War Memorial Junction may turn hep 'n' happening

A group of architects has proposed a makeover of traffic joint
Last Updated 29 May 2013, 22:11 IST

Bangalore’s decrepit, traffic-clogged, poorly designed traffic junctions might look
severely starved of aesthetics and functionality,a far cry from the malls
and glitzy office buildings.

It needn’t be so. Attempting to restore Bangalorean’s long-forgotten pride in the City, a concerned group of urban architects has now proposed a complete image makeover of these very conspicuous junctions.

One such project is the aesthetic overhaul of the Brigade Road -- Residency Road junction, proposed to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) by the collective comprising Venkatraman Associates, Architecture Paradigm, Apparatus Media Lab and Helping Hands.

The plan is three-fold: To expand the pedestrian space, boost the heritage value of the First World War Memorial at the junction and streamline the flow of traffic on Residency and Brigade Roads. All this, without acquiring any additional land or felling trees, and at an estimated cost not exceeding Rs 4 crore!

But first, the road geometry of the junction would have to be rationalised. The width of the roads leading to the junction is irregular, and the routes are not aligned in a straight line.

“This rationalisation has not happened for years. Once this is done, the width of the pedestrian footpath at the junction will increase by 300 to 400 per cent,” explained Naresh V Narasimhan, Architect - Principal, Venkataraman Associates.

Big on the project agenda is a rejig of the War Memorial enclosure, a heritage monument of repute.

“The structure is today almost hidden from public view. Our plan is to redesign the place by installing urban steps at one end where people could sit, build a neat bus stop for Big10 buses at one end and light up the Memorial at night. The spot will also feature a tourist information office and a public toilet,” said Narasimhan.

Seamless movement

The design ensures seamless movement of one-way traffic on the two intersecting roads. The three-laned flow of vehicles will be maintained on Residency Road, flanked by footpaths of about 10-meter width.

“The remnants of Residency Road’s two-way days are still dumped at the junction. Old traffic medians, unnecessary and abandoned triangles and side strips are lying all around. All these hinders free movement.”

Strict demarcation of pedestrian crosses is also high on the project agenda to regulate the chaotic jay-walkers at the junction.

If the project kicks off, the junction would sport fountains, benches, flashy cobble-stone footpaths in place of jaded concrete, and yes, the billboards would disappear!

(Published 29 May 2013, 22:08 IST)

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