BENGALURU: Vehicles parked on the footpath, road dug up for works, suffocating smell of garbage on road sides, unmanned signals, motorists waiting zoom off at the signals as if they are in an F1 grand prix track. This almost sums up the scene on the Outer Ring Road which covers the IT capital 360 degrees.
When Express tried to find out the reasons for the ORR turning out to be a death trap for pedestrians, it was evident that most of the stretch was not pedestrian friendly.
The footpaths at Nagharbhavi junction and Mysuru Road junction are packed with parked vehicles.
Commuters are left with no option but to walk on the roads. This ORR stretch houses a university, many companies, houses, apartment complexes and commercial establishments. But nowhere can we find a foot overbridge for pedestrians.
Four km from Mysuru junction, the stretch from Kumaraswamy Layout to Sarakki junction has a different problem - roads dug up to install fibre cables. At the traffic junctions, one can find traffic police handling heavy traffic but this merely helps the pedestrians.
The ORR stretch from Silk Board to Horamavu houses tech parks, offices and commercial buildings throughout the road and a large number of pedestrians cross the roads here. At most places, this means people have to wait for as much as 20 minutes as they try to avoid vehicles that zoom past at high speeds, reducing the 50 km/hr speed limit to a joke.
The dreaded Silk Board junction
THE trouble for pedestrians starts at Silk Board junction, which is dreaded for its daily traffic congestion. Mithun P, who crosses from the Madivala side to Hosur Road regularly, said, “There are no signals for pedestrians. Vehicles move even when the signal is red and the footpath is infested with beggars.”
A traffic police personnel stationed at the junction admitted that a skywalk is required for pedestrians to cross the road between the Madivala side and Hosur Road. But he blames the pedestrians too. “Many of them walk while they are busy with their phones or have earphones plugged into their ears, and they are always in such a hurry,” he said. Though signals for pedestrians are present at the junction, the cop said they are usually switched off due to heavy traffic.
A long wait at Bellandur junction
AT Bellandur junction, a lot of people cross the road after getting off buses. Sometimes they have to wait for a long time. The situation is almost the same at Kadubeesanahalli junction. Jayalakshmi, an elderly woman who had just crossed the junction with great difficulty, said, “It is always tough to cross the road, especially during peak hours. I have waited for up to 20 minutes.”
According to a traffic police, the point which needs a skywalk the most is VIMS Hospital in Marathahalli. He recalled the horror of trying to help patients from the hospital, including pregnant and aged women, cross the road. “At night, the cab and auto drivers drive extremely fast and even we are not able to help them cross the road. I have saved some women from being hit by cars. I now detest the sight of cabs. I have informed the inspector about this and he said he will talk to the officials about making a skywalk here,” he said.
At the stretch between Doddanekundi and Horamavu, however, it is the pedestrians who are at fault. Though this stretch has three skywalks, many pedestrians still don’t use them to cross the road, like at Kasturi Nagar. Suresh, an auto driver, said pedestrians crossing roads is a big disturbance for motorists. He added that some two-wheelers also take a U-turn where the divider’s height is low.