Demolish the KR Puram bridge!

Demolish the KR Puram bridge!

It is high time the State Government bring down this bridge and build in its place a simple bridge

A view of the KR Puram bridge. Credit: DH photo

The KR Puram stretch that connects the city to Kolar along Old Madras Road is also a junction of the Outer Ring Road (ORR) that connects North and West Bengaluru to East Bengaluru. It also provides an entrance to the K R Puram Railway Station.

This place has many stakeholders within the Government such as the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Railways, Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), the Metro and Traffic Police.

Each of these government agencies need to provide different services to the citizens, with limited space available around K R Puram and they work in islands. Due to lack of coordination between these agencies, this place faces many challenges to solve traffic congestion.

Read | Crossing K R Puram: A commuter’s nightmare

Improper location of bus stops for BMTC and intercity buses at Tin Factory is one factor. As exclusive bus stop lanes are not provided at this location, the existing bus stop lanes obstruct free flow of traffic on the main carriageway. Buses stop at the entrance of the bridge, further adding to the traffic problem.

Hanging bridge, a problem

The traffic jams at this location are primarily because of this bridge. There is no open space below for vehicles to take a U-Turn or cross the bridge. The bridge is located at a major junction that sees the crossings of ORR, National Highway and railway lines.

The bridge design has not provided a left turn from K R Puram towards Mahadevapura. There is also no provision for a U-Turn for vehicles coming from Channasandra towards Bennigenahalli / Baiyyappanahalli.

Read | A Comprehensive Mobility plan for KR Puram

Besides, there is no proper accessibility to K R Puram Railway station, specifically for those coming from Marathahalli / Mahadevapura, Old Airport Road and C V Raman Nagar. This bridge was designed and built mainly for aesthetics than to solve a traffic problem.

It is high time the State Government bring down this bridge and build in its place a simple bridge, incorporating all these requirements in the design itself.

Station entrance

During the 1990s, the K R Puram station was very small with few trains stopping. With the emergence and growth of IT hubs on ORR and Whitefield, more intercity trains started providing stoppage.

Due to unplanned development, this important railway station opens directly to the ORR under the hanging bridge. Thousands of railway passengers alight at the station, and many cross the road either to board a BMTC bus or an auto rickshaw on the other side of the road to reach their destinations.

The vehicle parking inside the railway premises is very limited. The parking often spills over, adding to the traffic on to the road. No facility for auto rickshaws and taxis exists to pick up and drop passengers at this important junction.

In the absence of auto rickshaw and taxi stands, the ORR inevitably turns a parking lot. Generally, these facilities should be inside the station premises. With quadrupling of the railway track, passenger traffic at this station is expected to increase even further.

Needed: FOBs

So, is there a solution for now? Multiple Foot Over-bridges (FOBs) should be provided, one near Tin Factory, one at the bridge and a third at the railway station entrance. The existing FOB of the Railways should also be integrated with FOB for road crossing.

Similarly, the Railways need to provide one more FOB towards the city end, connecting all platforms to the Tin Factory FOB. Currently, there is no provision to cross the railway lines and reach Kasturinagar from the Tin Factory side. There is also a need to relocate the temple at Tin Factory to avoid Old Madras Road and ORR getting congested, or ban vehicle parking and pickup and drops.

Narrow roads

The Road (ORR stretch) between Tin Factory Junction and KR Puram Railway Station is narrow without service lanes. This stretch cannot accommodate bigger vehicles coming from Hebbal side as well as from Ulsoor and other areas. With not much space on the stretch, vehicular traffic moves at a snail’s pace. Besides, the unscientific road alignment below the flyover further causes traffic congestion.

(The author is a seasoned urban mobility analyst)

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