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Should Commercial St. be Pedestrianized ?

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TrafficPedestrian Infrastructure

Found a nice article on citizenmatters talking about a pedestrian survey on commercial street.

The results of the survey are remarkable

  • A total of 900 shoppers were surveyed.
  • Of these, 70 per cent prefer a pedestrian-only street.
  • Of the people walking into the street, 92 per cent prefer a pedestrian-only street.
  • 76 per cent of shoppers come on foot, 14 per cent in cars and 10 per cent on two-wheelers.
  • Only 32 per cent of the road space is available to pedestrians. Automobiles carry only 24 per cent of the people coming in, but hog 68 per cent of the road space. This even though Commercial Street is not a thoroughfare; people come here only to shop, not to travel from one place to another.
  • 42 per cent of the road space is used for parking, by just two per cent of the people.
  • Each person in the parked cars uses 66 times the road space used by pedestrians.

Read (http://bangalore.citizenm...) for more details


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Very interesting and worth implementing

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Statistics are very clear about how parked/idle automobiles are occupying 42 per cent of space thereby denying free movement for the rest of the road users.  There are any number of cities having 'vehicle free zones' but the only problem is providing alternate parking for the floating shoppers/their vehicles. 

Large storm water drains (SWDs) run behind Commercial Street - near  Narayana Pillai Street etc.  It should be possible to construct multi-level parking platforms over these drains by proper planning and without obstructing the flow of water. It can be a PPP model with responsibility to the agency to keep the drain also clean. 

This way, a number of objectives can be achieved - make Commercial Street pedestrians only zone, provide parking to not only shoppers but also to shop keepers, keep the length of the drain clean so that people living around those drains can lead a healthy life. 

- Vasanthkumar Mysoremath   

das's picture

How can we take this forward ?

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I did this survey with a bunch of school children. The surprising thing is that the shop owners association of Commercial St. is all for making it 'pedestrian-only'. So in effect everybody wants it - the shoppers and the shop owners.

Most people park their cars some distance away (on Kamaraj Rd., Safina Plaza or on Infantry Rd.) and walk down. They in fact do not mind doing this.  There are just 80 cars parked on the street itself, and alternative parking must be found for them. Among alternative spots is Shivajinagar bus stand's nice multi-storey parking lot that is now rented out to HP (because there were no takers from the general public).

The solution can mesh very nicely with the Kendriya Saarige CBD bus service.

Any volunteers to spearhead a campaign to actually make the 'pedestrian-only' part happen ? The next job is a matter of thinking of solutions for the 80 parked cars, then coordinating with the Police, BMTC, BBMP, etc.

s_yajaman's picture

Ideas to take this forward

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Mr Das,

I think 80 parked cars should not be the deciding factor.  That is just 80 out of the 1000s that visit Commercial Street. 

a. Speak to the head of the association.  They can suggest alternate locations for parking. 

b. Speak to BBMP and BTP to improve the footpaths leading to C Street and enforce pedestrian crossings/signals in that area.  People should have priority over vehicles from Kamaraj Road parking and Safina Plaza parking till C Street.  Pelican signals, etc will be good. The shop owners can join you on this.  Getting appointments with BBMP or BTP is never a problem.  You might have to wait till elections are over though

c. Maybe make the whole street cobbled or tiled vs. asphalt to give it the non-motorized look (long term plan).

Please do take this forward.  You will find enough people on this forum who will join you.  It will be a wonderful outcome if this can happen.  Just imagine strolling down C Street without hearing the honking and having to dodge traffic. etc.  Some provision will have to be made for the differently abled though (even if they are infrequent travellers - possibly because it is virtually impossible for them to move about).





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

Naveen's picture

Parking at BVK Iyengar Rd - A Good Solution

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Though not relevant to Comml St., I think this is appropriate here.

The new parking facility (Kempegowda Complex) at the intersection of KG Rd & BVK Iyengar rd is a great development. In the past, I used to put off visiting the area due to the chaos there & usually took a bus or auto. I was told that there was a convenient new car parking facility there. So, today, since I had to make some heavy purchases at shops on BVK Iyengar rd, I took my car. I was amazed at the convenience of the location which is within a stone's throw away from the main shops. I acheived a lot more than I usually did during my past visits to the area as most of the shop-owners know about the facility & provide free drop off of goods to the multi-level parking lot.

If BVK Iyengar rd were also pedestrianized, it might improve the whole area tremendously. Presently though, the traffic volume using the road is too high & crossing streets is quite cumbersome.

