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Freeways are Freeways and City Roads are City Roads

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Freeways are Freeways and City Roads are City Roads, there is no confusion about that.

By definition a Freeway is - FREE - of pedestrians / cyclists and T or cross junctions. Our planners have never either understood this or did not care or had ulterior motives.

Let me illustrate by begining with a freeway/ motorway in UK. This is M1 going from London (South) to Northampton and beyond to Scotland.

As you can signnificant planning and care has been taken in the above design which replicates all over UK.

The Blue circle is Northants county with residents and industrial estate.

Now lets look at NH4 as it cuts through Pune -

As you can see the blue circle and the thick residential / commercial growth was allowed by civic officials-politician-builder nexus

Now lets look at Mumbai-Pune expressway, supposedly one of the best planned ones in India -

Now we just have to wait to mess up the Mumbai-Pune expressway - its onlt a matter of time.

Now see the image of Bangalore with the NH4 -

The red line cuts through the city (once upon a time when the city was small it was a different story). Note all other highways cutting across inside the blue circle. There is no problem in developing on either side of a freeway or motorway/highway but if Pune (and so also Bangalore) had ensured that development is off-set by 30 meters, slip roads will have become part of the infrastructure.

Its too late now, but in effect NH4 within city limits has been rendered in to any other city road - full of junctions and pedestrians and we can only blame our civic staff for it.



psaram42's picture

NH4 going through the city of Bangalore

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Hi Doc

I am feeling very sorry for having taken so much of your valuable time. You have taken lot of pains to explain things so clearly. True I was thinking exclusively of passenger traffic. Frankly what I failed to take into account of the through traffic on NH4 cutting across Bangalore.

Yes I agree that there should be an alternate route for through traffic meant for cities other than Bangalore cutting across via Bangalore on NH4. To my mind only alternate routes possibility only occurred. That is why I was pointing to the ring road option. Now it is clear. NH4 traffic not for Bangalore can take ring road as by pass avoiding Bangalore. Ring road is the “slip road”. I think that was the Ring road philosophy. Otherwise NH4 has become like an ordinary city road! Very true.

Probably we cannot equate UK to India. India is a land of people subjugated for long and engrossed in pseudo development.

I sincerely think Independent thinking also is important for a scientist. Otherwise earth would have been flat till today!  <- Smiley

 While agreeing with you on the slip shod execution planning etc, by the people in charge, as Praja we have to cry enough for the milk!

Thanks for the clarification. I appreciate the time and troubles you have taken to explain so clearly. It was valuable indeed.

By the way I lived in Adkars stone Bungalow in Shivaji Nagar behind Jangali Maharaj. (1942 to 1951) I adore Pune. I am an old student of Modern High School, till I was 9. I remember Sambhaji Park, Ghole road, Deccan Gymkhana and all.


asj's picture

Highway designs - Ring Road

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Psa, It was not a trouble, I am glad I was made to elaborate. I will soon be posting details of how Baner Development Plan's green cover is under threat and the above work should inform the fight to conserve and reserve area around Mumbai-Pune expressway to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Both Pune and Bangalore may be better served by a high spec expressway similar to M25 that skirts around London.

A ring road will be useless, instead a motorway design linking innner Bangalore with every major National or State Highway (red circle below) will do the trick -

It may seem like a detour for traffic going through but actually it will be much faster.

This will also mean that highway sections within the Red Motorway will have lesser traffic , making them safer.

Further, the highway sections within the Red Motorway need to be reclassed as dual carriageways.

By reclassing them, the appropriate pedestrian safety infrastructure can be put in place.

Right now we are trying to treat highways within city limits as highways when in fact they have become city roads.

Below I am using Google Images to showcase the M25 motorway and how it connects not just with inner London but all other Motorways - this is Freeway designs at its best (when Pune and Bangalore talk of ring roads, anything other than something planned on the lines of M25 will fail).

I am not a fan of mega projects, but if there is a need for one when it comes to road building, we need something like this rather than the hotch potch of flyovers within cities that are designed to push chaos from one junction to the next and nothing more.



silkboard's picture

Nice post doc, roads are about purpose

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This point is very important to understand not just for administrators of Bangalore/Pune, but also for some amongst us who demand such signal free corridors.

In the city, roads are to be built with a dedicated purpose for the zones they serve. These could be

  • Residential - low speed limits, low traffic expected, so stop signs or road humps at intersections, signals would be overkill, okay to park by the side for free.
  • Retail/Commercial - retail businesses on sides of road. Low speed limits. Parking must be paid for by businesses or shoppers. Heavy pedestrian facilities like fences and pavements and ped-signals. Priority for public transport as parking space tends to be in short supply due to these areas being old and crowded.
  • Business - businesses activity on the sides, medium speed limits as pedestrian and retail activity would be low, light on pedestrian facilities, fewer cuts in the median, signals at most intersections.

