Bangalore - Excessive Road Traffic & Congestion Capt. Naveen C handra By Bus Lane Solutions
An Opportunity ? Efficient & reliable transport systems are crucial for the city to sustain high growth rates. All services & manufacturing industries require efficient and reliable transport systems to move workers & connect production facilities to the logistics chain. Despite great efforts made to improve the road network, it is under enormous strain as thoughtful, cost-efficient transport systems have not been focused upon. Whilst it is readily acknowledged that an elaborate Rapid Bus system is unsuitable for the inner parts of the city, the Metro system under construction provides a great opportunity for a shift in policy to unclog the transport networks within the city & move towards an order that is sustainable. The city is on the threshold towards improvements, but the Metro system alone cannot achieve progress towards orderliness. Cities abroad have invested heavily to make available road spaces highly efficient & they remain so by separating various user types. A narrow street with good, well thought out management will be far more efficient than a wider road with mix-ups & no separation of users. This is an attempt to focus on a bus lane system that can be viable & can connect various parts of the city to act as a conduit to move people efficiently. Such a system needs planning, co-ordination & commitment. Building costs would be very small when compared with rail or other fixed guide systems.
Bangalore, At a Glance …. Multi-ethnic, Multi-layered Urban Society, the city is at a major cross-roads in Southern India. Transport System is heavily Road-based ; Major railway network is in place, but is insignificant for Urban /Suburban travel ; Main Public Transport provider is BMTC, with over 4,800 buses, that carry 3.5 million passengers each day ; performs over 60,000 trips each day ; many employers have company buses, vans & SUVs ; Motorization (2006): Over 2.5 million (including 1.9 million 2-wheelers & over 400,000 cars) ; Modal split: Walk-8.3%, Bicycle-2.2%, BMTC buses-41.9%, Other buses /IPT-3%; Cars-6.6%, Two Wheelers-29.4% . High Population Growth – Expected to reach about 10 million by 2015 ;
Problems … Unmanageable volumes of traffic, very poor & deteriorating road discipline : Unsafe driving conditions & difficulties in commuting. Public transport – Poor Quality, Operating only in mixed traffic & is therefore heavily dependent on traffic conditions – time consuming ; Narrow road widths with little scope for widening ; Low quality & poorly maintained secondary road network ; Extremely high traffic growth levels – continuing flight of users from public transport to personal modes of commuting ; Very Poor & Unsafe pedestrian facilities, non-existent bicycle facilities. Non-existent traffic restraints to discourage personal modes of commuting. “ Transport is not a technical problem. It is not an infrastructure problem. It is not even a financial problem. Most often, it is a political problem.”
Thus, traffic congestion will worsen … unless other options are provided & traffic restraints are enforced to bring down the no. of road vehicles. Projections from CTTP-2007 CTTP report – Table 6.3: Even if all recommended mass transit routes are added & road developments are carried out …… The share of daily trips by cars & two-wheelers would still increase … 2006 : Cars – 4.2 lakhs ( 7.5 %); Two-Wheelers – 18.4 lakhs ( 32.8 %) 2025 : Cars – 7.0 lakhs ( 5.5 %) Two-Wheelers – 20.6 lakhs ( 16.2 %) RITES had carried out a Comprehensive Traffic & Transportation Survey (CTTP) & the findings were released in October, 2007.
