If you read Deccan Herald or Times Of India regularly, you would have noticed this. Media loves the word “flyover”. Perhaps the word sells well. There are articles every other day that scream – “flyover planned at junction X”, “flyover delayed at Y nagar”.
Don’t know who built up this word (must be these newspapers). But as I see them, each flyover eases up one junction only to create two or more newer choke points.
First time I went to a developed city (US, San Diego, 1998), I expected to be strangled by flyovers – one flying here, one flying there. But I was surprised to see so few of them. Flyovers or over bridges were to be seen only on the expressways or freeways, not on any regular city road with lights. Well-synchronized signals did the job.
Most cities in US are much less crowded than our Metro cities or state capitals. Okay, so I saw London and New York City as well. Don’t recall that many flyovers, except on a motorway/freeway/expressway.
So why are we so fascinated with these? Because we love band-aids. Because people with little knowledge or experience plan and run our cities.
Look at the Hosur Road Flyover near Silk Board for example. What did it buy us? A very crowded Hosur Road as you enter BommanaHalli. And an extremely crowded and choked Ring Road near the BTM 19th main signal. What will the Airport Road flyover bring us? An even more choked Airport Road one light before and after the flyover.
Basically, a flyover just to eliminate one traffic light is poor planning. At best, they buy you some time, till more people buy cars. Planning long road bridges or a series of road bridges on select few roads is better return on investments.
The proposed elevated expressway from Silk Board to Electronics city is that sort of thing. Almost. I did not see any plans on how they plan to move traffic off from this expressway onto the city roads. I suspect we will see an even more choked BTM layout and Madivala once the expressway is done.
More on Bangalore traffic and flyovers in the next post.