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Old 5th May 2014, 22:53   #16
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Default Re: Could lead to compromise on safety?

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Originally Posted by Desi Dybuk View Post
I'm a Transportation engineer by training. During my informal chats with the city engineers & policy makers on why they aren't concentrating on increasing the road capacity in a chocked city like Bangalore
Their next typical response would be some snide remark about my Yankee accent & how things work like that in US and not in India.

I have lost hope about rational thinking in this country.
They are right: the American way is ruinous for its cities, its people and firms.

I have to point out that intra-city road widening is a completely irrational and socially and economically inefficient and ineffective policy. Please witness the effects of manic road and flyover building in Delhi NCR over the last 10-12 years, despite the equally strong rollout of the Metro. Congestion is still increasing at the old rate, average speeds are still plumetting, traffic safety and lawfulness are only worse, the theft of pedestrians' and everyone's time and space by cars has only accelerated.

There is only ONE mantra for cities: public transport, more and more of it, of all types. Private vehicles, especially 4-wheelers must be deterred, and maybe even banned on certain routes (in favour of a BRT, for example). And this dissuasion, dis-incentivization and deterrence of cars must start now, despite the too slow improvement in intra-city public transport. 'Public' transport will only improve when vocal and impatient/demanding car-owning middle and upper-income people start using it!

Let us face it: there is a zero-sum relation between 4-wheelers and almost every parameter of urban quality and efficiency of life. Cars should ideally only be for pleasure, recreation and taste, and for weekends or for tours outside town.
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Old 6th May 2014, 11:53   #17
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Default Re: Could lead to compromise on safety?

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Originally Posted by desdemona View Post
They are right: the American way is ruinous for its cities, its people and firms.

I have to point out that intra-city road widening is a completely irrational and socially and economically inefficient and ineffective policy. Please witness the effects of manic road and flyover building in Delhi NCR over the last 10-12 years, despite the equally strong rollout of the Metro. Congestion is still increasing at the old rate, average speeds are still plumetting, traffic safety and lawfulness are only worse, the theft of pedestrians' and everyone's time and space by cars has only accelerated.

There is only ONE mantra for cities: public transport, more and more of it, of all types. Private vehicles, especially 4-wheelers must be deterred, and maybe even banned on certain routes (in favour of a BRT, for example). And this dissuasion, dis-incentivization and deterrence of cars must start now, despite the too slow improvement in intra-city public transport. 'Public' transport will only improve when vocal and impatient/demanding car-owning middle and upper-income people start using it!

Let us face it: there is a zero-sum relation between 4-wheelers and almost every parameter of urban quality and efficiency of life. Cars should ideally only be for pleasure, recreation and taste, and for weekends or for tours outside town.
I don't disagree that building more lanes isn't the sole solution to our congestion problems & the American way may not be the best solution forward.

But in a country like ours where people are being newly affluent, can you completely eliminate personal transportation like cars which have a certain aspirational values? And unless there's an efficient, convenient & Comfortable public transportation, people would migrate towards owning a car. You can't tell a middle class, upper middle class person that traveling in a AC car in the middle of summer is a sin & they need use the local bus by standing precariously on the footboard. An efficient & comfortable public transportation needs to come & people will naturally start leaving their cars at home. (Delhi Metro is an example)

At the same time, the roads need to be widened comprehensively on the arterial roads in a city like Bangalore. I can show you the Heat Maps (congestion maps) of the arterials in Bangalore during peak hours where the roads are clogged not my Cars but by BMTC buses. To cater to thousands of commuters, BMTC puts our 100s of buses on roads that can take only 10s of buses.

Fact is, we in India waste too much fuel, productivity & money because our civic bodies don't do a comprehensive planning on enabling movement. That's the reason why it takes 1.5 hours for a bus commuter in Bangalore to traverse 10kms.
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