National Urban Transport Policy – Some Key Points <ul><li>Modal split : Encourage investments to wean people away from using personal vehicles … the need to increase investments in public transport, reduce road construction/s. </li></ul>… . Policies are along the lines of international thinking .… enforcement is minimal & needs much more thrust ! Vehicular technologies : Develop a strategy to introduce 4-stroke motorcycles ; Discourage use of diesel vehicles for personal use – much higher registration fee ; Consider imposing ‘vintage’ tax for vehicles over 15 years old which are more polluting than newer vehicles. On–street traffic & parking : Mechanisms to restrain use of private motor vehicles through market mechanisms (higher fuel taxes, higher parking fees, reduce availability of parking spaces). Address safety concerns of pedestrians & cyclists – provide segregated right of ways, cycle tracks & sidewalks. Develop a public bicycle program. Public transport services : Providing differentially priced services, cheaper fares for those who cannot afford higher prices & premiums services for potential commuters to encourage them to shift to quality services. Private sector to be encouraged by removing barriers to entry, where competition is possible under close regulation & with well structured contracts. Where bus-based systems can serve the expected demand, to opt for this first before considering expensive rail based systems. Metro systems : National policy by Ministry in-charge for rail-based urban transport. Provision to cities with more than 5 million through the public sector proposed. Coordination : Urban transport sector not really equipped to deal with problems of urban transport – Unified Metropolitan Transport Authorities recommended.
CTTP Recommendations - Metro & Rail Networks … … Important Activity Centers are not directly connected
A more functional network … If the proposed Monorail /Light-rail Route could be extended, & the Metro Phase-2 route re-aligned as above, it might serve needs better.
<ul><li>To be car & two-wheeler competitive & to cater to time & quality conscious commuters, a higher quality of buses & services will also be needed. Service levels on these premium buses must be designed to cater to & divert private vehicle users to public modes of commuting as ordinary bus services have been failing. </li></ul>This demand can only be met with physically separated lanes. Buses, despite their decreasing efficiency will continue to remain the ‘Workhorses’ of the transport system, even after mass transit systems are in place. Minimally priced buses have been catering to a large section of the population. Comfortable A/C services are also in operation on select routes. Currently, about 42% of trips are by buses, but this percentage is reducing with increasing congestion as buses become more & more inefficient, operating in mixed traffic conditions & with the flight of users to private modes of travel. The Need for Exclusive Bus Lanes ( Contd… ) The challenge is to improve efficiency, provide shorter travel times, cost savings, comfort /convenience, safer operations & dependability that is sustainable.
Amount of space required to transport 60 persons by different modes Cars Bicycles Bus “ Expanding roadways to accommodate traffic is a bit like combating obesity by buying larger pants !”
Bangkok’s road construction has not been able to keep up with demand. Road building is an expensive way of trying to deal with travel demand. “ A Fire is fought by taking steps to reduce the flame. You cannot contain a Fire by increasing the size of the Fire Place !”
Metro routes cannot cover all areas & quicker feeder services are needed over larger distances, in addition to ordinary buses operating in mixed traffic conditions. As already mentioned, even if all CTTP recommendations are complied with (viz. Metro Phases 1 & 2, Light-Rail / Mono-Rail, Commuter Rail Service on existing rail tracks & 14 BRTS Corridors), the no. of trips by private modes would still increase. The CTTP Report has listed 14 Bus Corridors to take care of developments mostly outside Outer Ring Road (ORR). This is an attempt to explore possibilities for exclusive bus lanes within ORR to stifle & reduce congestion. <ul><li>Exclusive Bus lanes would thus discourage private vehicle use in many ways : </li></ul><ul><li>Commutes are much faster, safer & more dependable; </li></ul><ul><li>Convenient /Comfortable, with savings in cost/s; </li></ul><ul><li>Physically separated bus lanes would check the use of private vehicles as it will become more time-consuming since vehicles will need to move slower & take detours to reach their destinations. </li></ul>The Need for Exclusive Bus Lanes (Contd.) An important benefit is that apart from cars, such a service can compete in time /cost efficiencies with two-wheelers, whose numbers presently are very large. ( Contd… )
“ Experience is the ability to recognize a mistake when you make it again.” <ul><li>Other benefits from adopting a Bus Lane System : </li></ul><ul><li>Cleaner technologies with CNG buses will reduce pollution; </li></ul><ul><li>Pedestrian & bicycle facilities will demand & receive more attention as large nos. of commuters will begin to travel by Bus. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Pedestrian Only’ shopping areas & streets would be possible more easily. </li></ul><ul><li>Improved efficiency through segregation of traffic with buses & bus travel playing a more dominant role in travel needs. </li></ul><ul><li>A sense of Organization & Order on the streets will commence. This is a major benefit – the traffic mix-ups have been resulting in poor street efficiency in serving mobility needs across all types of users. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction in costs to build infrastructure to cater to ever increasing traffic. </li></ul>The Need for Exclusive Bus Lanes (Contd.)… A fully interconnected Bus Lane system with a network of separate lanes is difficult to arrange throughout the city due to limitations in street widths. A more feasible alternative is to provide fragmented corridors where connectivity is essential to supplement the Metro system & also to fulfill the needs of a high quality feeder service.
