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KR Circle to be Signal free

Read this in today's paper.

"Bangalore: Bangalore will soon have its widest magic box underpass for vehicular movement at K.R. Circle.

The underpass, to be built across the road leading into Cubbon Park at K.R. Circle, will have a width of seven metres. It will connect Ambedkar Veedhi with Nrupatunga Road and make the junction signal-free."

Anyone knows anything more about this grand plan?  This is called kicking the can down the road.  All the traffic piles up on Nrupathunga Road (near the signal at Hudson Church).  Or do they plan another magic box so that this traffic keeps flowing?  Imagine Cubbon park; it will become impossible to walk inside as traffic will flow non-stop.  And it's not that all this will make car drivers more patient.  They take uninterrupted travel as a birthright and BBMP panders to them. 

Well managed signals can lead to smoother traffic flow.  The problem with our traffic lights is that people don't wait in lines and in the correct lanes and hence traffic jams occur at the signals itself.   This small fact seems lost on BBMP and its engineers.  Any such structural intervention should follow detailed analysis.

How are pedestrians going to cross?  There are colleges and plenty of government offices there.  I plan to write to the ACP Traffic police and let's see how he responds.


silkboard's picture

Why aren't detailed plans made public?

Enough is enough. Why are detailed traffic flow plans/designs not being made public? Outer ring road flyovers, junction elimination plans on corridors - we want all plans to be on bda/bbmp website. PLEASE, dont make us as well as you waste time on needless RTIs.

If the excuse is 'we dont have the time to share information', give the designs to us, we will scan/post and host them here for you. If detailed designs/plans are not made public soon, we will assume that bda/bbmp/abide (whoever) just don't have them and they are working in ad-hoc fashion.

PS: Ideally, we don't want to comment/criticize without seeing detailed plans, but are simply forced to do that..

Naveen's picture

Pedestrian Interests First

The extension of this "signal-free" concept with "magic-boxes" will cause serious hardships for pedestrians, unless plans are afoot to include pedestrian welfare at KR circle. Any such construction must accord more priority for pedestrians than movement of vehicles. Facilities for movement of pedestrians must, so far as possible, be on an even surface.

If these factors are borne in mind during the design process, then they can go ahead with building these monsters - & shift attention for another one at Hudson circle - for that is what will most likely happen in a short time after this one is opened !

s_yajaman's picture

Hyderabad's flyover mess

Please see this outcome of the effort to put flyovers all over Hyderabad to smoothen traffic.  I remember in the late 90s when praise used to be lavished on Naidu for putting "flyovers all over" and Bangalore did not have any.  And we came up with a few idiotic ones of our own.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Signal Free disease

Here is one disease even if the cure is present, the patient does not want to take it.

I have a suggestion for the future generation of urban planners in India.

Build a city with only roads, flyovers, underpasses, overpasses, magic boxes, and flyovers over flyovers.

No need for foothpaths, parks, civic amenities. Roads roads and more roads! Whopee! Nano is coming, we can have school for mechanics instead of school for urban planners.

That is becasue we need more mechanics because of dents caused by accidents everyday. To hell with civic activists who want public transport!

Subsidise petrol - we do not care about Sunita Narain or any of those environmental nuts....

India is shining! We can have a billion nanos! 

Naveen's picture

BETL May Look the Same !

BETL may start to look the same in a few years after beckoning people to buy more cars since the roads would have been well "expanded" for the "smooth" ride ahead !

psaram42's picture

Signal free is a solution not a disease

City planning is a challenge when the growth is always overtaking available infrastructure. This may be the case for our city of Bangalore

City roads can be planned only for a given number of vehicle population. Yes it is like kicking the bucket (??) as s_yajaman says. You have to have magic boxes all over. But this is only true in the case of arterial roads. What is appalling is the total neglect of pedestrians in the design loop.

Pedestrians, Cyclists, Disabled and Hawker carts have to be provided for separately by the BBMP. All communities need to be gated. Allowing access at each and every cross road is a luxury which is better avoided. I would like praja to see my latest post on the “Modular road design concept” for land development. Hope it makes some sense. According to me we are headed towards solutions like what I have tried to blog about.


blrsri's picture

what constitutes traffic there..

 ..its busses..busses and busses we have all seen and to an extent even the govt has seen and has planned the TTMC's etc..

What happened to the plans of moving out of hub and spoke model? The Big10's are running empty everywhere..shouldnt all that be set right?

What are authorities like BMLTA with all the smart minds doing? Shouldnt they be stopping all these mindless activites?

silkboard's picture

BMLTA - asleep?

A nice concept like BMLTA will soon die without serious legislation support or reforms. May be, they are waiting for Regional Governance Act (Abide's draft, or Kasturirangan's report) to take shape. But guys, we are losing time, because this downturn is the perfect opportunity to position our city for the next bubble, got to move fast!

We know the prefect solutions or structure for effective regional governance (refer past discussions, and gyan we got from Prof Ashiwn Mahesh, drafts of Abide's KRGA, Kasturirangan etc).

Are their quick remedies possible to make sure transporation projects are not running ad-hoc or with short term vision?

  • Why not merge BMRCL and BMLTA? BMRCL can become the single point owner for Bangalore Urban transportation matters?
  • Let BBMP take in BMLTA to create a new transport planner wing? Rolling stock and operations to be managed to bus/train companies, land assets, masterplans and coordination to be owned and managed by BBMP?

