. Its a shame to see whitefield residents drive to local malls that are right on Big Bus corridors.

B) Road connectivity

#1 - A new entry into Outer Ring Road that could connect somewhere near Dodda Nekkundi

#2 - (this is a bit of arm-chair thing) A new road to connect Brookfield to Tesco/GE / Whitefield Police Station road. No idea about the the patch of land in between, there must be a reason a road was not done there when EPIP area was planned.

#3 - Improvements to roads connecting Hoodi village with K R Puram town. May need a railway bridge at Hoodi crossing (already in planning), and some road widening to connect to Old Madras Road.

Naveen's picture

Metro to the rescue ?

ಮೇಲೆ
118 users have liked.

Agree with Vasanth above - ITPL & EC need Metro connectivity soonest to provide alternatives, else growth in traffic cannot be checked in south & eastern parts. This seems the most sensible solution.

In Ph-2, Metro line is to be extended from Byp to ITPL & this must be "fast-tracked", along with the three other arm extensions as also the new line between RV rd terminal & EC.

I doubt if a new /wide road can be built connecting Kundalahalli-Hoodi rd with ORR or a new bypass rd between Brookefields past GE since there are privately held lands in between with on-going construction activity. There appear to be some restrictions for widening Kundalahalli-Hoodi road since there already are many huge constructions - unless some land is acquired from Graphite India & opposite private built-up properties.

ashok_n's picture

Whitefield

ಮೇಲೆ
104 users have liked.

@Silkboard,

#3 - Smaller buses as shuttles in Whitefield Area. Will help separate local traffic from commuters. Its a shame to see whitefield residents drive to local malls that are right on Big Bus corridors

What happened to the WFS buses? I don't see them now... have they been stopped?

Yes, mini-buses with shorter stops should be introduced here.

#1 - A new entry into Outer Ring Road that could connect somewhere near Dodda Nekkundi

#2 - (this is a bit of arm-chair thing) A new road to connect Brookfield to Tesco/GE / Whitefield Police Station road. No idea about the the patch of land in between, there must be a reason a road was not done there when EPIP area was planned

The entry into the ORR, especially the last 200m, is really in a very bad condition now. If they can repair this stretch of road, it can be a good outlet to the traffic.

I have always wondered why #2 was not considered. As the crow flies, the distance from Brookefields to the iGate office doesn't seem to be more than a few hundred metres. From your map, it looks like a small road does exist. If the EPIP companies/BBMP sit together and do something about this road, even a one-way road, it would be great.

abidpqa's picture

B#2 is the option that should

ಮೇಲೆ
107 users have liked.

B#2 is the option that should be considered. Between KR Puram railway station to Marthahalli there are no roads to go to Whitefield (at least bus routes), distance of about 6 km. At least every kilometer there could be a road connecting ORR and Hoodi-Kundalahalli road. And roads more raods should be there connecting Hoodi road to Hope farm Varathur road.

This could be implemented if the govt imposes the concept of city blocks. I am not able to exactly define, but roughly, maximum length of a property should not be more than 200 meters facing road. I mean to say there should be a road every 200 meters there should be a road and every half km there should be a bigger road. That should apply to all properties within the city of course there could be exceptions. Somehow this city block concept has not come for discussion here. All the layouts in the city has these features, but outside these layouts everything is haphzard. These places like whitefield were outside the BBMP limit i believe, so when they started to develop there may not have been applicable laws for orderly development of a city.

Within the city the govt is reluctant to land. Too much land acquisition should be avoided, but if it does not acquire even bare minimum amount ofland the development will be unusable (e.g. flyover at Maruthi Sevanagar)

 

Anithasunil's picture

#1 and #2 exists, but as

ಮೇಲೆ
100 users have liked.

#1 and #2 exists, but as small roads only for cars ;)

some company shuttles also take that route.

The road near Alpine eco, hsa been repaired by BBMP recently, and the road is rather good. But the entry is not maintained well.. It is dug up half the width, and merging at the outer ring road is rather diffucult (vehicles taking a u-turn to merge.)

There is a less used road near More super market, that connects to Hoodi, and Graphite india too.. But, widening this might not be a posisbillity because of the thick population, and houses on the village through the road.

The road connecting Vydehi and somewhere near Forum value Mall, also has been repaired recently, but again, that cant handle volumes.  Part of this road netork also connects The whitefiled road to ITPL (ECC main road, I guess)

Widening these roads (with some correction for allignment, and to reduce the sharp curves) will definetly help.

 

 

 

silkboard's picture

Options for B#1

ಮೇಲೆ
105 users have liked.

Are these what some cab drivers try? The top one is really narrow near Garudacharpalya. Converting either of these into proper entry points to Whitefield would help. But I would first invest in public transport options, or else a new widened road is going to convert people over from 500C/335E etc. I am pretty sure people have switched to those buses because of crowded roads.

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Anithasunil's picture

Yes. Those three are the

ಮೇಲೆ
101 users have liked.

Yes. Those three are the narrow road options I was talking about.

And the road is quite narrow near GarudacharPalya. It is a market place, with a lot of pedestrian traffc as well and as of now, it is not an option for buses, or even mini buses., Lot of cabs take that route these days.

The two roads connecting graphite india and Doddenakundi is rather good. Parts of the road are narrow. But the road network is good, that you have multiple options to cover the narrow stretch.  ITPL buses used to take that route. Also, there is a parking lot on that road for some private operator (Infants?) and you find a lot of buses on that road.

The road connecting vydehi and whitefield  is as in the map below. It also has some links to ITPL.

 

We keep switching b/w all these routes to avoid traffic, but those are also becoming quite crowded these days :(

 

 

Vasanth's picture

Metro Extension to ITPL via EPIP - DPR to be submitted in 2 mths

ಮೇಲೆ
129 users have liked.

For those who were worried about choked whitefield connectivity - a short term sad news and a long term happy news. Short term sad news due to the added choking during choking of Metro Construction work and a long term happy news for the Metro extension to whitefield.

This is the proposed route:

 http://maps.google.co.in/maps?saddr=ECC+Road&daddr=12.9777084,77.7142211+to:12.979215,77.709296+to:Old+Madras+Rd&hl=en&ll=12.985573,77.702093&spn=0.058461,0.104628&sll=12.974533,77.688017&sspn=0.058464,0.104628&geocode=FX8sxgAd0CaiBA%3BFSwGxgAdLdOhBCkTRSgliRGuOzFkE0_rCjt8Xg%3BFQ8MxgAd8L-hBClf607DhRGuOzGtOOXMOSa5hQ%3BFcc-xgAdovygBA&vpsrc=6&mra=dme&mrsp=3&sz=14&via=1,2&t=m&z=14

Can this be pasted as a macro here. Sorry I don't know how to do it.

 

 

 

 

sanjayv's picture

@ Vasanth - Metro Extension to WFD

ಮೇಲೆ
102 users have liked.

Where did you get the map with the proposed routing from Vasanth? Have you seen the DPR?

srinidhi's picture

ITPL route makes sense

ಮೇಲೆ
113 users have liked.

guess DMRCL has already prepared the DPR..its been due since many months now..

btw..the route in your plan makes a lot of sense..they will have to take care of the HT line as it enters the EPIP area..that will be a major preparatory work..

I have put ure map here:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

two things:

  • it eventually has to end at whitefield
  • atleast now, authorities need to make alternate plans to take traffic before they close routes

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