Bogota - A Street Transformed ! Sidewalks are not merely for pedestrians to get from one place to another. For many, they are also for meeting others, conversation, socializing & enjoying the city.
Planning Exclusive Bus Lanes Narrow, quick installation underpasses could be used at signal junctions & at important street intersections, similar to the ones being fitted at intersections on Bellary road. If it is difficult to install these, a narrow overhead ramp can be installed, but this might take longer to build. On roads with less than six lanes, a single lane about 12 feet wide, can generally be run at the centre as a median – exceptions would be based on particular street designs. A different lane on another convenient road can be used for the return journey. Routes can be circular where it is possible to provide multiple interfaces with Metro stations with minimal inconvenience to commuters. Narrow road widths, frequent intersections & close proximity between turn-ins & turn-offs pose challenges to plan & design bus-exclusive lanes. The Rapid Bus Systems in Curitiba, Bogota & those in Chinese cities were much easier to design & build since road widths were large & traffic was better controlled. Our need is a system that is customized from the principles of Rapid Bus with the existing roads that address the city’s street congestion & increasing traffic problems with as little disruption as possible. ( Contd… ) Five possible routes (totalling appx’ly 71 kms) have been examined.
Segregated Bus Lane Bus Exclusive Route – 1 Domlur – Koramangala – Electronic City (EC) along 100-ft rd, IRR, Hosur rd. This twin-lane route can be bifurcated whilst passing through Koramanagala, & rejoined on Hosur road. Whilst South-bound, the route can use one lane on the median along KML 80-ft rd (from Sonyworld at IRR-80-ft rd Jn), proceed on Sarjapur rd, turn right at Agara lake & use ORR to rejoin Hosur rd at Silkbrd Jn. On return to Domlur, the route can go past Silkbrd Jn & turn right on to KML 100-ft rd from Hosur rd, using only one lane of the road on 100-ft rd upto 80-ft peripheral rd at Sonyworld to rejoin the other BRT lane on IRR. This will provide coverage to HSR along ring road & also to inner parts of Koramangala. Route Length – 28 kms appx. Integrates at Domlur with proposed ph-2 Metro (Indiranagar to Whitefield), runs parallel with proposed ph-2 Metro on Hosur road (EC to Yelahanka), & also integrates with Route-2 below at Domlur. Note : The lane adjacent Agara lake can pass on the eastern edge of the road. Underpasses required : On IRR to provide U-turn; Jn of IRR & Ejipura rds; Jn of IRR & KML 80-ft rds; Jn of KML 80-ft & Shinivagal 1 st Cr rds; Jn of KML 80-ft & KML 7 th Cr rds; Jn of KML 80-ft & Sarjapur rds; Jn of Sarjapur & Agara west rds; Jn of Agara west rd & ORR. Jn of ORR & HSR 7th Sect. rd; Jn of ORR & Hosur rd (Silkbrd Jn); Appx 6 Jns on Hosur rd at various points. Underpasses required : Appx 6 Jns on Hosur rd at various points. Jn of Hosur & Madivala-Sjpur rds; Jn of Hosur & KML 100 ft rds; Jn of KML 100 ft & 1 st Crs rds; Jn of KML 100-ft & Sjpur rds; Jn of KML 100-ft & 7 th Crs rd; Jn of KML 100-ft & 1 st Mn rd; Jn of KML 100-ft & 5 th Crs rd; Jn of KML 100-ft & 8 th Mn rd; Jn of KML 100-ft & 80-ft rds; Jn of IRR & Ejipura rds.
