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YAOW (or YET ANOTHER ONE-WAY)

I think that Bangalore will soon become a city of one-ways (effectively replacing the more celebrated title: City of Gardens). Which means, that to get to the neighbouring suburb of Jayanagar, I will have to travel to Yelahanka first. And then, in a few years, when the traffic gets really out of hand (if it can get any worse, that is) and there won’t be any roads left to make a one-way, they’ll change the direction of the one ways.

Anyway, on Saturday, enroute for my exams at Alliance (YAE: yet another exam!) I suddenly realised that the traffic was plying on both sides of the road. Of course, I hardly gave it a second thought, since this is a usual practice in Bangalore. People not only drive on the other side of the road (might be an β€˜Amrican’ hangover), but they also get onto the pavements. In fact, if they had their way, they would probably drive straight through your living room to get to wherever they’re going in a blooming hurry.

After coming to Bangalore, about a dozen roads have become one way. So now, it’s become a real challenge traveling from point A to point X. And the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that it’s a secret strategy of the traffic people. Torture them till they stay at home, they must be thinking!

Now, if they’d build us a metro rail, we would happily abandon our vehicles. But of course, they have to β€˜think’ and debate about it for a couple of years, just to decide whether to build it at all. And then of course, is this problem that seems to be peculiar to Bangalore: the contractors running away before the work is over! And because of the time span they’ve taken to do just 1/10th of the work (about a 100 years), the costs have shot up, 10 times. Solution: run away!

Coming back to the one-ways: So now, before going to location X, we need to check out all one ways between A and X, identify parking spots, which mind you might be at point D, from where you will have to walk to X. And then there’s point S in between, where there is no pedestrian crossing and heavy traffic to boot. So that means that you’re effectively stranded at point S, from where you can go neither here nor there.

Anyway, I hope you get my point: which is that in a year’s time I will probably have to travel via Mumbai, Goa and Mysore to get to my friend’s place. At the next crossroad.

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22 Comments

  1. ha ha.. and in some more years, you might have to circle the moon to land up in your neighbourhood πŸ™‚

    lots of “Yet another” phrase abbreviations like me :p .. err.. that moon thing was YAE (yet another extrapolation) :)..

  2. Ha ! Wait till you get to Delhi. The Traffic Guys here seem to have a philosophy that flyovers are a solution to every traffic problem.

    Not to forget the most indisciplined people in the whole world – the Delhiites.

    I used to think that Mumbai was bad at traffic, but that was only till I got to Delhi.

  3. I was in Hyderabad (and/or Secundarabad) for few months, and it’s full of one ways. Initially I disliked it but later on I started liking it because I think it eventually helps fighting the traffic. But you need to give yourself some time to get adjusted to these one ways.

    And btw, Bangalore traffic is horrible!

    JD

  4. Anita, You just talked about the traffic .. what about the pollution?. When I was in bangalore, few months ago, my eyes popped out when I saw people driving in the pavements. It was too much for me πŸ™‚

    Anyways,while you were vacationing in Auli, the blog-o-sphere was buzzing with, how chennai is a much better place than b’lore. I think “selective amnesia” started it …. look what you miss, when you transition away from reality!

  5. oh yeah i so agree with you!!

    i hate these one ways… you never know which day which road turned into a one way…

    and i must’ve broken enough traffic rules running into a street not knowing it was converted into a “ONE WAY” yesterday!

  6. Crest says

    This is what happens when whole of India descends on the city all at once and screw it to jolly satisfaction. Bangalore has been snatched away from Bangaloreans. Hopefully one day all this chaos will force them away to other pastures and Bangaloreans can re-build their beloved city.

