Pedestrian to be king on upgraded CBD roads

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BANGALORE, October 21:  The seven Central Business District (CBD) roads of Bangalore that have been identified for upgradation under Tender SURE project will not only feature cycle lanes, but also accord “very high priority for pedestrians”.

In the wake of the State Cabinet’s recent decision to upgrade the roads in the heart of the city at a cost of Rs 78.83 crore under Tender SURE, Mayor B.S. Sathyanarayana said the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) would soon float tenders to invite bids.

“The pedestrian is at the heart of the plan under Tender SURE,” said urbanist V. Ravichandar, who is an executive committee member of Bangalore City Connect Foundation (BCCF), which prepared the detailed project report (DPR) for upgrading the roads.

In the hierarchy of road users conceived under the project, pedestrians are followed by cyclists and public transport, which is acknowledged as the necessary mode of sustainable mobility, and lastly private vehicles. “Traditionally, pedestrian lane (footpath) width allotment is based on what’s possible after the motor vehicle needs are taken care of.

However, under Tender SURE, they get pole position in the plan,” he said and added that footpaths may measure up to three metres while a cyclists’ path will be wide enough to accommodate two bicycles.

Another trait of city roads is the varying width for motor vehicles depending on land availability. Under Tender SURE, the motor vehicles get lanes of uniform length of around three metres throughout the road stretch. The surplus land area is used to provide islands, bus bays, hawker zones, etc.

The Mayor said there would be no deviation from concept of Tender SURE while upgrading the roads. “Also, all roads will be asphalted”, he said.

No road cutting

Meanwhile, referring to the road cutting menace, which has become rampant across the city, Mr. Ravichandar said the Tender SURE design provides for underground ducts for various utilities saving the huge expenditure incurred on maintenance and repairs.

He said the storm water drains are planned alongside the roads and the guidelines suggest cylindrical drains over the traditional box drains.

Under Tender SURE, all utilities are part of the apex project team and the tender is a unified one where there will be a lead contractor (roads and footpath) with sub-contractors specialised in laying utility lines.

Mr. Ravichandar said the first experiment with Tender SURE project was carried out during the 2009-10 upgrading of 300 metres stretch of Vittal Mallya Road, which has now become one of the best roads in the city.

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