Nothing is easy, yep. But we need to do something to build or strengthen "institutions". Good or bad, doesn't matter, but Abide is a short term thing, will die and resurface in new avatar with each election or defection.

idontspam's picture

Solution or Problem

I agree with PSA signal free roads are a solution. But they are being applied to the wrong roads. Signal free for highways passing through the city are appropriate but not for junctions in the city which have more junctions before and after. I think it is important to understand the traffic studies to come up with this plan and the returns it may produce. See the kind of analysis done for junction improvement here

Somebody has to explain flyovers or underpasses which result in these kind of jams

Naveen's picture

Magic Boxes - Only Psychologically Good !


Signal-Free Magic Boxes can be a solution if traffic is known to be restrained & limited to a certain level by  traffic controls. The effect/s of fitting one will  be known only when proper impact analysis at further junctions has been made & the results indicate a positive benefit, with savings in travel time for road users.

However, BBMP is using Magic boxes to do away with pile-ups at traffic signals at 3-way or 4-way & 5-way junctions to convey the impression of speedy movement with no junction delays at that particular intersection for the mainstream traffic, without consideration of the consequences at the next or several other intersections ahead for the same traffic. Also, they seldom consider the consequences for traffic that use the same intersection, but arrive or proceed in other direction/s. Further, pedestrian facilities are removed to give way to road traffic.

Does'nt all this seem unscientific & haphazard ? At best, this is only a temporary, psychological "victory" with increasing traffic on the streets. Within a few months, the fixture will not suffice & something more would be required - we are seeing this happen again & again.

The real, permanent solution is to improve public transport & find ways to stop the increases in road traffic.

s_yajaman's picture

Access controlled expressways vs city roads

I lived in Singapore for 6 years.  Singapore has one of the best managed traffic networks that I have seen.  There are 5-6 expressways that cut across the city.  The PIE runs EW, CTE runs NS, the ECP runs EW and then becomes the AYE skirting the port area and going west.  The SLE runs to the north of the island.  You can average 60-70 kmph on these.  At peak hours closer to 40-45 kmph.  Speed limit is 90 kmph

All these are access controlled, signal free, 6-8 lanes, exit signs marked, slip roads for smooth entry and exit, clover leaf interchanges, name it.  See below.

Inside the city is a different story.  You will find hardly a handful of flyovers.  Lots of signals (synchronized along major corridors), pedestrian is king, speed limit on city roads is 50 kmph.  See below Notice the ERP (Electronic Road pricing) gantry to the left,

PSA's idea has been put to work.  But as IDS says, we cannot convert city roads to signal free expressways.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

kbsyed61's picture

SB, it is a csae of clash of authorities!


 Nice to see your comments on transportation lately. You are right. BMLTA is dying the natural death due to the ill-perceived approach to solving city's civic problems. This is a proof that, even the smart brains would fail if the right ingredients and recipe is not followed.

This is a classic example where our philosophy of encourage the authorities to work  rather than working ourselves would have perfectly worked. ABIDe should have been the force to get BMLTA into a planning and regulatory position. Instead ABIDe is working on to do things themselves rather than using BMLTA to get the things done. Even the new services from BMTC should have been coordinated from BMLTA under ABIDe's influence and authority.

Look at the deeper working and influence on city's governance. BMLTA is govt body to be in charge for city's transportation needs. But it doesn't have any authority, influence and charter to implement things that works.

At the same time, quasi-govt body like ABIDe, is given authority and power to basically implement things without even BMLTA in the loop.

Hope we get to meet BMLTA resources and possibly the transport ministry soon to set right this grave anomoly.

idontspam's picture

What goes around comes around

Isnt it interesting KR Circle was once a circle originally like Hudson circle. We went the traffic island way and now they have put a rotary back in. Do we know how to give way on a rotary? More importantly, if some who know attempt to give way, will the rest understand why and have the patience to wait?

Anyways, Here is something I found on the net that may be the KR circle monstrosity.

KR Circle

Vasanth's picture

BMTC buses major contributor for KR Circle Traffic

With literally all the areas connected to KBS by BMTC and the demand in increase their frequency contributes to more bus traffic on the stretch between Anand Rao Circle and KR Circle. People should come out of direct routes from every locality to KBS. Local routing wit h only the main bus stand in the zone should be connected to KBS. How many of us really wants to go to Majestic daily. BMTC users go there to change the buses. If this can happen with local zones connected directly to distant localities zone centre such as Malleshwaram to Electronic City, it can reduce BMTC traffic in this zone.

Recently HOHO too was added in this stretch with both lines passing from KR Circle - Mysore Bank - KBS -  Maharanis - KR Circle.1111

Earlier, there was no one way in KG Road from Cauvery Bhavan till Marthas/ Ulsoor Gate Policestation. It was distrubuting traffic to south bound areas via 2 routes.  KG Road is very wide, traffic moves fast, but highly fragmented with under 30% utilization till Mysore Bank. If this stretch can be made 2 ways like as it was earlier, it would be far easier.

