Service roads – An eye opener on BDA’s planning skills

When the elevated highway from Silk Board junction to Electronics City opened up, it reduced the traffic on Hosur Road. The hours-long gridlocks vanished all of a sudden. The commute was transformed from dreaded to bearable. While the elevated highway was being ready, BDA gave the service road on both sides of the Hosur road a much needed facelift.

ServiceRoadMap As part of the facelift, barricades in the form of immovable grilled gates were placed clearly demarcating the service road and Hosur Road. The grilled gates were placed one after the other without any gap between them. On strategic locations, the gate-layers put a sufficient gap for a pedestrian to pass through. This would enable a pedestrian to cross Hosur Road and visit an office or hotel on the service road on the side. If you are driving a vehicle, you drove on the service road till you reached a major intersection and merged onto Hosur Road. You could also take a U-turn from the service road onto Hosur Road or the service road on the opposite side at these intersections. In addition to this, the service road was also given a slight elevation which made service road and the Hosur Road at two different heights. This was to counteract the frivolous elements trying to bring down the barricades to create temporary entries and exits onto the service road.

TrafficJam Within days of opening up for public, the traffic on the service road became a nightmare. Although the hours-long gridlocks were not encountered, the traffic screeched to a halt at major intersections. The vehicles trying to take a U-turn combined with those trying to get onto the service road resulted in standstill traffic together with helpless traffic cops and drivers. The traffic on the service roads were minimal but the entrances and exits at the intersection saw a very long queue that would never be cleared up even when the traffic light turned red! The number of traffic cops were increased. But this did not solve the problem. Before a week was over, BDA and traffic police came up with a solution. The barricades were brought down just a few meters away from the intersection on all sides. The barricades were brought down to provide a gap wide enough for a heavy vehicle to pass through. A temporary makeshift arrangement was created to facilitate the vehicles to climb up or down the elevation. By providing a better way to enter and exit the service road, there were no dazed and confused drivers at the intersection which also resulted in a smooth traffic at the intersection.

But why couldn’t BDA think about this when the roads were being readied? Why did they wait for an incident to happen instead of preventing one? This could have been easily solved if the authorities sat down and tried to figure out all the possible doomsday scenarios! The service road fiasco clearly demonstrates that BDA do not have planning skills. One ride on the service road was enough to predict this traffic nightmare! But the authorities failed!

You can find the elevated highway, service road and also the entry/exit in the below pictures.

Picture 027 Picture 080

Tags: Bangalore,Elevated Highway,Service Road,Hosur Road,BDA


  1. Bangalore traffic management is dreadfully worse. My daily commute to ITPL is always a cribful drive bouncing up and down on the way. They build road and they dug it and they again build it with patches..

    I hv not seen other cities' condition (with exception of Mumbai) so bad.. may be there shud be a central authority who atleast keep sharing good ideas/initiatives across cities in India.

  2. You do not need to be a civil engineer to know that roads are designed so badly in India. All it requires is common sense. The road alignment is bad, the roads are bad, a six lane road narrows into a two lane road, the traffic lights are positioned wrongly, and whenever the cops cannot handle traffic, all they do is make a road one way or block some roads with barricades. All this leads to total chaos, and even the educated ( the bigger the car, the more they try to save on petrol) drive on the wrong side of the road! And pedestrians, the word does not exist in the R&D dictionary. No one cares about them.

  3. Similar story back here in Bombay, more so in the monsoons.

  4. @Vineeta - You mean, the best practices from one city to be shared with another city? That is a good idea! But have you wondered when our officials say we are going to model it like "x" city where x could also be an international city, a commission is supposed to go there and study it first. :) These lil things can easily emerge from brainstorming sessions!

    @Ramesh - Hello Sir.

    @Radha - I hate it when the 2 lanes suddenly merge into one! That is sure recipe for a slowdown in fast moving traffic. About people using wrong side, it is mostly the "educated"!

    @Anil P - But I thought Mumbai was more organized!


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