I first moved to this city in 2013 and I have lived in Yelahanka ever since. As anyone can attest to, going to MG road or Indiranagar takes a while from here. Except the amount of time we need to travel has steadily increased in the last 3 years. It started with one hour and has now become a solid 2 hours in peak hour Bangalore traffic. This situation is one that is faced by everyone from all corners of Bangalore. The travels times have gone up to a point that it is impossible to predict how long it would take to go from point A to B. The city has grown exponentially in the last 2 decades and continues growing at a staggering rate. With the rising population in the city, there is also a corresponding increase in the number of vehicles in the city and a huge increase in the demand for land.
Problems are so many and so deep-rooted that Bangalore traffic is a topic of conversation constantly among those stuck in it. There is the host of causes for the Bangalore traffic and they are all correlated with each other. The situation worsens every year because of the increasing dependence on personal modes of transport instead of public transport. The roads, in turn, are not built for such a high traffic influx, that it causes constant snarls in different areas. Added to that is the lackluster Bangalore traffic management. The law enforcement also has their hands tied as no one wants to follow the rules. There are only about 1000 traffic constables for every one lakh vehicle in the city. They try their best to manage the vehicular movement, if they were to succeed in that, they will not be able to stop the pedestrian jay-walking situation. 33% of deaths in Bangalore are due to vehicular accidents. There is the lack of a unified body in the transport sector: all of them work as individual bodies. With the bureaucratic issues, bad attitudes and general disregard for road rules caused this irreversible damage to the traffic in the city. There is also the serious dearth of public transport to connect all areas.
People understand that public transport is cheap, but in Bangalore, they still prefer their own vehicles. The metro line only covers 18 km as of now and can cater to only 1.5% of the 10 million residents of the city. When it is fully completed, it shall be able to connect 10-15% of the city. But phase II is not expected to be completed any time before 2019. Currently, the metro gives a miss to high-density areas like Koramangala, HSR Layout, BTM Layout, Yelahanka, Kengeri, and Whitefield, among other localities where the population has spiked in recent times. The Outer Ring Road, a 60-km circular road through the city, as most offices and large residential areas alongside it, but is not connected to the metro.
There are a few things that can be done to help the Bangalore traffic situation. The first being to improve the quality of the roads with proper lane demarcation and removal of the unscientific road humps every few hundred meters. Creating a more stable and exhaustive public transportation system along with encouraging people to use it could significantly reduce the number of cars on the road. Endorsing the concept of carpooling and penalizing those who don’t could help the situation. Establishing stringent measures while purveying Driving licenses to be able to weed away the bad drivers from the road.
We have a fair idea of many bad drivers there are on the streets of Bangalore. People have to understand that driving is an exacting task, the concentration needs to be on driving and driving alone. On the off chance that there is an accident or a car break down that causes the jam, there is a need for swift emergency breakdown response vehicles. These would hinder a chain reaction of queuing up of vehicles by freeing up the lane.
Creation of auxiliary lane near bus stops along with the provision of adequate shelter in the bus stops and accoutre them with sufficient seats so that people don’t start using the extra lane as a place where they can entrench. The buses can move into the extra lane and pick up/drop people without impeding the vehicles behind them. Advocating the use Pedestrian bridges so as to keep the jaywalkers off the road. This would dramatically reduce the accidents (both major and minor); by major, I mean involving a pedestrian; and minor accidents which involves scenarios like bumping into another car or minor nudges and prevent drivers having exaggerated brawls with each other in the middle of the road.
All of this in addition to stricter road rule enforcement would theoretically ease up everyone’s morning commute to work or school. Starting the day off with a Bangalore traffic jam has become a part of our lives but it should not be so. Everyone I’m sure will agree that it’s better to wake up and smell the coffee instead of the fumes from other cars.
1. What are all the areas that are connected to the Metro?
The Purple Line connects Bayipannahalli to MG Road; Magadi Road to Mysore Road; and Mysore Road to Bayipannahalli. The Green Line connects Yeshwanthpur to Peenya and Mantri Mall to Nagasandra.
2. What are the areas that face heavy peak-time traffic?
Infamous traffic-ridden areas include Whitefield, ORR, Marathalli, Bannerghatta Road, Hebbal Flyover, Residency Road, MG Road, Yeshwanthpur, Koramangala (occasionally), BTM Layout, Cantonment, Richmond Circle, Hudson Flyover, Electronic City, KR Puram, Madivala, Peenya, Silk Board, to name a few.
3. What is the best time to travel to and from Whitefield?
Before 8:30 am 10:30 am – 12:30 pm, 14:30 pm – 17:00 pm, and post 21:00 are relatively easier to travel during, for commuters.
4. What are the ways to save travel time in Bangalore?
One could use the Metro, the Indian Railways, use highways like NICE Road or evade peak-hour traffic.
5. How can one contact the traffic police for various traffic-related issues?
Apart from approaching them directly, and sending in a complaint at bangaloretrafficpolice.gov.in, Bangalore Traffic Police (BlrCityTraffic) and Bangalore Police (BlrCityPolice) is active on Twitter and responds to tweets regularly.