Other option is to have a stretch of flyover crossing the KR Circle from Maharanis instead of many intermittent flyover at Anand Rao Circle, Maharanis, and underpass at KR Circle. Anyway trees are all removed by BBMP unnecessarily, so something needs to be done which justifies the removal and elimination of bottleneck.


flanker's picture

hoping for little relief

I agree with "kicking the can" phrase, no flyovers with in core city as well as use of public transport. But we have except facts that city is going to grow, population is going to grow and number of vehicles going to increase. In the city like Bangalore there are no express by-pass roads which can connect one point to other with minimum connections and acceptable distance. For example, if one wants to travel from a point in Rajajinar to a point in Jayanagar, he has to go through minimum of 25 different roads and stop at even more number of signals. Same is true for public transports. And people have to suffer it daily for work commute. Eventually Bangalore will have East-West, North-South by-pass roads or inner core ring road. Till then such underpasses will bring some relief. I agree with the argument of flyovers only move the congestions down road, at the same time they will help clearing the congestions from of rest of the roads crisscrossing the main. Only few flyovers at key points cumulatively can ease out the traffic of entire area. Its only my view and I am no expert in traffic management or city planning.
Srivatsava's picture

SY, Singapore is no better.


      You made a point about city roads and expressways taking the Singapore example. After staying there for the past two years, I would rather opine that Singapore has the same problems as Bangalore!!

      Yes, you made the right points about signal free expressways and loads of signals inside the city. I have always believed that Singapore has had too many signals than what is necessary, most could have been dealt with just roundabouts!

      Take any of the expressways you mentioned, you will notice that the extrances and exits of these expressways clog the outside city roads and the expressways equally, creating massive traffic jams. For example, on PIE during the morning peak hours, you will find a lot of traffic towards Changi. So, as you will witness heavy jams on PIE near Eunos, Pungol, ECP since the exit roads are typically single lane, and the there is a signal on the city roads, immediately after the end of the exit ramp. Thats when being disciplined becomes a problem, since cars maintain a large gap between one another, and do not try to efficiently use the 'huge' road space to the left and right of the cars.

     Bangalore's signal free 'disease' is based on emulating the same model. Since we cannot possibly build expressways cutting across the city, we try to make the arterial roads signal free. Singapore expressways are their arterial roads. Thats why Prof. Ashwin Mahesh ahd the junction elimination plan on Big10 roads and ring roads.

     We have the same problems as Singapore and we are trying the same solutions as Singapore!!  And Yes, we will be getting the same results that Singapore has now got!!

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

s_yajaman's picture

SV - Recent phenomenon


I am not asking us to emulate Singapore.  I think our idea of making roads signal free is going to lead to a very ugly city with magic boxes all over the place.  All I was trying to say was that signal free expressways need to be planned.   And you are hardly going to find better planning than in Singapore.

You're right.  Singapore's roads are far more crowded now than 3-4 years back.  I lived there from 2001 to 2007.  This is largely because the new govt follows a more car friendly policy.

When I first was there, it used to take me less than 20 mins from Changi to my apartment near Orchard.  This was for about 22-23 km along the PIE and then Stevens.  The only time there was slow traffic was when it rained very heavily.  Else we used to clock 90-100 kmph on the PIE. 

Nowadays (i was last there in Sep 2008) PIE and CTE are extremely crowded especially the Serangoon exit on CTE going to Changi.  Shows that once you let cars proliferate you are in trouble.  Now they have 6 or 7 ERP gantries on CTE alone.

Can't agree with you on the discipline part.  If we did it our way, then the Hyderabad picture will result.  Lanes help separate cars and allow cars to cruise along without the worry about collisions.  We in India don't seem to understand the reason for lanes and lane discipline.





Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

Lanes and entropy

Thats when being disciplined becomes a problem, since cars maintain a large gap between one another, and do not try to efficiently use the 'huge' road space to the left and right of the cars

Cant disagree more. The space that you save by filling the road like sand in an hourglass will be compensated for in the time it will take to untangle yourself from that mess. Apprearing to have a long queue is less of an issue than getting thru the queue quicker because of efficient clearing in the front.

Relate this to a ticket queue for your favourite service. Do you think the crowd at the front of Adigas counter is faster than a queue at the same? Lanes are far more scientific discoveries than choice of magic box location

asj's picture

Good designs can experience relative failures

I will not repeat my views on signal free disease. Also I have previously made an effort on another thread to highlight the difference between Freeways (Highways/Motorways/Expressways) and inner city roads.

Clogging of Singapore's expressway is more a function of number of vehicles - a simple demand and capacity equation and has nothing to do with design (which as SY points out is probably as good as one would get on this planet).

Our efforts are messy and lead to chaos as we react rather than proact. Not even the Mumbai-Pune Expressway has decent slip roads for exit / entry at Pune end - we have once again created a junction for entry and exit!!

And due to ribbon development, many more junctions will crop up along the expressway (its already happened).

Every NH and SH passing through our cities has been rendered useless due to above. Every bypass we build and every PRR we build - all get engulfed in no time by thick residential development and sprouting junctions.

Highways are meant to have free flowing traffic - the question of needing to have public transport buses (which stop every 500 meters) in it self makes the highway no more than another city road.

Why do we need buses on our highways? Ribbon development, that to is so badly done that there are no inner roads, no service roads - our whole life is dependent on the highway (an inter-city transit facility).

So everything we do now is basically an after thought, an effort to salvage................relief is the word...........its like a full bladder waiting to burst, you ensure quick relief by way of a magic box........ and we forget that the bladder will soon get full up. There is a limit to how many by-passes one does on an heart...........after the first one, life style change is the only solution. Quality PT with disincentives for use of personal vehicles is the only long term solution (but we are moving at snails pace on this one).


