The state government is busy converting major arterial roads signal-free in the city to ease traffic. But will such corridors be of any help? While the BBMP feels that the five signal-free corridors in the city will end traffic woes of Bengalureans there is a big question mark on the need for these corridors. The Bengaluru city has too many intersections and cross roads. Managing these will be very difficult. Projects like these should be taken up after assessing the feasibility in a more techno-economical environment.
In 2012, this concept was proposed to 5 major roads viz., Airport road, Old Madras road, Okalipuram, Hosur road and other ring road from Central silk board to Mysore road junction.
Since vehicles tend to move at a greater speed on signal free roads, the option available to pedestrians to cross the roads will be sky-walks or underpass. Sky-walks constructed in signal-free corridors must have elevators, otherwise it would be a waste. Pedestrian underpasses are notoriously unsafe to use.
Another major doubt in the minds of the people are how residential areas along with the signal free corridor connected? Often commuters end up travelling long distances in the process.
As the city has grown and expanded haphazardly, it will be like a highway passing in the middle of the city. At the rate at which cars and bikes are being added to Bengaluru roads, these corridors will be traffic jams in a few months.
Bengaluru needs a combination of different solutions to different problems. The citizens need a mix of sky walks, pelican signals and passenger crossing subways. There is a need for systematic solution to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
Signal free corridors walk on arterial of 6 or 8 laned high speed roads but may not be a big hit on 2 or 4 lane roads that criss-cross crowded areas in the city.
Some are of the opinion that for a city like Bengaluru, which has radial roads, the concept of signal-free corridors will be of no help.