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Old 22nd August 2016, 11:13   #1
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Default NICE road, Bangalore: Poor engineering or just bad driving?

I've never seen the NICE road in Bangalore. However, on occasional visits to this thread, I see a lot of accidents reported from this particular road. Is there some engineering defects in the design of this particular road or are the accidents mostly due to drivers not being able to handle great speeds due to better quality roads? Info might help road users who haven't been on this road and planning to take this road sometime in future.

Last edited by TD_GHY : 22nd August 2016 at 11:14. Reason: Spelling mistake
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Old 22nd August 2016, 11:30   #2
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
I've never seen the NICE road in Bangalore. However, on occasional visits to this thread, I see a lot of accidents reported from this particular road. Is there some engineering defects in the design of this particular road or are the accidents mostly due to drivers not being able to handle great speeds due to better quality roads? Info might help road users who haven't been on this road and planning to take this road sometime in future.
The main reason this road isn't safe is that there are no barricades towards the center of the road, or the median.
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Drivers who are tired and doze off, or over speeding cars who lose control have no barricades to save them.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 11:34   #3
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
I see a lot of accidents reported from this particular road.
Quite true on the statistics. Usual accidents here on this road and most of the times, quite fatal ones too.

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Is there some engineering defects in the design of this particular road or are the accidents mostly due to drivers not being able to handle great speeds due to better quality roads? Info might help road users who haven't been on this road and planning to take this road sometime in future.
Road quality remains mostly good despite of the patchy surfaces. Incidentally, the authorities also mention 120KMPH as the upper limit but the reality is bit different.

On a regular day, private cars take this one to reach their offices mostly situated in and around Electronics City area. It is faster as this road sees no blocks all throughout except may be the toll booths.

Apart from these, company buses opt for this route religiously.Not to forget the usual highway traffic comprising trucks, tempos and trailers.


The road is ~40 kms end to end (Hosur Road to Tumkur road) with 6 exits - Bannerghatta Road, Kanakpura Road, Link Road/PESIT, Mysore Road, Magadi Road, Tumkur Road.

Its is a dual carriageway with 2 lanes on each side but also has a wide shoulder mostly for 2 wheelers. The same shoulder also suddenly become non-existent in many places where you have culverts or overbridges.

Coming to the accident rate - Well, its a fast road but what makes it worse is the inability to understand the dynamics of road safety on this road. It is still not a highway and can be termed a road for regular drivers. At peak office hours, in both directions you can notice that company uses easily do 100 KMPH zig-zagging between lanes that also includes overtaking dangerously from the shoulder. Cars using the shoulders is a very regular affair mainly because slow moving trucks occupy both the lane for ages till one of them creates a gap.

This road for those who are oblivious to anything but NICE Road is a "Speed Run" Track. They drive here to test the speeds of their cars too!

Last 3 months, I am taking this road everyday on return journey although it adds 15 kms extra to my overall commute one way, I still reach home in under 75 minutes for a distance of 49 kms. Earlier I was using this only occasionally. As much as I avoid the city route when company buses leave is the same reason I avoid NICE road too. I leave much before or after them to avoid driving along with these ruffians.

Another major issue with NICE is that the road surface is usually in bad shape despite of regularly re-asphalting the entire section. The undulations are easy prey for water logging on both the lanes. The median here is not over the road surface but drain type. So blaring lights from opposite traffic is also something one cannot avoid and in rains it becomes worse.

NICE is a really fast option to escape the mess driving inside the city but not the safest one at all. Someone who has been crawling in 1-2nd gears to reach this road for 30 minutes is let loose to drive full throttle here for the next 20 minutes and then you can imagine what happens next!

Last edited by paragsachania : 22nd August 2016 at 11:50.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 11:46   #4
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
I've never seen the NICE road in Bangalore. However, on occasional visits to this thread, I see a lot of accidents reported from this particular road. Is there some engineering defects in the design of this particular road or are the accidents mostly due to drivers not being able to handle great speeds due to better quality roads? Info might help road users who haven't been on this road and planning to take this road sometime in future.
There are no technical engineering defects to justify so many accidents IMO. Its more of people and cars not able to handle speeds.

However there are certain things that are not good:
1. At one junction (Bhannerghatta road) to bypass an engineering college, the road was realigned and the road curves two times which is slightly too sharp for the speed limit of the road (120kmph)
2. Because of the same reason, Entry ramp at Bhannerghatta road junction towards Mysore road is quite dangerous
3. The surface itself is not good for high speeds and the ride at higher speeds is bumpy because of the undulations. Small, light weight cars with puny tyres are not safe at 120kmph.
4. the median is designed in a way which is usually found in the USA, with no light blocking vegetation but a huge V-drain. Because of this, sometimes the glare from the opposite traffic also affects the eyes.
5. most of the times, trucks occupy both lanes forcing cars to drive on the emergency lane which is now converted to a 2-wheeler lane.
6. Probably this is the only road in city limits where vehicles in Bangalore can even move to the top gear and people tend to lose their control and later loose control of their vehicles.
7. Many people use this as a test track for high speeds (more so during late hours) which is a recipe for disasters.