Srivatsava's picture



     Let me correct my self on the discipline part. I didnt intend to say that the 'indiscipline is better'. After reading my comment, I concede I havent put it the right way. When I referred to excess road space, I was intending to mean that the same road (exit/slip road) could actually be made into two car lanes to accomodate more vehicles. A bus/truck may not necessarily fit within such a lane, especially at a curved part of the road, so be it.. Discipline is necessary, but shouldnt be excessive.


Clogging of Singapore's expressway is more a function of number of vehicles - a simple demand and capacity equation and has nothing to do with design (which as SY points out is probably as good as one would get on this planet).

      Thanks for this gyan.. Clogging of Singapore roads is only because of number of vehicles and clogging of Indian roads is only due to bad design. When the number of private vehicles increase in Indian cities, it is because of 'useless, ineffective and unreliable' public transport; whereas the private vehicles surge in Singapore despite having the 'most wonderful, effective and public transport in the world'. Sir, the civic agencies of Bangalore badly needs the services of people like you, not to solve the problems of the city, but to manage the perceptions about them.


You're right.  Singapore's roads are far more crowded now than 3-4 years back.  I lived there from 2001 to 2007.  This is largely because the new govt follows a more car friendly policy.

        This definitely contradicts what I read in the papers day-in and day-out... I have only read about people complaining about excessive fuel costs, increases in ERP prices, parking prices, increased number of gantries etc.

        And yes, my trip from home to university and back has become cheaper by about 15-20 cents in the past two years. And COE( a licence fee to own a car) fell from about SGD10000 to SGD 2 last year, only because there was absolutely no demand for cars.

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

s_yajaman's picture

SV - down payment was taken away


They also increased the number of COEs being given out.  And more importantly they did away with the down payment sometime in 2006 or so.

For the average Singaporean car ownership is a status symbol and they will buy one even if it means stretching the limit on their incomes.  I have seen Mercedes Benz drivers slowing before ERP gantries so that they pay less toll (they try and time their entry to just past 9:00, etc).

Car ownership has definitely increased in Singapore over the last 4 years.  Trying to find data on that.  Singaporeans complain a lot.  And the sort of complaints that you mention would only come from car owners - no?  car ownership is now 12/100 population or about 500,000 cars.  Not a small number and about the same as Bangalore.

Clogging of Indian roads - have you seen our junction design?  Have you seen the indiscipline at the junctions?  Or our licensing procedures.  Indian civic agencies don't just suffer from an image or perception problem.   60 years on they dont seem to function individually too well or in a coordinated fashion with other agencies.  Else this site would have been redundant. 

Look - there are many things I don't like about Singapore as a country - its excessive autocratism bordering now on a plutocracy, its lack of a demcoracy, etc.  But as a city, i doubt you can find too many better ones.  Pay the devil its due. 


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

psaram42's picture

Traffic management is an important aspect in city planning.



IDS SY and Naveen,

A city’s arterial road (express way or not) network needs to be planned scientifically. The arterial connotation comes from human arteries which have to carry blood without obstruction. The city planner should perhaps be inspired to design arterial roads without blockage. Our bodies normally have (x=6?) x Liters of blood, for a average sized body. If it is less I would be anemic. If it is more I should be periodically donating some of it. Let us be very clear about this aspect, when in the present context of city (ARN) planning.

I appreciate the Hyderabad picture shown by SY and IDS in their comments. One needs to study the site physically to comment meaning fully on the design or the cause of its apparent failure. The picture does however suggest constraints were too many to get at a good design.


Signal free for highways passing through the city are appropriate but not for junctions in the city which have more junctions before and after. I think it is important to understand the traffic studies to come up with this plan and the returns it may produce.

What I am talking is Arterial roads (Important and or going through and through the city) network. Here each junction (preferably crossing at right angles) is important and deserves a underpass or fly over which ever is more aesthetic. I define a “community” as the one which is enclosed by these arterial roads on 4 sides. These communities should be “Gated” for obvious reasons. I even suggest BDA should close all roads except one opening on to these arterial roads, on each side of these 4.

The second point is that these arterial roads should be one way (Single carriage). The junction design with UP or FO would be a no issue. The turns will be free and at level. The grade separation at actual crossing is however in evitable.

The third point is the road network should be more of a rectangular grid. Circular grid would be a disaster as in New Delhi. It is very easy to get lost in New Delhi if you do not take the right roads in correct sequence. The numbering of buildings is also a nightmare!

In the heart of Bangalore there are one ways. For each one way (Either NS or EW) there should another alternate return path provided. What I am visualizing that in future these one ways are going to be extended further and further. Instead we should be having the master plan cater to this reality as early as possible.

Thanks for the Praja discussions. It is a great help in refining my blog.




Srivatsava's picture

Pay the devil its due...


         "Pay the devil its due" is exactly what I have been saying as well.

Now get into this hypothetical situation.

You demand that Bangalore should have such expressways all through the city. Granted!!

You want huge taxes on motorists (SG cars costs 3 times their actual cost, because of the taxes) Granted!!

You want to have a public transportantion system as good as in SG.  Granted!!

      Now that the 'genie' in me has granted everything that you wanted and converted a Bangalore into Singapore, will you be able to assure that there will be no clogging in this Bangalore. NO, because the same reasons havent worked in Singapore today (I hate comparing SG with BLR, since they are not comparables). The fact is all these measures have only provided temporary relief to Singaporeans, and the Magic boxes are also going to provide the same to Bangaloreans. The BBMP is making whole-hearted efforts to build a better Bangalore. Please accept the fact and pay the devil its due...

I end my submission!!!

