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Bangalore's hall of shame - 3rd class treatment for Bus commuters @ Marathahalli

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BusPublic Transport

Sometime ago, we discussed Bangalore hall of shame locations, and Marathahalli Outer Ring Road junction. After one round of work to 'improve' pavements where in they basically widened the roads connecting Outer Ring road and Varthur Road, and installed barricades to prevent pedestrian spill over, this junction has been left as it is.

I am estimating that 10000+ people (25 buses per hour, for 12 hours, boarding/alighting combined 20 passengers each) use the 4 bus stands around this junction. And they get the exceptional 3rd class treatment from BMTC, BBMP, and traffic police.

  • No shelter for any of the 4 bus stands at the junction. Granted you can't expect all bus stands in the City to have shelters, but at this huge junction? How long do people have to wait for BMTC and BBMP's babus to move?
  • Pathetic facilities for crossing the roads, Outer Ring Road at two points, Varthur Road upto four points. Focus is "through traffic", pedestrians just 'complicate' things for traffic police.
  • Let us not even talk of information on BMTC's Buses. Let us keep to the basics first, waiting for the bus, and changing from one bus to another.

The shameful-est thing to see is how the pedestrians cross Varthur Road, and also Outer Ring Road right near that Kalamandir place. Earlier, through traffic on Varthur Road used to be green all the time (for either one of the directions). So pedestrians were just left to fend for themselves. Thankfully, about 4-5 months ago, things get better, there is now a 10 second slot for pedestrians to sprint through. People are expected to dash at half of Usain Bolt's pace, 50 meters in 10 seconds. Then, as if pedestrians are from animal planet, there is a barrier 10 meters before and after the signal to sort of tell us that crossing must take place right at the junction, on top of the Outer Ring Road underpass. With no clear signage, no zebra crossing marks, no enforcement of where the cars and buses wait at the junction, people walk 20 meters or more away from the junction to cross. Result? People people everywhere, crossing at will.

If you ask our enterprising Traffic Police, I am sure they would blame people - 'look, what can we do, they cross anywhere and everywhere'. WRONG. Make nice signs, make vehicles respect the zebra sign, give people 20 seconds to cross the road, construct a "holding" area on the median (instead of those 10-meter barricades). Then we will see.

Words can't describe the junction. We need to have a street photography event to capture this hall-of-shame spot. If 4-5 people are game, lets pick a date and just do it - take 20 good pictures and mail to media, BMTC, BBMP and Traffic Police.

Have some pics I have been taking, will upload them later as and when time permits.


silkboard's picture

excellent case study for "ball passing"

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Warning - if you go to either of BBMP, BMTC or traffic police to suggest things, or complain (about this junction), you will be pointed towards the other. BMTC will point towards traffic police, and traffic police towards BMTC ("oh their drivers, we can only fine them") and BBMP and also BDA.

Somehow, when it comes to "managing traffic", all agencies show magical levels of collaboration. Sadly, when it comes to amenities for 3rd class citizens aka bus commuters, the collaboration goes missing.

sanjayv's picture

Yes, Yes, Yes

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Marathahalli Bridge Intersection is a Leading Hall of Shame candidate.  I can give many stories, but the simplest way to express frustration is to say that (a) This is one place I make allowances in my "give way to pedestrian" policy because they are everywhere and if I had to stop to give way, I'd be there forever. (b) The junction, especially making the left from Kalamandir toward the rail overbridge is so chaotic that I am physically afraid of coming that way.I have been a safe driver with a good driving record for the past decade and half, but this turn is an absolute nightmare.

We need to take pictures, videos etc. and propose a plan for implementation.  Completely with you SB.  How about  an event around the second weekend of July?

psaram42's picture

We should perhaps do some Brain Storming for solutions

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Once in a year I have attended [restricted] Seminars at CISTUP organized jointly with Praja and participation of all concerned departments. I am a bit surprised to know that such questions are asked even now on our site. SB here is my two pennies worth “solution methodology”.

  1. “Town planning” of the city of Bangalore
    1. Audit the plan methodologies which could be adopted for alleviating present traffic anarchy. [BDA? Traffic Police?]
    2. Audit sanctions given for new construction like malls etc [who gives and on what authority] mantry mall comes to my mind. Later on widen roads. Road should have been widened before sanctioning the malls
  2. Traffic lights
    1. Maintenance
    2. Operation [Time allocation for pedestrian  lights]
    3. Design limitation applicability for max pedestrian density
    4. etc
  3. Providing Pedestrian Underpasses at junctions
    1. To provide as and when required
    2. Decide / audit priorities
    3. For example beautiful pedestrian underpasses are provided for MLAs at their hostel which is under utilized
    4. Neglected where unbearable densities are existing
    5. Rectification  of such anomalies
  4. Traffic Solutions Innovations
    1. Pair of one way strategy for arterial roads [High Density]
    2. Etc
    3. Etc
silkboard's picture

absolutely game. weekday will be best

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Sanjay, as you would know, weekend wont wont work well as we won't get to see the magnitude of it. Are you game for a weekday morning 9 AM to walk around and take pics and videos? 30 mins to go around the junction, we would reach office a bit late. 4 people would be perfect - to cover the four sides of this junction in their cameras, and then we all upload. And then mail around to show everyone this is how pedestrians and bus commuters are treated by the City agencies of Bangalore.

silkboard's picture

Its the basics, no rocket science

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PSA sir, who doesn't know the solutions!? I think we have discussed here endlessly - you, me, traffic police, BBMP, BMTC - everyone knows what needs to be done. We need to do a round of serious "Hall of shame" campaign around shame-spots like this one to make all citizens realize that these guys are not doing their job. Listening to "their side" of the story and empathizing with them can be done later.

