Dr Ashish Verma, mobility expert and associate professor, Centre for Infrastructure Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), IISc)
They sound fancy, but signal- free corridors, elevated corridors or even mini steel flyovers are unlikely to solve the city’s traffic troubles as they will merely shift the congestion on the roads from one place to another. While the government claims that making the Old Airport Road, Old Madras Road or Dr Rajkumar Road signal — free and the proposed mini steel bridge at Shivananda Circle are solutions, they will only help reduce traffic on the roads for around six months to a year. We already have many examples before us of such projects and flyovers that have become redundant with time.
These big infrastructure projects will encourage more private vehicles to come out on the roads in the city and lead to more exploitation of fossil fuel, and more air and noise pollution in the long run.
Sadly, the government, which is so interested in road infrastructure projects, isn't showing the same interest in mass public transport systems like the Metro or Monorail, which can carry thousands of people in one direction every hour and significantly take the burden off the roads.
The Metro Phase 1 could have been completed faster if the government had realised that public transport is the only solution to the rising traffic in the city. Take the fact that the annual flower show at Lal Bagh has been a bigger hit than usual this year.
It recorded more footfalls as most of the visitors used Namma Metro and did not have the bother of looking for parking for their vehicles.
This is how public transport can help. All we can hope for is that the government shifts it attention to public transport and gives impetus to Metro Phase 2 to ensure it is completed as soon as possible....