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

s_yajaman's picture

Please explain BBMPs efforts to improve Bangalore

Please see my note.  I have never demanded that Bangalore gets expressways like Singapore.  That is not part of my wish list.  Please point out where I have said this.   My map was to clarify to PSA that his signal free wish is not possible without arterial roads that cut across the city and without attendant infrastructure and my Hyderabad picture was to point out the futility of trying to make roads keep up with traffic.

BBMP making wholehearted efforts to build a better Bangalore.  Please explain.  What does a better Bangalorel look like to BBMP.  Wide roads devoid of footpaths (Race Course Road, Sankey Tank Road), cutting trees so that motorists can keep zipping by, commissioner asking god to save pedestrians, pedestrian skywalks that never seem to get done, people standing on the roads waiting for buses because there is no advertising money coming forth for bus stops, no proper footpaths for people to walk on, making signal free roads without thinking about pedestrians,

And you seem to think they only have an image/perception problem?


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

psaram42's picture

Are our points clear?

 @ s_yajaman

I think what Srivatsava had in mind that was

1.       It is futile to provide the best infrastructure for motor vehicles

2.       The fact is the no of vehicles increase to congest the best Infrastructure provided in no time

3.       Meanwhile you end up paying more taxes

4.       The cycle continues

5.       He did not talk about Peds, OK. No problem

I think both your points are valid. However there is no point in repeating each others view point beyond a certain stage. Both SY and Sri are correct, Period. I do not wish to repeat my point. ( A design is valid for the assumption it makes before starting) SY refers to it as exponential curve etc. I hope I made my point.


Naveen's picture

Human Blood Streams & Traffic - Quite Different


You cannot compare the human body's blood streams & blood circulation with city roads & traffic. Though much more complex than city road networks, blood is able to circulate all over the body systematically like clock-work, & without interruption since blood quantity in the body does not keep increasing.

This is quite the opposite with our traffic as volumes keep increasing as & when new infrastructure is added. Some time back, Photoyogi had made an observation that traffic fills up like gas in a room & takes over all spaces irrespective of the size of the room, & this is exactly what happens with traffic. If restraining measures are not in place, road traffic will keep increasing. The logic is simple, since more people will use private vehicles as the conveniences offered by individual transport is, & will always remain far superior to public modes of transport.

Thus, BBMP can continue fixing magic underpasses or flyovers or overhead roads or expressways or whatever, but traffic problems will never be solved unless public transport is accorded special status & made the leader on the streets & it has been ensured & made absolutely certain that it wins every battle with private transport. Hence, ways have to be found to ensure that PT, in whatever form moves the fastest on the streets, or rails. This can only be done with separate infrastructure such as exclusive bus lanes & underpasses for buses, or exclusive tracks, such as those for the Metro or Mono.

Even with such dedicated infrastructure, many cities such as Singapore (discussed above) or Bangkok & New York are still struggling with excessive car populations, but at least the PT users are assured of reaching their destinations in time.

Bluntly put - all the rest about the "Magic" with these "Magic Boxes" will remain a pipe-dream & never solve traffic woes in the city.

s_yajaman's picture

We are in violent agreement then

PSA sir,

Then SV and SY are in violent agreement because that is my stand exactly.  It is futile to keep up with motor vehicles.   The previous Singapore govt was enlightened on this and they kept cars pretty much unaffordable (at one point COEs were 100,000 SGD).  The current one wants to make Singapore "vibrant" etc and seems to have fallen prey to cars.

I cannot agree with him though that "Singapore is no better than Bangalore" PT is much much better.  Road engineering is much  better.  Pavements are walkable. They have protected greenery even though they could have come up with the "we have no land" excuse. They have the LTA which is singly accountable for surface transport.   

All cities have the same problems - when you put 3,000,000 in a 400 sq km area you can expect similar problems.  Some cities manage them better.  I stand by my statement that Singapore has managed it better inspite (or maybe because) of having a small area. 



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

My take away is...

...all these uninterrupted roadways being built have to be backed up by strict control in vehicle proliferation. There cannot be expectation of any voluntary sacrifice by people at large. The proof is in the Singapore example of increase in vehicles due to reduction in entitlement fees despite having alternate world class PT systems. But should we wait to put restrictions on vehicles till we get good PT and ped facilities?

psaram42's picture

 Naveen That is exactly my


That is exactly my point.

1.      The blood quantity is kept at optimum levels. The analogy is valid because our network of signal free roads does not cater for increase in No of vehicles (ie blood) beyond those levels for which it was designed, originally.

2.      When things being such why spend more money on extra under passes or fly over?

3.      We can do with signals every where and suffer if that is in evitable

4.      Alternatively have Mass Transport Options

5.      Any way nothing is going to work any how with unbridled growth in

a.       Development

b.      Population

c.       No of Vehicles

d.      And so on

6.      Better not to waste money on projects which are destined to fail

My opinion is totally with that of the thread on which it started. Why are we bent on wasting our taxes on projects which are 200% failed at the very start?


silkboard's picture

Leave analogies, need two types of networks

PSA - an Internet network system, or a river system (with its tributaries, and man made dams - signals?) - perhaps fits better. But anyway, lets not belabor the point about analogies. (can't find any ready example where streams cross each other - mesh - like roads do).

Types of Networks

As some have already said above, over long term, the city road system needs to have two separate networks.

