Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Delhi Government does a turnaround on the BRT design

The Delhi Traffic Police must be feeling vindicated. For the many months now in which the BRT corridor design and construction has been in progress, they have opposed the whole concept of segregating special lanes as a non-workable concept given the volume of traffic and the tendency of Delhi's drivers to ignore the needed discipline as something not applicable on them.
The Government and experts have been advocating a dedicated bus corridor as has been used in many cities around the world, but have always ignored advice about adapting the corridor to local conditions. The result has been there for all to see; the difficulty is that there needs to be encouragement for having more buses and other mass public transport on the road. So now the bus corridor conditions have been sought to be changed for the extensions:

The changed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) design, designated Pilot B, that's now being proposed between Moolchand and Delhi Gate, is in effect only a thinly veiled version of the existing pattern of traffic flow on all roads in the Capital. Under Pilot B, which will be implemented between Moolchand and Delhi Gate, it is being proposed that buses would ply on the extreme left, next to the footpath and cycle track. There will be no concrete medians segregating the bus lane from the MV lanes, which will now have three lanes for other traffic. The road space for buses will be painted.
‘‘What the government is doing is reverting back to the existing system. So how is it then a corridor for buses? Maintaining discipline on the corridor will be next to impossible, considering the fact that even on a corridor with concrete dividers, vehicles go over them to enter the bus lanes,'' said an official.

And the Government is currently proposing that the existing corridor between Moolchand and Ambedkar Nagar remains as it is, in a chaotic condition. Everything that the Government has done so far has been unable to solve the traffic problems (in fact, any reduction in traffic happens only when people start avoiding the corridor). Does this actually mean that the Delhi Government has given up the concept of a BRT kind of system ?

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 7:09 PM