As far as this road is concerned, Basically its people who can't adapt to different road conditions and drive the same everywhere who meet with such a fate.
Sane drivers will have no problems IMO.

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 22nd August 2016 at 11:54.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 12:16   #5
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
I've never seen the NICE road in Bangalore. Is there some engineering defects in the design of this particular road or are the accidents mostly due to drivers not being able to handle great speeds due to better quality roads?
I have to fully agree with paragsachania and hemanth.anand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paragsachania View Post
This road for those who are oblivious to anything but NICE Road is a "Speed Run" Track. They drive here to test the speeds of their cars too! Someone who has been crawling in 1-2nd gears to reach this road for 30 minutes is let loose to drive full throttle here for the next 20 minutes and then you can imagine what happens next!
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Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
6. Probably this is the only road in city limits where vehicles in Bangalore can even move to the top gear and people tend to lose their control and later loose control of their vehicles.
7. Many people use this as a test track for high speeds (more so during late hours) which is a recipe for disasters.
Even if there are any technical issues with the road, they are probably to the same extent (or lesser than that) of any other highway in India. Its more a problem with the users of the road.

We Bangaloreans are an automotively frustrated bunch - what with the poor roads, high traffic density and poor driving habits in our city. So put us on a nice road like the NICE road which is within city limits (unlike the Golden Quadrilateral highways where you have to drive out of the city) and you can expect rubbish driving from a reasonable number.

Its like taking someone who's managed to cling on to a diet and dumping them suddenly in a junk food restaurant - they'll lose self-control, and they'll lose it big time.

A contributory factor is people's unwillingness to slow down on the NICE road, leading to aggressive and dangerous overtakes. Trucks on the NICE road drive like how they do on highways - different trucks take different lanes, and perform slow overtakes of one another. Into that equation throw someone who's having the adrenaline rush of driving at 3-digit speeds and very often they prefer any crazy overtake (either side, or down the middle) instead of patiently slowing down and waiting for a safe gap.

Safe drivers with good driving habits will not have any problems with the NICE road, and can enjoy a pleasant drive. Nothing to worry about, and do try and drive on it if you're ever here, TD_GHY.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 15:07   #6
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
I've never seen the NICE road in Bangalore. However, on occasional visits to this thread, I see a lot of accidents reported from this particular road. Is there some engineering defects in the design of this particular road or are the accidents mostly due to drivers not being able to handle great speeds due to better quality roads? Info might help road users who haven't been on this road and planning to take this road sometime in future.
There is nothing wrong with the road but the people who get on it. I take this road every single day to work both ways from Kengeri till Electronic City. It's an enjoyable drive.

But there are others who pay the 100+ toll fee to test drive their cars and speeds exceeding beyond the capacity of the vehicle and the driver. Add to this, small undulations on the road surface that can upset any small car with less than perfect suspension or tyres. IMO that is the main reason for all the accidents on this road for cars.

For bikes, it's the inability to maintain left lane at relatively slow speeds, a cause for concern and the air / wind pressure that may pull a smaller vehicle into the path of a passing heavy vehicle.

For buses, it's just lack of sense and competing on the road with other buses for no reason.

The limit is now set at 120 kph. No matter how fast I have gone on this road, the difference in travel time has barely been a minute or so.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 17:42   #7
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by shubhodeepdas@g View Post
Add to this, small undulations on the road surface that can upset any small car with less than perfect suspension or tyres. IMO that is the main reason for all the accidents on this road for cars.
+1 . The road surface has deteriorated off late and the undulations can catch people out. Cars tend to bounce around and in such situations you don't have much grip when you brake hard. Also the undulations make it very dangerous in the wet. Lots of standing water puddles hide the undulations form sight. Add the psyche of Bangalore drivers to this mix. For them the NICE Road is a road where you are supposed to drive fast. The entire city is choked and you can hardly get out of first gear. So you get on to NICE road, pay a hefty toll, drive about 20 to 30 kms extra burning up more fuel. Now all this will be justified only if you are able to save TIME. The cost of driving on NICE Road is so high that they feel its justified only if they are able to drive FAST. At such speeds mistakes prove to be costly.

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 22nd August 2016 at 17:49.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 18:57   #8
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
+1 . The road surface has deteriorated off late and the undulations can catch people out. Cars tend to bounce around and in such situations you don't have much grip when you brake hard. Also the undulations make it very dangerous in the wet. Lots of standing water puddles hide the undulations form sight.
Wholly agree - I find the NICE Road to be terrible in terms of surface quality and not at all befitting a expensive toll road.