I think this is what we require for Comml St. as also Brigade Rd. If there were parking facilities at the mouth of each (say, at the old  Opera Cinema at Brigade Rd Jn & in place of the Jewellery shop at commencement of Comml St.), pedestrianization would be very easy as even the physically challenged could reach upto the street & then ride on wheel-chairs.

In spite of the absence of convenient parking facilities, the preference for pedestrianization of Comml St. is pretty strong & we should take it up with BTP /BBMP.

jennypinto's picture

if i recall, they had made

160 users have liked.

if i recall, they had made commerical street (or brigade rd) a pedestrians only rd about 10 years ago and the shop owners stalled it. if they want it now, it was prob an idea before its time, 10 years ago.

its a wonderful idea, please take it forwrd. i am willing to join this in any way i can.  cobbling it, making room for nice seating shaded with trees etc, is all a possibility (in the long term)

. we can get an architect involved, and go to BBMP with a complete proposal.

srivatsa, cant this be part of yr pedestrian campiagn ?



lightness of being
das's picture

Not stalled because of the shop owners

147 users have liked.
There IS some past history on this. According to the head the shop owners' association, it was done at their initiative 5 years ago. Then a government agency (let's leave it unnamed) started misusing the initiative and acted very high handed with the shop owners. The latter then protested against the whole thing and downed shutters.

I don't know what the truth is, but maybe it's even irrelevant now. Like you say, maybe the time is now ripe for the idea.

If we can get Comm. St. pedestrian-nly, it would give a tremendous boost to sustainable transport. It'll get people used to the idea of walking, get them actually ADDICTED to roads with no or minimal traffic, get them off the addiction to private transport.

If this gets going, we can also replicate it in other places. We need to put together a group for this, preferably with a leader who can work with various government agencies (Ashwin Mahesh ?). I volunteer to be part of the group.
sanchitnis's picture

Need to take very long term view of all CBD shopping

185 users have liked.

I do not like the idea of using public space to create parking lots. Just like the fly-overs, the more you construct, the more cars will keep on coming. These spaces should be reserved for trees and/or public transport.

Even if a multilevel partking lot is created, where is the space on roads to approach that and what will happen after 10/20/50 years? It will be unfair to take land from other area to construct this to support business of shopkeepers on commercial street.

If the association is really keen, they can cooperate and create multistoried shopping complexes with in-build parking and bus-bays in the locality itself. Each block of commercial street (or multiple adjacent blocks) can come together. The existing owners/tenants can benefit by selling additinoal shop area. The roads can be widened (after demolishing existing shops) to cater to pedenstrians as well as cars and shuttle vans.

There could be walking access or shuttles from upcoming M G road metro station and big 10 terminus.

Similar thing was done in Beijing (of course with high handed government). See history of Silk Street in


The original outdoor Xiushui Market (a.k.a. Silk Alley) was located in Xiushui Dongjie, south-east of Ritan near the First Embassy Area of Beijing. The shopping alley consisted of 410 stalls selling mostly knock-off luxury brand-name garments, silk products and tourist souvenirs. It attracted 20,000 locals and foreigners on weekends and reaped a total annual sales volume of 100 million yuan (US$12.5m). After 20 years of business, the old market was ordered to close down for demolition on January 62005, due to fire-safety hazards, security issues and the absence of land permits from individual landlords. The application for demolition was filed on July 2004 by the Beijing Urban Planning Bureau, the Chaoyang Public Engineering Committee, the Chaoyang Department of Public Security and Fire Fighting, and the Chaoyang Foreign Liaison Office.


Now this 7 storied complex has access to underground train station.


kiran8's picture

Excellent points..

170 users have liked.
Some very valid points in the survey..The condition there is deplorable. i hardly go there during weekends and evenings, because one can hardly move about freely..It has become steadily worse over the past decade and i personally would be happy to see it declared a Traffic free zone, in fact the same goes for Brigade Road as well..

rs's picture

What about Brigade Road ?

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idontspam's picture

Meet with authorities

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We should meet with both Mr Praveen Sood and BBMP in that order to see how this can be made to happen. It should be possible for the traffic police to be able to do this themselves else praja team will have to meet the other stakeholders pitching for it and be the glue for the idea.

das's picture

Something may happen

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It may actually happen, if we form a small group with the rights skills and commitment. See this discussion elsewhere in Praja : Parking vs pedestrians - What about Brigade Road? comment guidelines

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