Symbols : Metro Line with Station/s Segregated Bus Lane Bus Exclusive Route – 2 Shantinagar Bus Stn – KH Road (N-Bound) – Richmond Flyover – Residency rd – Brigade rd – Kamraj rd – Dickenson Rd – St.John’s rd – Annaswamy Mdr rd – Kensington rd – Murphy rd – Old Madras rd – Indiranagar 100 Ft rd – Domlur – Airport rd – Trinity Church rd – Richmond rd – Richmond Flyover – Mission rd – Lal Bagh rd – Lal Bagh Main gate – Lal Bagh Fort Rd – KH Road (N-Bound) – Shantinagar Bus Stn. Integrates with Route-1 above at Domlur, Metro (ph-1) at Trinity, Metro ph-2 (EC to Yelahanka) at Vellara Junction near Shoolay, Metro ph-2 (Indiranagar to Whitefield) at Domlur. Route Length – 18 kms appx. Note : The lane adjacent Ulsoor lake can pass on the edge of the lake; Richmond Flyover will need to be made bus exclusive; Brigade road will have to be made a ‘Pedestrians & Buses Only’ road (as recommended in CTTP report); On Lalbagh fort road, the bus lane can be on the edge of the road, adjacent Lalbagh wall. Underpasses required : Jn of KH rd at Shantinagar Bus Stn; Jn of Residency & St.Marks rds; Jn of Residency & Museum rds; Jn of Brigade & MG rds; Jn of Brigade & Cubbon rds; Jn of Kamraj & Dickenson rds; Jn of Dickenson & St.John’s rds; Jn of St.John’s & Annaswamy Mdr rds; On Annaswamy Mdr rd adjacent lake; Jn of Kensington & Murphy rds; Jn of Murphy & Siddarama rds; Jn of Murphy & Old Madras rds; Jn of Old Madras & I’ngr 100-ft rds; Jn of I’ngr 100-ft & CMH rds; Jn of I’ngr 100-ft & HAL 12th main rds; Jn of I’ngr 100-ft & HAL 13th main rds; Underpasses (Contd) : Jn of Airport & Domlur 7 th Crs rds; Jn of Airport & Cambridge rds; Jn of Airport & Trinity Church rds; Jn of Trinity Church & Richmond rds; Jn of Richmond & Lower Agaram rds; Jn of Richmond & Victoria rds; Jn of Richmond & Nellasandra rds; Jn of Richmond & Museum rds; Jn of Richmond & Hayes rds; Jn of Mission & Lalbagh rds; Jn of Lalbagh & JC Crs rds; Jn of Lalbagh & Siddiah rds; Jn of Lalbagh & Lalbagh fort rds; Jn of Lalbagh fort & KH rds; Jn of KH & Siddiah rds; Jn of KH rd at Shantinagae Bus Stn.
