I reached Bangalore on a beautiful morning. It was a nice experience seeing the beautiful empty roads so early during the day. I was dropped by my Volvo bus (coming from Hyd) at the FORUM mall. I took an auto and came to my friend’s place. Everything was nice; I was just worried about the “traffic” problem because I was not clear about the situation by then. My induction was done on 13th April. That day many of us who were inducted a day before told me that it did not take them more than 40 minutes in the morning to reach the EC office. In the evening however, the bus takes a different route and so it would take around one hour and fifteen minutes. Thank God!!! I am relieved.
Bangalore’s population has increased tremendously over the past few years but the infrastructure supply has not been able to keep pace with the demand. With the IT junta willing to spend a lot during the weekends, they find very few places to hang around. I had the unfortunate opportunity to visit the FORUM mall during one of the weekends and I was shocked to see the human rush over there. I had to walk carefully lest I step on some lady’s delicate feet. I saw people everywhere… the only places which were empty were the shops. People here do what we Indians are good at doing, i.e. Window Shopping! J
One another problem which is severe is the lack of sufficient parking spaces. A friend of mine brought his car one day and we had tough time trying to find a parking space for his car. He told me that there is no parking place near the all famous MG and Brigade Roads. Very unfortunate…!!!
While going from IIMB to the office one morning (Hosur Road), I tried to analyze what is worse in case of Bangalore’s traffic situation: The infrastructure or the traffic sense of people? The answer was very easy. People here are real rash drivers. The buses change lanes without following any order. There are no blinkers near the crossings. People do not follow the traffic signals… Usually one would see one or two poor traffic ‘people’ who would try to moderate the traffic motion. Pedestrians would find it difficult to walk on the roads here because there is hardly any ‘foot path’. There are heavy vehicles plying on the roads which make things worse. One evening, I had to stay back for sometime in the office. I took the 7:15 bus instead of the 6:15 bus. This bus takes the normal route through the Hosur Road. The weather was bad and it was raining hard. The traffic situation got worse… I thought it would be better for me to take a nap. I was really very tired that day, so I could sleep easily. Before sleeping I saw one hoarding at an angle of 60 degrees from my eyes. I slept for around half an hour and when I woke up; I was shocked to see the same hoarding this time 60 degrees (negative) from my eyes. That meant, all the time I was sleeping, the bus could proceed only around 400-500 meters. That was my worse experience with Bangalore traffic. It took me around 2 hours 30 minutes to reach IIMB that day. A friend who worked here before told me that sometimes walking takes lesser time than going by a bus. Very true!
Being a manager, I should be a part of the solution. As far as my understanding goes, the traffic situation in Bangalore is worse during the morning and evening office going time. To reduce the problem, the government can block the heavy vehicles from plying on the roads during that time of the day. Apart from that the companies like Infosys, Wipro and Siemens which have many buses carrying employees at the same time can change their timings with a mutual agreement. Wipro is planning to go for flexi timings which will definitely help in improving the situation. I believe discipline in driving habits can also save much time. Lanes should be specified for smaller and heavier vehicles so that time is not wasted. Usage of modern technology like traffic sensors etc. can help people in guiding themselves regarding the traffic situation. Apart from these things, the government should be proactive in dealing with the problem. The metro project has taken years to start. The flyovers are being constructed at snails’ pace. I never understand why a city like Bangalore has such a corrupt municipal body in place.