Bangalore's traffic mess

The solution

A dream
A Green Bangalore, with clean air, peaceful roads

The current nightmare
Terrible pollution, road accidents, loss of trees, loss of homes and businesses to road widening

Can we forget the nightmare and achieve the dream ?

The current strategy
Widen roads to keep pace with traffic

Traffic has almost doubled in the past 5 years. Can we double road space every 5 years ? Illogical, but this is what we are trying to do.

The current strategy
Dog chasing its own tail

Road space can never keep pace with vehicle population.

'Dog chasing its tail' strategy
has failed all over the world

20-lane road in USA.

Congestion remains, despite endless road widening.

So what's the solution ?

Reduce the need for road space, by reducing traffic

Increase public transport, reduce private vehicles. This is the only solution that will work in the long term.

But which public transport ?
London, Paris, New York 150 years to build city-wide coverage - 400 km. of Metro tracks. Bangalore too needs 400 km. of tracks, but is going to get just 40 km. in 2013. We cannot wait for the Metro.



What about the Bus ?
During rush hour a car or bike has 1 person

On this flyover there are - 150 vehicles carrying 150 people

There are 75 vehicles between each pair of red lines, carrying 75 people.

A bus is designed to carry 75 people. If we get each group of 75 people out of their private vehicles and into a bus, this is what happens.




Road space used by a person in a bus is: 3 % of a person in a car 5 % of a person in a 2-wheeler

The logic already works
In Bangalore
BMTC has 6000 buses, 0.5 % of the total vehicle population of 36,00000 (36 lakhs). It carries half the city's population.

One half of Bangalore occupies this much road space in 36 Lakh private vehicles. The other half of Bangalore occupies this much road space in 6000 buses.

The immediate solution
Bus for long commutes Cycling, walking for short commutes

Road widening is useless, harmful Metro is too long term

Without destroying Bangalore

Reduce No. of vehicles Commute time Pollution Spending on roads

by 75 % by 50 % by 80 % by 90 %

Increase spending on Water, Medicare, Education, Power

It's decision making time

Option 1
The Ostrich attitude : Don't confront the problem, and maybe it'll one day go away on its own.

Keep widening roads endlessly




2020 ?

Resulting in Air pollution, road accidents, loss of trees, loss of homes and businesses to road widening

Option 2 Shift to sustainable transport

Beijing, China Minneapolis, USA

Delhi, India

Resulting in A green Bangalore, with clean air, improved mobility, more money spent on healthcare, water, power, education

The solution

Cycle + Bus + Nadiyodu

Encourage public transport. Discourage private transport.

How can CyBaNa be implemented ?
And what is preventing us from doing it ?

Discourage private transport
Use strategies like this:
- Charge congestion fee for entering business districts. - Ban single-passenger vehicles on main roads. - Ban private vehicles from main roads during peak hours. - No parking on all roads, including in residential areas OR Increase parking fee to Rs. 200 per hour. - Increase road taxes on private vehicles. - Impose quota on registration of new vehicles. - Reduce road space available to private vehicles. - Allow only vehicles with even number plates on even dates, odd on odd dates.

Encourage CyBaNa
How ?

1. Encourage public transport
Improve 3 key factors of public transport – Frequency, Comfort, Punctuality. Use strategies like this: - Increase the number of buses. - Improve the comfort level in buses. - Allow only buses on main roads during peak hours. - Make dedicated bus lanes on main roads. - Improve comfort and safety in bus stops, terminuses. - Promote autos and taxis (secondary public transport). - Run commuter trains on existing rail tracks.

2. Encourage walking
Improve safety and comfort in walking. Use strategies like this : - Improve quality of footpaths. - Improve number of pedestrian crossings on roads. - Improve quality and safety of pedestrian crossings. - Make some roads pedestrian-only. - Give pedestrians priority when designing any road, underpass, etc. - Provide trees beside for shade.

3. Encourage cycling
Improve safety and comfort in cycling. Use strategies like this : - Provide cycling lanes on all roads. - Include priority for bicycles in signal lights. - Provide priority bicycle parking across the city.

A common reply
This is all utopian, not possible here

Why not ?
100s of cities worldwide have CyBaNa. In Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, USA, China, Brazil, Columbia, Australia, UK, etc. Cities in India too are promoting CyBaNa – Delhi, Indore, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi.

Why is this not possible ?
Standard replies
Standard reply 1: “It is the right of citizens to use whatever transport they want. How can we legislate and curb this?” The response : If the government can use legislation to demolish houses and business to widen roads, why can't it use legislation to reduce private vehicles ? Which would citizens prefer ? To lose their homes businesses and have their one-beautiful city destroyed, or to reduce use of their private vehicles ? Standard reply 2: “We are a democracy. Maybe dictatorships can do this, but not us.” The response : Measures to curb private vehicles have been implemented in large numbers of democracies worldwide – in Europe, Asia, South America.

Why is this not possible ?
We keep talking of 'Making Bangalore like Singapore'. Why don't we copy its system of encouraging CyBaNa and discouraging private transport ? In Singapore, a car costing Rs. 4 Lakhs in the showroom would cost you: Rs. 22 Lakhs on the road. + Road tax parking Rs. 11,000 per month

*Cost Rs. 4 Lakhs + Registration fee Rs. 32000 + + Certificate of entitlement Rs. 10 Lakh + Additional registration fee Rs. 6.4 Lakh + Customs duty Rs. 1.2 Lakh ** + Road Tax Rs. 1000 + Parking fee (@ 10 hrs. per day, Rs. 32 per hout, 25 days) Rs. 8000 + Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) on main roads in peak hours – Rs. 65 to Rs. 96 ($2 to $3) to enter congested areas, @ once a day Rs. 2000

Why is this not possible ?
Enrique Peñalosa transformed Bogota in Columbia in just the 3 years that he was Mayor : 1998 – 2001.

Why is this not possible ?
How did he do this ?
“We were able to change the priority from a city for cars which is what had been built for the last 80 years, to what I believe is much more a city for people, and especially for the more vulnerable people, with things that may be very obvious, but they were very difficult. We made sidewalks. We widened footpaths in many cases, even taking away space from car roads. We built, or rebuilt, about more than a thousand parks. We built some fantastic schools and nurseries and libraries. And we built about 350 kilometres of bike paths, and we created maybe what is today the world's best bus system.” - Enrique Peñalosa Peñalosa is a hero worldwide, and his feat and methods are being studied and emulated worldwide.

Why can we in Bangalore not do this too ?

Further reading
Links to presentations and articles on related topics.
Some of the articles are a couple of years old. The data may be slightly old, but the essence of the arguments does not change. Why the Metro is not a solution Why road widening is stupid Enrique Penalosa - Brief biography Interview with Enrique Penalosa Praja - Parking/Congestion charging proposals for CBD

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.