Bus Exclusive Route – 3 Hudson Circle – KG Circle – KG Bus station – Railway station – Anand Rao circle – Seshadri Rd – KR Circle – Nrupathunga Rd – Hudson circle. This is a circular route & will use up only one lane on all the roads mentioned. At worst, a commuter may need to spend a few minutes longer if his destination is closer in the opposite direction of the route. Route Length – 5 kms appx. Integrates with Metro (ph-1) at KG Bus station & at Mysore Bank. Underpasses required : At District Office rd near Hudson Circle; Jn of DO rd & Past Office, Palace rds; Jn of KG & BVK Iyengar rds; Jn of KG & Gandhingr 1 st Main rds; Jn of KG & Subedar Chatram rds; Jn of KG & Dhanavanthri rds; Jn of BMTC entry /exit rds with main rd bus lanes in Subhasnagar bus stn; Jn of road opposite rly stn with exit rd from Subhasnagar bus stn. Jn of Seshadri & Race course rds; Jn of Seshadri & Gandhingr 1st Main rds; Jn of Seshadri & Palace rds; Jn of Seshadri & Nrupathunga rds; Jn of Nrupathunga & DO rd (Hudson circle). Symbols : Metro Line with Station/s Segregated Bus Lane
Bus Exclusive Route – 4 Magadi Rd-Dr.Rajkumar rd junction – Magadi Rd – Platform rd – Swastik – Sampige rd – CV Raman rd (through IISC) – Yeswantapur – Soap Factory – Dr.Rajkumar rd – back to Dr.Rajkumar rd-Magadi rd junction. This is a another circular route aimed to service parts of Rajajinagar & Malleswaram that are not close to the Metro ph-1 route & will use up only one lane on Dr.Rajkumar rd, CV Raman rd, Sampige rd, Platform rd & Magadi rd. Integrates with Metro (ph-1) at City Rly Stn, Dr.Rajkumar rd-Magadi rd junction, Metro (ph-1) at Soap factory & Metro (ph-1) midway at Maharishi Kuvempu rd stn & at Swastik stn. Route Length – 13 kms appx. Underpasses : Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & Navrang rds, R’ngr s; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 10th Crs, Sub’ngr rds, ; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & Pipeline rds, R’ngr ; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & Chord rd bypass rds; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & Chord rds; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 1 st Mn, M’waram rds; Jn of CV Raman & HMT rds (adjacent IISC); Jn of CV Raman & Chowdiah rds (Govt.Porcelain); Jn of CV Raman & Chowdiah rds (CV Raman Circle); Jn of CV Raman & Sampige rds; Jn of Sampige & 15 th Crs, M’waram rds; Jn of Sampige & 11 th Crs, M’waram rds; Jn of Sampige & 8 th Crs, M’waram rds; Jn of Sampige & Southend, Sdri’puram rds; Jn of Sampige & Nagappa Sdri’puram rds; Jn of Platform & RV street, Sdri’puram rds; Jn of Platform & Bus Stn rds; Jn of Platform & Magadi rds; Jn of Magadi & E street rds; Jn of Magadi & KA Tank bund rds; Symbols : Metro Line with Station/s Segregated Bus Lane Underpasses required : Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 12 th Mn rds, R’ngr; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 8 th Crs rds, R’ngr; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & E-Crs rds, R’ngr; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 59 th Crs rds, R’ngr; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 10 th Crs rds, R’ngr; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 10 th Mn rds, R’ngr ; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 12 th Mn rds, R’ngr ; Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & 4 th Crs rds, R’ngr. Jn of Dr.Rajkumar & Navrang rds, R’ngr s;
Symbols : Metro Line with Station/s Segregated Bus Lane Bus Exclusive Route – 5 South Bound: National College Circle – Vanivilas rd – Vasavi Temple rd – Madhavrao rd – Kanakapura rd-39 th Cross Jayanagar Terminus. North bound: Kanakapura rd-39th Cross Jayanagar Terminus – KR rd – National college Circle. Underpasses required on S-Bound route : Jn of Vanivilas rd & Vasavi Temple rd; Jn of Kanakapura rd & BP Wadia rd; T-Jn of Madhavrao rd & Kanakapura rd; Jn of Kanakapura rd & South end rd; Jn of Kanakapura rd & Jayanagar 27 th Cross rd; Jn of Kanakapura rd & Jayanagar 32 nd Cross rd; Jn of Kanakapura rd & Jayanagar 36 th Cross rd; Jn of Kanakapura rd & Jayanagar 39 th Cross rd; Jn of Kanakapura rd & Jayanagar 39th Cross rd; Jn of Kanakapura rd & BSK 27 th Cross rd; Underpasses required on N-Bound route : Jn of KR rd & BSK 27 th Cross rd; Jn of KR rd & BSK 23 rd Cross rd Jn of KR rd & BSK 14 th Cross rd; Jn of KR rd & South end rd; Jn of KR rd & Madhavrao rd; Jn of KR rd & Police Stn rd; Jn of KR rd & BP Wadia rd. This is a circular route (with corridors close to one another) & is aimed to provide service for Basavangudi & Banashankari areas not serviced by Metro. Metro will be available within walking distance at both ends. Total Route Length – 7 kms appx. Note : The S-bound lane can pass adjacent KR park to reduce the need for two additional underpasses & to maintain wider road widths all around the park.
