Here's an open letter to Bengaluru City Traffic Police, on reducing the traffic problems on Outer Ring Road. Additional Commissioner of Police - Traffic, M A Saleem had asked for citizens' suggestions on the issue.
Hello Dr Saleem,
At the outset a big thank you for reaching out to citizens on this serious issue that we face on a day to day basis. Just to give you the context, every day I travel from Jayanagar 5th block to Iblur in 30-40 minutes. It takes me another 20-30 minutes (there have been days when it has taken as long as an hour) from Iblur to Adarsh Palm Retreat in Bellandur.
I am guessing a good 3-4 lakh people are employed in IT companies between Iblur and Marathalli junction and another 3 lakh people pass through this road to get to other IT parks. That means a significant portion of tax revenue to the state comes from this corridor and yet they are left to face the brunt of poor infrastructure day in and day out.
I have a long list of solutions/steps - the ones that I think the Traffic Department can/should handle:
1. Along the service road (from Devarabeesanhalli to Bellandur), once you pass Bosch (RMZ Eco Space), cabs/tempo travellers park on the road side. Just imposing fine on these cabs wont help—you should liason with the companies that use these services and take their help to stop this practice. The cab drivers change habits only when their job is at stake, not when they have to pay Rs 100 or Rs 300 as penalty. The parking problem is also observed on the other side of the service road. An effective towing system can be used so that it acts as another deterrent.
2. Strictly impose 'no right turn' at the Intel junction for vehicles coming from RMZ Echoworld. Your staff usally struggle because of this — you can see drivers usually arguing with police.
3. I think your staff is working with civic authorities to allow some traffic below the Deverabeesanahalli bridge (opp Intel). They have reduced the height of the drain to level it. I just expect the dreadful flooding in front of RMZ to get worse due to this. Even when it rains for 5-10 minutes, ORR and the service roads get flooded at the foot of the bridge right in front of RMZ Ecospace. May be you can get BWSSB to look at this.
Part of Outer Ring Road in front of RMZ Ecospace where it floods perennially. Pic: Satheesh
4. Road leading to RMZ Echoworld has tempo travellers dotted along both sides of the road at 3pm. The builders need to provide parking space inside their campus, not outside—I am sure you agree. Can you please enforce this? There are also large buses that make a U-turn on this road clogging the road. Why can't the buses go around their campus thus easing traffic?
5. Let there be at least a 4 feet wide footpath on the outside of the service lanes. Right now there is none! I hope the Trafic police can demand this from BBMP.
Part of Outer Ring Road in front of RMZ Ecospace where it floods perennially. Two-wheelers are seen struggling to pass through the flooded stretch. Pic: Satheesh
The below is probably something that you can influence but cannot act directly.
1. Move the water line that is jutting out in front of RMZ Ecospace). This shrinks the size of the service lane. The amount of money spent on petrol by all those vehicles each and every day can fund the movement of this inside the RMZ campus. I am sure they will agree to it as well.
2. Build a flyover in front of RMZ Ecospace—you should just see the pathetic state of pedestrians with their heart in their hand everyday trying to cross over.
3. Ask BMTC busses to stop only under the bridge, not at the foot in front of RMZ.
While all these are not comprehensive, they at least will provide temporary relief. Long term solution is to tear down the bridge, reconstruct without leaving the space in between (eliminate the eight-way junction) and make the service roads wider on either side.
Even better is to get underground Metro all along ORR as soon as possible.
Thanks for patiently going through this. I once again thank you for reaching out to affected citizens. Not one politician has done this so far in this area!