Let us take the pics and videos, bring out the "shame factor" loud and clear, and then we will produce a solution report (that's the easier thing to do).

Vasanth's picture

It is a nightmare on ORR for pedestrains

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Pedestrains have a nightmare on ORR where there are no facilities to cross the roads. Road is also wide, so it is a 100 metre race. There are no zebra crossings, no skywalks, no pedestrain underpasses. People using 500 series buses to companies have to struggle hard risking their lives against high speed traffic.

Anyone from Intel / Honeywell / Cisco / Accenture working on ORR campus can describe their pains. Companies and ORRCA not taking any initiative.

sanjayv's picture

Weekday morning is tough

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Hmmm, weekday morning and then slogging off to work is a killer for me.  Not only is the morning gone, the commute back at night is an absolute killer.  What will work better for me though is capturing the evening rush hour - which is actually even worse IMHO.  Not sure how well the photos will work out though. What say?

Anithasunil's picture

Same at Iblur Bus stop

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I guess the issue persists through out outer ring road! Iblur has similar issues. But, I guess the volumes at Iblur is not as much as Marathahalli.. So, priority can be lower!

Iblur bus stop is becoming a major interchange point, with the Sarjapur Road traffic on the ramp up mode, and pedestrian/bus commuters have minimal amenities there!

Imagine crossing the road, after getting down at the Iblur bus stop (on the army land-side), and crossing to the bus stop (to go towards sarjapur road). 

Vehicles overspeed on this stretch. (cant blame them.. maybe that is a breather they get after being in the block in front of  the three flyover constructions just before that! ).. And usually, you dont get much of a break to cross the road even if you wait for a full ten minutes.

The other option is to walk to the Sarjapur Signal, where they have given a pedestrian crossing signal, and come back towards Iblur bus stop.. But there are no foot paths on either side, and you have to walk over the covered drains. (where quite a few slabs are missing). And street lights are also minimal.

I guess it is high time to introduce trafic lights for pedestrian crossing or skywalks in such busy interchange points. If this is an expensive plan, the least that can be done is to maintain the narrow footpath over the drains, in a walkable format, and introduce streetlights there!

sanjayv's picture

@ Anithasunil

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Since I go this way regularly at peak hours - agree completely.  The location just after Iblur flyover is also a fairly big interchange point which will only become more busy.  And this was predictable, but of course, our "planners" and "engineers" have blinders on.

dvsquare's picture

Can this issue on ORR can be taken with ORRCA

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Can we take the issue with ORRCA as well to get the footpath work done and minimal lighting done to enable good walk for pedestrians?


what should be the right way to go about it? Approaching ORRCA wil make some sense?

Because in any case, I don't expect any relief for pedestrians is going to happen at any point of time in near future, it doesn't happen at all, authorities never think from that angle at all. Forget sky-bridges, giving just-enough footpath (read without broken slabs) and minimal lighting itself looks very dark from authorities.



silkboard's picture

on-site photography event first? 5.30 PM, June 28?

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@anithasunil - shall we do this one by one. Marathahalli first, and then Ibulur? You are right, all big intersections with ORR have similar problems.

@sanjayv - evening is fine with me, say 5.30 PM next Tuesday (June 28) ? Phone camera would do. Just need to take enough pictures to float around, and also to do some design drawings on top of them later

@dvs - assuming you will also join in for the on-site meeting

anyone else reading this, and wants to join in for the praja-style on-site meeting, leave a comment please.

Anithasunil's picture

@silkboard, dvsquare

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Yes. That makes sense. To focus on Marathahalli first.

Sorry about deviating from the topic.


dvsquare's picture

yup, I will mostly make it

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Actually this signal is not on my way to-fro office-home, so can't commit as time is 5:30 PM, but mostly will try to make it.

( I commute STBed (koramangala) to EGL (IRR).)


sanjayv's picture

tentatively yes

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I'll come.  Will confirm once my work calendar gets finalized for next week (by this weekend).

silkboard's picture

So we met, here are my pictures

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So Sanjay, Deepak, Anu and myself met on Wed June 29 at 5.30 PM sharp (yep, we love to keep time) at this hall of shame spot. We walked around and took lots of pictures. Hope to have other Prajas unleash their solution sketches on them, and those who don't understand why this is a hall of shame spot, hope this gives them a 'picture'.

A few notable ones directly here, for your viewing pleasure (will put up many more on flickr)

The "how thin are you" test section of the pavement? Or the city agencies are playing pranks on us?