  7. City of Gardens -> City of One ways -> City of No ways..I’m sure this is gonna happen one day!

    btw, crest, if you think problem is people coming from outside, y doesn’t the guv stop it..because it wants the money out of it, but doesn’t want to spend a part of it in infrastructure πŸ™

    btw, I drive my bike sometimes on the pavements, jump signals, drive on the wrong side, all these wrongs to avoid to jammy junctions..I agree, this is wrong, but what am i supposed to do..stand in the middle of the road and inhale black smoke coming outta vehicels!!

  8. Prasant, at least Delhi roads are much better than mumbai’s/bangalore’s/hyderabad’s/pune’s etc (have been to all these places)..

    Agreed that traffic is quite chaotic, but some roads are just too good and cant be replaced by any other roads in any other place..and thankfully there arent many one ways or curvy roads as in bangalore.. Last year I went to bangalore and it was much worse than 5 years earlier when i had seen it.. i couldnt stop coughing, the pollution was terrible..

  9. twilight: very much a possibility. we could actually start planning in 2005 as to how we are going to reach somewhere in 2007!

    prasant: from my limited experience, i think delhi has good roads but pretty bad drivers. there was not one car without a dent on the roads! but, most roads were wide and multi-landed so at least there was fast moving traffic.

    jd: i know there is little option but to adjust πŸ™‚ the roads are just not enough for the burgeoning population in the city.

    venky: the pollution i think is very much the same in all major cities. i would definitely put mumbai’s air as much more polluted than bangalore’s though. and as to chennai being a better place than bangalore, i wouldn’t really be able to tell. i don’t think chennai is as cosmopolitan though. someone like me would definitely be more comfortable in bangalore than chennai.

    lavannya: road here, one way tomorrow! seems to be the mantra these days πŸ™‚ be prepared for the huge detour to get to btm now!

    crest: i think people will come to bangalore considering the number of companies that have set shop here. in fact, i think it’s the case of most of the major metropolitans. no one is snatching anything away from anyone. it’s the way the world works. people will go where the jobs are and they happen to be here in bangalore!

    veera: i am sure the government has money, i don’t think it wants to spend it. or it’s not doing a very good job. consider that indiranagar flyover they have been trying to build for aeons! they should have learnt something by now!

    twilight: agreed. the roads are definitely much better. and especially in the newer parts of the city. old delhi however still feels like another place! but pollution, i am not sure. i pretty much feel it’s the same in any big city you go. in fact, here it’s much lesser than mumbai at least. i am not sure how things are in calcutta, but i believe it’s rather bad there too.

  10. Vaffanculo says

    About 40 years ago, when I was very young, some idiot got the bright idea to make every other street in our City oneway – oneway east then oneway west, then oneway east or oneway north, then oneway south then oneway north – anyway you get the idea. The thought was that you could get anywhere without ever having to make a left turn – in the case of India it would be a right turn – and therefore never have to cross oncoming traffic. Needless to say this has made the last 40 years hell for people trying to get around town by car. Well about about 10 years ago I pulled over a very elderly man – yes I’m a cop – for speeding 65 mph in a 25 mph zone. While talking with him about his excessive speed he told me was a retired police officer from my hometown, retired from the traffic engineering division. In fact, he rather proudly told me, he was the one who had come up with the idea of the oneway street system. YES! There is a GOD and on that day I was his insturment of vengence! I did something that is very rarely done, I wrote another cop a ticket! And it felt good. Real good. Almost orgasmic! I wrote him for the full shot, 40 mph over in a residential zone, at least $280.00 US and 3 points on his driving record. And before I cleared that traffic stop, I made sure that piece of trash, that good for nothing low life, who was the very source of oppression for drivers in my hometown, knew exactly why he got that ticket. And it felt good. Real good.

  11. awesome post! you should write sci-fi! πŸ™‚

    hey could this be a cool solution and/or future of Bangalore? – http://www.segway.com/

    read about it in the latest RD. interesting. but hey anita, tell u wot – your entire post sums up the very basic rationale i have for not buying a vehicle. i’ll buy one when i move to Europe. yea, not before that. meanwhile, walking is fun!