  1. Long haul, high volume, high speed corridors. This would be a mix of "freeways" (no signals, tight access control), and corridors, or expressways (with signals at long intervals, and limited access control). We have heard about NS, EW and Core Inner Ring Road. Outer ring Road upgrade will lead to the beginning of creating this network.
  2. The other existing roads of the city form the larger network with signals at regular intervals. This network doesn't need any flyovers or underpasses, whether for cars, or pedestrians.

Network #1 - long haul use

Supporting the need for Network #1 doesn't mean being anti-public-transport. You have to provide quick connectivity for all kinds of vehicles. But there should be measures to discourage private vehicles from using this network for daily commute needs. Ideally, service vehicles, long distnce traffic originating from city (me going to Hassan from Whitefield, you going to Mysore from CV Raman Nagar, etc), and public transport vehicles (rails or buses on these corridors) would be the biggest users of this network.

Network #2 - short/mid hauls

Network #2 fills two needs

  1. Short haul, local traffic uses it. It doesn't have to go on Network #2 (to slow it down)
  2. Supplement Network #1. Private or public transport vehicles will leave Network #1, and enter Network #2 for last 3-4 kilometers of connectivity. However, such connectivity (Network #1 + #2) can't be guaranteed for all corners of the city.

Traffic in network #2, on a given road (taking a simple picture) has to move like longitudinal waves, sort of like a river with dams at regular intervals so that no single locations floods a lot in case there is a surge in flow. And all the "dams" or zero amplitude points on longitudinal waves is where roads and pedestrians cross each other.

BTRAC etc are for Network #2. You need synchronized signals, dynamic traffic management for extreme situations when there is unexpected surge and any "dams" fill to capacity.

Last point

Just having Network #2, and no Network #1, but only public transport like Metro or Rapid buses is a nice thought, but in my opinion, not practical. Roads re not just for commuting, There are other users of road transport - movement of goods, non-commute long distance traffic, and those who don't have public transport option for commutes. Ideally, you would have to provide public transport before you build a nice network #1 to eliminate the last category mentioned above.

PS: Long comment, typed quickly, pardon the typos.

Naveen's picture

Realities With Cities

SB - Your ideas are idealistic & few cities have the luxury of such networks. Most of the world metropolises do not have such a two-tier road system that cuts through the city's center/s since usually, the middle will already be full up before the need for such a system is felt. Car-dependent American cities such as LA are an exception to this.

Mumbai has the eastern & western express highways starting from the suburbs & not reaching the southern parts - this has spurred development in the suburbs to some extent. Singapore has several internal expressways as developments there are all relatively recent, but traffic problems remain. Nagoya in Japan has circumvented this problem with an elevated ring road as there is no space within. Bangkok tried this a-la Singapore & is paying a heavy price with increasing traffic & choked roads, though there has been some relief on the outskirts with elevated highways.

At present, Bangalore is struggling to manage the one diffuse & complicated network that we have & is focussing on improvements with public transport. As you mentioned, only when a sound & reliable PT is in place, can restrictions on traffic be enforced & roads freed up of clutter to take on mega elevated expressway projects since these will have to cut through the city with provisions for entry & exit ramps where possible from within the central areas.

Till then, the idea of a Core Ring road & NS-EW highways will have to wait, I think & will remain on paper for discussion/s !  It has however been possible to build these on the wider roads in the periphery, such as Hosur & Tumkur roads, but I still think rail systems should have been put in place first as mega road developments, if executed earlier, encourage the tendency to continue to use private modes of commuting & shift attention to argue for even more road infrastructure.

silkboard's picture

Why not?

A tight access control corridor inside the city practically means elevated roads. When infrastructure developers are ready to build elevated roads on no cost basis on high volume roads, what is the problem?

Limited access stretches would mean closing many "tributaries", "closed medians", and building parallel roads in deeper areas (hinterlands of these corridors) so that short haul traffic has an option.

Doing above activity is dangerous if done like BETL. But

  • If you draw a long term plan for Network #1,
  • and locking it (so that next version of Abide doesn't come in and derail it - PPP mode will provide this sincerity)
  • And in the plan, make public transportation priority very clear (LRT, or bus lanes on signal free corridors, world class mode exchange points on each LRT/Bus station)
  • And, make people pay real charges for parking, and using these corridors (so that they are encouraged not to use cars for commute)

Essentially, don't do BETL or Yeswantpur elevated tollway like things where the plan at one of the mouths is not clear, and there is no specified public transport facilitation plan (violation of NUTP guideline). But, if BETL was merging nicely into an elevated stretch from Madivala to Brigade Road (as was planned in CTTP), and the full E-city to Brigade road stretch had either dedicated lanes, or zero-toll allowance for Big10 buses, would we not be in business?

Then think a CBD congestion toll booth at Brigade Road mouth of this elevated stretch. Think heavy parking charges inside the city. Think parking complexes at each entry point for this elevated stretch (at E-City, Bommanahalli, Madivala etc). Think local shuttles bringing people to these parking complexes cum Big10 stops.

Is all of above an improbable dream? Instead of frowning at their 'disregard' for money, why not use car users' willingness to pay to build these elevated stretches?

Naveen's picture

Many Reasons

Access controlled expressways within city center without proper exclusive track PT/s in place first will mean disruption over long periods (similar to metro construction) & since it will most likely cater to car users, by & large, will be seen as catering to only pro-growth forces whilst neglecting other users, as Bangalore has been doing over the last couple of decades.