Sorry Sanjay, you got to watch when you walk (from Varthur Road bus stop to Outer Ring Road bus stop).


Hey look, I did leave 4 inches for you, don't crib, just walk along!


Sorry bus commuter cum pedestrian, this part of the pavement is closed, and I am NOT responsible for it!


The bus stand, used by thousands every day has no shelter, no markings, and no facilities or signage or guidance on how exactly to walk across. 10 litres of spray paint and the whole thing would look and behave so different.


The spot near Kalamandir, where a cop once told to me "guaranteed 6 pedestrian related accidents a day sir"). Got to cross Outer Ring Road, speed limit 60 kmph, to go to the bus stop on the other side (Buses going south towards Sarjapur Road) or to come from that bus stop to catch a bus going towards Domlur.

silkboard's picture

Marathahalli meet - all pics on flickr

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Rest of them are all here, starting with this pic.

Anithasunil's picture

5th picture

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In the 5th picture posted by silkboard, buses stop in two, and sometimes even 3 different lanes (3rd actually marks for free flow of traffic) . And pedestrians dont have space to wait for those two lanes.


When a bus stops on the second lane, if there is a bus trying to move into or out of the first lane (left most lane), then, either you miss the bus on the second lane, or risk an accident by moving in front on the bus on the first lane!

These days company vehicles have started stopping at the other end of the bus stop, towards marathahalli bridge, thus not competing for space with the BMTC buses, Thanks to the constant intervention of the traffic police there.


Another problem I have often noticed : When the buses move from outer ring road from Kalamandir side, towards ITPL (say 500c/k , 500DB, 500F etc) , it is difficult for the BMTC buses to take an acute angle turn and get into the bus bay.  (will try to take a picture of a volvo taking that turn.) Usually, this blocks the traffic on this stretch for quite long.

I am wondering if there is a way of making this turn easier for BMTC buses including volvos.

sanjayv's picture

My photos

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Better late than never I guess.

Image 1: On the ramp from ORR exiting near Kalamandir towards Varthur road

This picture gives a clear view of the width of the footpath.  Two people cannot walk side by side comfortably.  Like Anu (who had come along for this meet) said - no woman would want to walk on a footpath like this where she can feel trapped in a narrow space between someone walking along and the barricade.  I think that psychology applies to males also to an extent.


Image 2: Further up the ramp

How many people do you see walking along the footpath in this picture.  Wait another hour and this scene gets worse.


Image 3:

First class, grade one work and encroachment

Image 4:

On the ramp going down from old airport road towards KR Puram. I love this spot.  Twisted my ankle and was limping for a week at this exact spot while trying to walk around someone occupying the sidewalk like this lady here.


Image 5:

Sidewalk, trash repository, etc.  This is where the underpass emerges towards the ORR side.


Image 6:

May not be the best angle, but the sprint across the road is more hair raising if you see the vehicle bearning down on this pedestrian.  I have been this guy myself a few times.

Image 7:

Kalamandir has claimed the sidewalk.  please take detour.


Image 8:

Please rest and enjoy the view before walking further.

Image 9:

Road towards Whitefield / Varthur.  Notice the bus lanes.  The left one is for ordinary buses, the right one is for volvo buses. Pedestrians, bus passengers can just hang out somewhere and wait for the bus. make sure no bus hits you.


Image 10:

The bus lane /stop is optional of course


Image 11

Buses coming up the ramp have a fun time turning into the bus stop lane

Image 12:

A view of the bus stop on old airport road going towards HAL. There is a case for defining this better?

Image 13:

A very common occurence.  Buses do not pull up all the way into the bus stop lane.  Then there is a backup which blocks the vehicles coming up the ramp from ORR merging into Varthur road.  I hate this situation.  It is utter chaos and there will also be pedestrians walking all over, some trying to catch the bus, rest trying to cross the road with no control making things worse.  I don't blame the pedestrians. If you wait, you'll never cross the road. Just need to wait another hour or so to watch this situation crescendo. Unfortunastely, we met up a bit early.


kbsyed61's picture

Praja Effect?

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Well Done Prajagale - SB, Sanjay, Deepak, Anu. One more feather in Praja's cap?

"The Hindu" reports "Footpaths cleared of encroachment" in Marthhalli. Clearly it does suggests that recent Praja day out by SB, Sanjayv and others efforts in highlighting the pedestrian nightmare in this locality had the desired effect.

"...The encroachments were removed on ITPL Road, Graphite India Road, Ramamurthynagar Main Road, the street leading to O Farm from K.R. Puram bridge and the road connecting Hoodi Circle and Kundalahalli Gate by about 300 BBMP officials, with the assistance of the police..."

SB, Sanjayv and others who live in that area can confirm this news.




psaram42's picture

CMH Road Indiranagar

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P1 :- This picture Shows the wide foot path totally blocked by a BSNL Transformer

P2 :- The usual broken / open cover of the storm water drain. This tempts all us Bangalore folk to use it best for getting rid of silly garbage.


dvsquare's picture

My set of pictures here

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My set of pictures here-

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