  12. vaish: more than myself, i was worried about you car the other day when it went over that horrific speedbreaker!

    vaffanculo: well, quite a story you have there. and i do hope they’ve finally seen sense and un-one-wayed the one ways?! but making all roads one ways so no one has to take a right turn! i think i can see where the bangalore police people are getting their ideas!

    kaushal: no really! you must have gotten a fair idea after half a day here πŸ™‚ move to europe? i like that. i wish i could say something like that. like i’ll buy a 4wd when i move to….. france? πŸ™‚

  13. I was a little bit scared when I was packing my bags to Bangalore. But after reading this and the comments I have gathered some information about the traffic in Bangalore. I think I am going to be just fine πŸ˜‰

    Here are the things I gathered

    Can I get to point A to point X? – No way

    Can I drive thru someone’s bedroom to get to X? – Huh if I can get to X.

    Can I ride my bike on the pavement? – Why not?

    On the wrong side of the road? – go for it, as long as you have a reason. πŸ˜‰

    Well it’s a serious issue, but unfortunately this cracks me up.

  14. I visited banglore once and unfortunately ‘Indra dev’ selected that day to visit Banglore too….now you can imagine what would happened to me on those roads…….:)

  15. When I went to Bangalore the last time which was around one year ago, I realised the same issues. Given a little imagination, I can see what you see through your eyes.

    No wonder it sucks to travel in Bangalore. You just can’t backtrace your route. For a newcomer, its a nightmare.

    Akshaya

  16. At least Bangalore is better than Pune. The sheer profusion of two wheelers in Pune hasn’t reached Bangalore yet. Here , the family planning logo goes, hum do, aur hamare do bajaj!!

  17. At least Bangalore is better than Pune. The sheer profusion of two wheelers in Pune hasn’t reached Bangalore yet. Here , the family planning logo goes, hum do, aur hamare do bajaj!!

  18. krishna says

    hmmm…. one way is better than no way…

    it is a reality of development i guess…

    or hap hazard/ unplanned development…

    i think last time when i was in bangalore, traffic seemed better atleast in some parts where they had introduced one ways.

    see a place like hosur road, near silk board and all and you would die to have some solution for those mile long queues of vehicles.

    it may look like a longer distance to cover but with the traffic, it would be lesser in time so …best thing is to learn to live with it.

  19. And when they decide to make a street one-way, they never bother to change the old markings. There’ll be huge directional arrows (painted on the tar) pointing one way and the traffic will be flowing in the opposite direction. In Bangalore, forget the traffic signs–you’ve just got to go with the flow.

  20. I suggest, u take a trip down to calcutta (the city of JOY!), believe me u’ll think bangalore is heaven, coz there u atleast have the roads.

    Here its pathholes, man holes and all different types of holes waiting to take u in!…adding to that are the deadly trams lines running in between.

    And more, buses stop any and everywhere, all u need to do is raise you right hand!. And god forbid if it rains, then only god can save you from getting crushed by some 30 year old bus!

  21. sam: i am sure you’ll have a fun time when you get here πŸ™‚

    tarun: i can well imagine!

    akshaya: not a pretty picture ay? i actually feel sad for the cops sometimes. i mean how much more can they do?!!

    nikhil: when i was in pune around 1994 or so, the traffic was pretty heavy in terms of 2-wheelers. i can imagine what it’s become now!

    krishna: i think the problem is that it was a really nice small city, which is now too crowded. the infrastructure is definitely not planned to handle the influx of so many outsiders (me included!). not sure if there are any solutions, but an alternative transport system like a metro would definitely help.

    anil: yeah, that’s another very funny thing. they don;t change the signs immediately (actually i don’t think they ever do!). so a newcomer will think that there’s something wrong with the traffic!

    joy: i’ve had a taste of calcutta traffic including the ambassador taxi rides which scare me no end! i think calcutta’s another cup of tea altogether, but at least you have the metro!

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