My thoughts:
1. The continuing fiasco regarding the very viability of the entire NICE corridor and so-called illegal acts by the developer means that there is very little real interest in maintaining the road properly. State authorities also have zero interest in monitoring this project due to the various ongoing controversies.
2. Heavily overloaded trucks have rutted / tram-lined the left lane(s) in many places, thereby making it risky for smaller vehicles to move smoothly from lane to lane
3. As you pointed out, most people do completely insane speeds here whether it is dry or wet or heavily loaded or not
4. The recent increase in the IT traffic is the total limit in bad driving, both from the hired cabs/TTs etc but also by the 'educated' IT crowd themselves.
5. Lack of lighting is also a killer
6. The long curves also expose drivers to killer high beams from oncoming traffic
7. Unscientifically exits and entry ramps mean that drivers entering or exiting frequently get into life-threatening situations with traffic already on the expressway. I always steer clear of all entry/exits and even then have been worried by quickly developing accident events.
8. Delayed response by NICE staff to broken-down vehicles means that there is almost no warning before you find a tree-branch clad truck in the fast lane.

All in all, NICE Road especially after dark is a worrisome drive for me at least!
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Old 22nd August 2016, 19:02   #9
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

Hi fellow BHPians,

I learnt this from our own forum. However just to reiterate, Whenever you encounter an uphill sort of road, be it a bridge or just an uphill road, be more cautious and slow down your speed to 60-70 kmph.

During my Bangalore-Chennai and Bangalore-Kanyakumari ride few bridges have a very very sharp curvature that even 80 kmph looked out of control. Added to this problem the bridges are bumpy that makes the turn even tougher. There are few bridges the curve is not elevated to support the gaining momentum while turning.

I will get a map of indication to note the sections soon.

Thanks,
Manick

Last edited by GTO : 24th August 2016 at 10:56. Reason: Language
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Old 22nd August 2016, 19:19   #10
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Originally Posted by Santoshbhat View Post
+1 . The road surface has deteriorated off late and the undulations can catch people out. Cars tend to bounce around and in such situations you don't have much grip when you brake hard.

While speeding is the primary reason, I agree with the surface not being up to the mark. It's good for 80-90 kmph. Beyond that it does get bumpy. Even the golden quadrilateral has become bumpier in its 6 lane version. The old 4 lane had an amazing surface.

Add the gradient, curves and heavy vehicle traffic, it cannot be called an expressway at all. Trucks slow down real quick up the hill as they refuse to shift down.. Almost until they start to roll backwards. 😜

Too many vehicles on our roads these days..
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Old 22nd August 2016, 20:45   #11
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Originally Posted by bharat4ever View Post
Drivers who are tired and doze off, or over speeding cars who lose control have no barricades to save them.
While driving in the US, I noticed that the shoulders are made from a different material than the road. If the car drifts onto the shoulder lane, there is a loud noise and rumbling which would be an indicator enough to get back on the road. This would probably also wake up someone from sleep. Why don't we use something like that in India? There's a lot to learn about road design from them and we have a long way to go. On highways there at many places there are no short bushes between carriageways but somehow the glare of vehicles on the other side does not bother. What might be the reason behind that? The roads are really wide hence?
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Old 22nd August 2016, 21:02   #12
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
I've never seen the NICE road in Bangalore. However, on occasional visits to this thread, I see a lot of accidents reported from this particular road. Is there some engineering defects in the design of this particular road or are the accidents mostly due to drivers not being able to handle great speeds due to better quality roads?
I am not a civil engineer so I cant comment on the engineering defects, but from a lay mans perspective, the NICE road is a road which kind of tempts or rather urges you to gun the throttle down and go fast, but doesnt warn you that sustained high speeds in this road isnt a good thing to do. One thing is people touch all speeds here, and most of them dont know how to control the car at such speeds, or do emergency maneuvers and slow down safely after a speed burst. Thats when they end up going all over the road, the opposite road and what not.

From a drivers view, I do find some uneven surfaces where there is a slight bouncing effect. At high speed with a soft suspension setup, this will be a difficult situation and a slight jerk to the steering will be disastrous. For the kind of speeds people drive here, there should be banked curves, which is not present. Best is to stick to a starting three digit speed and maintain a consistent pace here.
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Old 22nd August 2016, 21:14   #13
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While driving in the US, I noticed that the shoulders are made from a different material than the road. ... there is a loud noise and rumbling
Rohan, there isnt different material used on the road, but put quite simply they are rumblers. If you go over an unpaved road, that just has had a vehicle with tracks passing over it - you will see it making the marks of the tracks. Its exactly the same thing.

They have a machine that is driven when laying the tar / concrete on the road and it makes these tracks beyond the shoulder of the road. Very practical, very effective, very simple.
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Old 23rd August 2016, 06:54   #14
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Those are rumbles on edge of freeways and really rocks you awake if you sway. It's on the middle east roads as early as '90s. Once I was returning from a refinery in Kuwait, early morning after 2 shifts in tandem and on a straight stretch of 30 km freeway I dozed off and the car swayed to the side. The way it rocked woke me up real good. Then I followed the last lane so that it kept me awake.

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Old 23rd August 2016, 16:28   #15
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Default Re: Pics: Accidents in India

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Originally Posted by bharat4ever View Post
The main reason this road isn't safe is that there are no barricades towards the center of the road, or the median.
That may not be correct assertion as highways in many countries do not have a median and have an open grass patch in the middle. See below

NICE road, Bangalore: Poor engineering or just bad driving?-i4.jpg
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