Case study of a junction crying for redesign

Case study of a junction crying for redesign

K R Circle junction, in the midst of Vidhana Soudha, High Court, Nrupathunga Road and Central College campus in the heart of the city requires realignment to ensure smooth traffic flow and pedestrian safety.

The junction is the nerve-center for vehicles travelling from Vijayanagar, Basaweshwarnagar, K H B Colony, and Dr Rajkumar Road - it is the only main road, Seshadri road - for people from these areas to go on towards Jayanagar and J P Nagar and K R Puram direction if they do not take Mysore Road, locate in Bangalore west/south. Seshadri road is busy most of the time in a day. Traffic coming from these directions pile up near K R Circle, and in peak time, nearly half a kilometre queue of vehicles is seen waiting to clear the signal.  

When the signal turns green, the problem begins. All buses heading to Nrupathunga Road at the junction take a deep turn from the extreme left to the right. Just then, vehicles going towards Cubbon Park would be heading straight towards Century Club. The anxiety is very high when the buses are turning right and other vehicles are heading straight to Cubbon Park. This criss-cross in two directions can result in the buses hitting the vehicles and vice-versa. The tension is palpable every day.

The Century Club road also creates a bottleneck near the K R Circle junction. The entry to the road is very narrow, yet the police have somehow created space for vehicles going out and coming in to the road with a barrier. The number of vehicles going towards K R Circle is increasing by the day. This forces many of them to ride and drive on the right side of the road even though a barrier has been placed dividing the road into two. 

The vehicles on the right side pile up at the entry of the road. When they do that, vehicles coming from Seshadri road to the Century club road do not get adequate space to enter the road and invariably there’s a jam. Also, vehicles from this direction do keep passing despite a red signal, while traffic from Vidhana Soudha side has to endlessly wait for the green signal to start. So while the signal turns red for one section, while for the other section, the signal doesn’t turn green for very long. But the more serious problem is lack of any footpath for pedestrians who have to invariably cross between the vehicles. The Subway at the junction is again smelly and untidy because of which people don’t use it. Pedestrain safety in all four directions of the road is very poor as there are no clearly marked crossings, except at one place.

 It is very possible that the arbitrary placement of the signals and the circle could result in a tragedy. The signal for vehicles from Seshadri road is way too far from where the vehicles actually stop - about 25-30 metres ahead of the signal. So some vehicles heading towards Cubbon Park wait for the signal to turn green waiting very close to it and the others wait 25-30 metres behind. This confusion has been going on several months.

The K R circle itself is not in the center of the road, but closer to central college campus road. When the signal turns green for the people coming in from Vidhana Soudha,  some go around the circle, while others go to its left to Seshadri road. It is very difficult to anticipate the direction from which the vehicles would enter Seshadri road and this confusion affects pedestrians the most. 

An underpass built between the Vidhana Soudha side and Nrupathunga road to enable vehicles to pass directly without waiting for the signal is utilised very little by vehicles. The concern is whether this underpass was needed at all though it cannot be denied that for vehicles from Vidhana Soudha side, it helps skip the signal and enables people to go on the Nrupathunga road directly. The answer to the confusion is to realign the circle and traffic signals and to make clear walkways.


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