Private parties (such as BETL) recover their investments through tolls & will probably ensure that mass transit/s do not use the expressway as their revenue will be effected - in fact, the PPP model may be difficult to pursue if such conditions are enforced - much more governmental efforts & participation may be called for here, but this is the right direction & can be done, if there is commitment, which has always been in short supply !

Making options such as parallel roads for short-haul traffic would mean some land acquisition, probably larger land parcels in some areas, & heavy compensation to land losers, if ever such acquisition is successful. Thankfully, the metro is going ahead, now, & the courts are taking the right decisions !

Co-ordination & sustained commitment, as you rightly point out, will work, but we know the reality here - even parking is not being charged due to lack of proper PTs, at present.

If BETL was merging nicely with an elevated stretch from Madivala to Brigade Road (thus extending it from E-city to Brigade road), it wud shift the chaos to Brigade road in place of Silkboard Jn, which might be worse. It is undesirable to take over existing shopping districts & schools, etc there for road & traffic facilities, unless they are for PT as there might be an uproar.

Parking complexes with heavy pricing at entry points for elevated stretches at ends or at entry /exits - This can work, but the reality is that BBMP has been facing problems with getting parties to build such facilities as no one wants to lose space at prime locations & incentives offered have been unviable to run such parking facilities. The matter will thus, go to the courts & take a long time to be resolved, with inevitable uncertainties & no guarantees that such facilities will ever come up - this has been the story so far.

Also, if car users money is used for elevated roads, would this not encourage more car use & less PT ? Hence, the trend to use more cars & less PT would continue, wud'nt it ?

A good, efficient road system is certainly desirable for the city, but when efforts to create them has only meant more & more traffic & worsening congestion, the attention should shift squarely to PT first to stem this, as disruptions are acceptable for building PT systems, but certainly not for exclusive roads when the city does not even have a proper PT - as per NUTP guidelines.

idontspam's picture


...the magic box gets going next week.

s_yajaman's picture

SB - Some names please

"When infrastructure developers are ready to build elevated roads on no cost basis on high volume roads, what is the problem?"

Who are these builders?  how sustainable are their financials?  Look at what BETL has done.  It has precluded a Metro line to probably the busiest part of Bangalore.  All your conditions have been met - govt has not put in money, car users will pay toll.  But the general public pays twice - once when the construction goes on and the second is a long term hidden cost.  That is my fear.  Look at Begumpet Main Road in Hyderabad.  They put flyovers all along.  Now no Metro possible,  And roads fill up quickly.

Tough one to crack.  Sometimes I think ORR and Big 10 should be elevated for the entire stretch so that people down below can commute safely and those in a hurry can go up and do what they want..  But Hosur Road is a mess starting from Bomanahalli till Brigade Road.  Mysore Road is only marginally better.  Airport Road is another mess from HAL Airport.  

And if private builders agree to do elevated roads, let me know.  I will pack my bags and go live elsewhere for 5 years before returning :)



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

s_yajaman's picture

Chaos at KR Circle - from Expressbuzz

"Pedestrians are an endangered species; give them right of way... This doesn’t seem to stand good at the K R Circle with the Traffic Engineering Cell of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) creating a rotary (elliptical pathway) on an experimental basis at the junction a week back."

While creating the rotary and making the junction signal-free, the authorities have neglected pedestrian crossings,” the policeman opined.

'The police said that during peak hours it becomes difficult for them to regulate the traffic and requires at least 10 policemen to ensure smooth flow. “If this is the situation now, how will the vehicle density be when the Sheshadri Road traffic, which would be converted into a two-way later, is allowed to K R Circle?” the policeman added."

A BBMP engineer said that apart from underpass work at Maharani’s College junction on Sheshadri Road, the K R Circle junction improvement project includes roadwidening as well. “All four corners of the K R Circle junction will have free left turn and traffic from Dr Ambedkar Veedhi plying towards Nrupatunga Road will be diverted through a magic box on Cubbon Road, which saves about 3,500 PCU plying on K R Circle thereby ensuring smooth flow of traffic at the junction,” the engineer informed.


The engineer added that footpaths would be barricaded and subways would be provided on all the roads to segregate pedestrians from the road.

I really don't understand what they are upto.  What happens at the next junction at Hudson church?  Will we have more magic boxes at Hudson circle to push the problem to Mission Road and Kasturba Road?


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Arun's picture

BBMP is really disgusting


BBMP is really disgusting. Hopefully the council elections should rein in these half baked ‘engineers’.
Naveen's picture

Trees Disappeared On Seshadri Road

I just passed by KR Circle today & was dismayed to see the visible stretch of Seshadri road from there.

All the large shady trees have been removed & the road now appears something alien !  Let's see how the tree replanting drive by BBMP turns out - it will never be what it had been before, I'm quite certain of that.

s_yajaman's picture

Metro trouble at KR Circle

Read this in DH.  Metro tunneling might get affected because of a pedestrian underpass.  And why do we need to pedestrian underpass?  Because of the signal free madness.

Just to clarify - Metro runs underground along Seshadri Road?  Then what happens with the magic boxes near Maharanis and Palace Road?  Won't they affect tunneling works too? 


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

Metro does not pass along Seshadri road

The Metro alignment will pass from KR circle along Post office road & reach Mysore bank & turn into KG rd (all underground). Space below Seshadri rd is not being used.

shas3n's picture

We seem to be

going in precisely the wrong direction by making this circle signal free.

See London's recent announcemnt to make Oxford Circus more pedestrian friendly.