Planning Exclusive Bus Lanes (Contd.) A bus breakdown would halt the train of buses that follow. Hence, buses of higher quality with regular maintenance routines is called for. Overnight checks each day will have to be mandatory. A median is typically 2-3 ft in width. Thus, about 5-6 feet of road width on each side of the median would be used up when building the lanes. On roads with no medians, bus-ways running in the center would mean erection of a median, even if the roads were one-ways. With single-lane exclusive bus-ways, there will be a few issues to accept or deal with : For bus stops, more width would be required for commuter facilities & shelters. Typically, this can be about 5 feet wide & kept as long as possible for handling the large nos. of commuters. Overtaking facilities can be provided for operating express & skip-stop services on twin lane routes on larger roads. Thus, at some select bus stops, the bus-way would widen to about 20 ft from the normal 12 ft to allow buses to be overtaken. In order to save on using up excessive road width, the increases in bus lane widths up & down can be staggered & designed for saving on road width. The barriers separating bus-ways from mixed traffic lanes should be such that a bus can be removed from the bus-way in emergencies whilst at the same time, prevent intrusion by other vehicles. One option is to install heavy steel grills, that can be unbolted with a special tool, available for emergencies on each bus using the lane. ( Contd… )
Planning Exclusive Bus Lanes (Contd.) Many routes are over already existing flyovers (Domlur, Silkboard Jn, Richmond flyover) or underpasses (Rajajinagar). Bus lanes on the medians can be continued over the lengths of these, except for Richmond flyover, which should handle only buses from both directions. Bus conflicts may occur, however, with inclusion of speed restrictors & breakers, this may not pose obstacles. As bus lanes would mostly be in the middle of the street, safe arrangements for road crossing would be essential. This can include zebra signage on an elevated stretch to lower vehicle speeds. Passengers can pass through sections of the barriers with bollards that prevent vehicles from intruding into the bus lane. Commuter facilities & pedestrian safety : Seating arrangements & route information display with times can be supplemented with timings for Metro services to which the bus connects. It is desirable to convert Brigade road & Sampige road (from Malleswaram market to Mallewaram Circle) to ‘Pedestrian & Bus only’ streets. Costs : The major costs would be to install underpasses with pre-cast elements. If a route of 7 km requires about 20 such underpasses, the cost may be about 50 crores. Additional costs would be for buses & steel grills separating the lane on each side, buses & bus stops & commuter facilities, which might add up to about 30 crores. Thus, the cost is slightly in excess of 10 Crores per km compared to about 160 crores for Metro.
Conclusions <ul><li>PUBLIC GOOD MUST PREVAIL OVER PRIVATE INTEREST. </li></ul>CITIES MUST BE DESIGNED FOR OUR CHILDREN & PEOPLE MUCH MORE THAN FOR MOVEMENT OF CARS. ROAD EFFICIENCY CAN IMPROVE GREATLY IF TRAFFIC IS SEGREGATED. BUS LANE SEGREGATION CAN GO A LONG WAY IN IMPROVING & STREAMLINING TRAFFIC WHILST ALSO MAKING IT SAFER. THE PROBLEM OF ROAD WIDTH FOR SEPARATE BUS LANES CAN BE OVERCOME BY PROVIDING A SINGLE LANE ON NARROW STREETS & PROVIDING ANOTHER ONE ON A PARALLEL ROAD, OR BY PLANNING CIRCULAR ROUTES. UNDERPASSES THAT CAN BE INSTALLED QUICKLY CAN BE OF GREAT USE IN PLANNING SEGREGATED BUS ROUTES.