And then you have the corridors

  • To be treated like high speed rail tracks.
  • Fenced, no pedestrians facilities like footpaths or on level crossings, only underpasses or skywalks
  • Entry/exits at longer intervals
  • Minimal lane merges
  • Dedicated carpool or bus lanes

The thing to understand is that when you try to mix purposes, the resulting road makes neither party happy.

But one problem planners have is, and I too don't have answers - how should they design road in "mixed zones"? Look at Airport Road for example. They have almost converted it to a business road - signals at long intervals, medium speed limit, very few cuts in the median. But the road has retail commerce activity on one side, and people living on another (mostly Public sector colonies). It has large businesses as well. In short its a mixed zone, with one arterial road with no alternatives.

I think they key in mixed zone model has to be to build one or two key arterial medium speed limit wide roads with very tight control on "peripheral development". Airport Road is hell because all commerce and business buildings come up right on the road. If those could have been built 100-200 meters off from the road, connected via small capillaries, tings would be better.

But perhaps what Bangalore's planners are thinking is - elevated roads. those will help the area in only one way - through traffic will be seperated from local traffic. Will that be enough to help the area itself? I am not sure.

ssheragu's picture

Freeways are freeways & city road are city roads

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ssheragu Your view on airport road brings us to the basic rule, which I have been saying all along & which should be adopted. Clasiification of roads into Residential Roads, Commercial Roads, Business Roads & Freeways will be meaningful, only if the criteria for classification is stricltly nmaintained or enforced; NO MIXED ZONES SHOULD BE PERMITTED HOUSES & ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS AND ROADS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS SHOULD BE DECLARED AS RESIDENTIAL ROADS NO HOUSES & ONLY OFFICES & BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS IN COMMERCIAL AREAS AND ROADS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE DECLARED AS COMMERCIAL ROADS NO HOUSES & NO OFFICES & ONLY BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS IN BUSINESS AREAS AND ROADS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE DECLARED AS BUSINESS ROADS NO HOUSES & NO OFFICES ON FREEWAYS GOING THRU' CITIES; ANY BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENT (AND ONLY BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS) SHOULD BE AT A MINIMUM DISTANCE OF 500 OR 1000 FEET FROM THE EDGE OF THE FREEWAY. If we at Praja agree upon this, we can get it fine tuned by experts. Then we can identify & classify all the areas in Bangalore, which the areas were meant to be and enusre the strict implementtaion of the roads in these areas correspondingly. for example, Indiranagar can be identified as a residential area and the offices & business establishments in this area should be moved out and the roads in Indiranagar should be declared & enforced as a RESIDENTIAL ROADS thanks Srinath Heragu
psaram42's picture

The Fallacy of the web

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When I write on the web I am the master. I write to pass the judgment. This is against the principle of justice. Similarly when I read something on the web I again pass my judgment on what I am able to understand what I read. Is this a true fallacy?

The KR Puram Tin Factory stretch of NH4 is a link between two separate stretches of the existing outer ring road. I feel there is something missing in the way this stretch serves as a merger of the two parts of the ring road. I had no Idea that this stretch was supposed to be part of NH4, when we visited the spot, to start with. Thanks to Doc for enlightening me.

There is no doubt in my mind that the residents (Of the Tin Factory area) demand for a re-look at pedestrian safety and proper area specific training campaign for route drivers is justified. The stretch between tin factory and KG Bus stand is not NH4 according to me. The through traffic heading towards Poona is supposed to go through the outer ring road. That is why it is called a by pass (slip road in England?) (Similar to by pass surgery in medicine).The passenger busses will be almost empty by the time they reach the main bus stand. The speed of the busses obviously drops down considerably. That is why I consider the stretch ceases to be part of NH4. This is also made evident on Google maps.

Regarding the satellite Image of link between M25 and M3 shown in ASJ’s post above, I remember to have seen similar images on NICE road project some time back. I wish some body can put them on PRAJA site.

View Larger Map

Now I dont know how to mark the route with by pass on outer ring road from Tin Factory to Yeshwantpur avoiding going to KG Bus stand. oops.

asj's picture

City = Mixed zones

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Strictly speaking a city will always be mixed, only the degree varies. Thus on a dual carriage way where two sides of road are separated at grade by a divider, we expect faster speeds. In contrast roads criss crossing residential enclaves are narrower, not grade separated etc. Even if its an industrial area or a CBD (and not residential) its humans who work there, thus we must expect pedestrians. We need a principle and value based approach, humans first then vehicles. And this has to apply at all times other than expressways (the only road where pedestrians are illegal). I have just taken out my mail and find that my copy of IRC recs for pedestrian facilities has arrived, hope to share the summary soon (probably as a separate post, but will come back and insert a link here as its relevant to this thread when considering roads within city). ASJ comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!

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