Naveen's picture

KR Circle U/Pass - Details

This image had been published in TOI in 1st Dec'07 & had been posted earlier, but some street labelling has been re-done for better understanding.

Seshadri road has been widened to six (or eight ?) lanes. The question is, how will this help when all the other roads that merge here lead to signal lights away from here ? This is nothing but an open invitation for more traffic to use these facilities. The queues at all the various signals (at Vidhana Soudha, Hudson circle, KG Road, etc.) will increase in length & one may have to wait for maybe 5 or 6 changes (!) before his turn comes.

Further, road safety will be compromised unless speed breakers are fitted at various spots to lower speeding, especially at the approaches to where pedestrian crossings have been marked.

Simple segregation for bus lanes, bus-only underpasses with a network of pedestrian passes was all that was required. The signals had already been effective in tempering & filtering traffic passing through this circle-junction.

idontspam's picture

I dont think...

...they are building this. They may have thought about this in 07 when they displayed this.

Naveen's picture

KR Circle - What Cud they be doing ?

Since Seshadri road (widened now) can easily accommodate two-way traffic, Nrupathunga rd & PO rd must also be made two-way, else widening of Seshadri rd might seem to have been an unnecessary exercise (Dr.Ambedkar rd is already two-way, as also Cubbon Park rd).

If this were done, then the bi-level might not be enough for 'signal-freeing'. Maybe they are considering a tri-level to make it signal-free for all passes from any road to any other road !

In a few years, if not months, this might become insufficient & they might need some more levels, I guess. There's really no end to this madness.

Srivatsava's picture

I would be happy....

   If the BBMP is putting up this work on KR circle, it has a supporter. Though Naveen made the point about a third level with a dressing of sarcasm, I would interpret the already built pedestrian underpass as the third (underground) level.

    Why I am open to this idea? Let me explain. As per this plan, Of the four lanes of outgoing traffic from Shesadri Rd, two lanes move to NT road and one each to Cubbon park road and Ambedkar veedhi (Vidhana soudha), which is a fair representation of the present (rather two months back!!) traffic pattern here.

    Another important aspect of this is that NT road is shown an bidirectional road (see the NT road ramp). That means the a single bus lane in the direction oppposite to the traffic is possible. Additionally, when Sheshadri road is widened to 6 lanes (I am not sure if this stretch of the road will also be made 6lane), we can consider having a bus lane (similar to NT road) even on Sheshadri road. All we need for this is to put up a ramp from the roundabout (top level) to Sheshadri road.

      And yes, the pedestrians... They are the real winners of this exercise. The roads may get clogged in near future, but the safety of the pedestrains is assured.  There is already enough ped underpasses to cross NT road, Cubbon park road and Ambedkar Veedhi. All we need is one to cross Sheshadri Road (better if all of these are connected into a single 'circular' underpass).

-Srivatsava V

-Srivatsava V

Ravi_D's picture

A nightmare already....

I travel from Ambedkar Veedhi towards Corportaion every evening. You should see it first hand to believe the mess it is creating at Corportaion Circle already. For the past week or so, I don't have to endure long-waits in front of multi story building just before KR Circle, but wait for signal at the corporation end of Nrupathunga Road is at least twice as long! Nrupathunga road turning out to be a parking lot, more or less.


blrsri's picture

Hudson circle next..

Not to worry Ravi, they will get to hudson circle soon and make it 'signal free'

lets say bye bye to trees on nrupathunga road..afterall why  do we need trees!

s_yajaman's picture

Seshadri Road - 2 way?

Assuming Seshadri Road becomes 2 way will some of the traffic that heads down NT Road (to take a right turn onto KG Road) move there.  How will signal free happen then?  Or will it be a free for all?

As Blrsri says next will be complete remodeling of Hudson Circle.  let's see - my prediction is like this

Magic Box at NT Road - KG Road junction for vehicles going onto Corporation Office - no left  turn for them.  just go straight and right.   Magic box for Sampangi tank road vehicles going to KG Road.  Magic box for NT Road going to Mission Road.  Magic box for JC Road vehicles going towards Kasturba Road.  Push problem to next set of junctions! 

Here a box, there a box, everywhere a box box, Old BBMP had a plan eeya eeya yo :)





Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Ravi_D's picture

Hudson Circle

No please.... don't ever touch those trees on NT Road. I bet KR Circle effort already has cost us a handful.

@ SY: ....BBMP has some plans.... Ayyo ayyayyo... :)

Fact that BBMP has some plans in itself seems to be a problem! BTW we call them plans? Plans are plans only if they intend to achieve desired objectives and results. When objectives and results are not clear (and are not being measured), how can they be 'plans'?


Naveen's picture

I rest my case


As I mentioned long back, the magic boxes seemed like a ray of hope for planning priorities for buses to get past signals without delay & kill the tendency for people to use individual vehicles, but alas ! the city has tried to use them for driving themselves out of the problem. What a fantasy ! No world city has ever been able to build it's way out of traffic problems in this manner.

The more you build, the more serious the problem becomes - this is the experience everywhere overseas & most of them (including US cities now) have been concentrating on improving PTs & discouraging cars, even if PTs cost a lot & run with meagre revenues (or even losses).

And here we are, putting up magic boxes for "all traffic" & simultaneously running air-conditioned volvo buses in the vain hope of capturing all the car-users. This is doomed to failure & will remain a pipe dream, unless someone takes on the car lobbies much more seriously. comment guidelines

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