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Old April 24th, 2008, 08:13 AM   #1
ramkan
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Delhi BRTS

Choked roads



Cyclist in BRT lane


Clueless traffic cops


Green lane was supposed to be for cyclists, but motorists occupied this lane too


Lack of civic sense



whom to blame....check the debate at ibn live http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/63857/...etro-mess.html

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Old April 24th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #2
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Blame Game starts

Quote:
Experts had warned: BRT needs more space on car lanes to carry traffic load
Express India Anubhuti Vishnoi April 24, 2008

New Dehi, April 23 At least three organisations with expertise in urban traffic and transportation had warned Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) that traffic volume on the BRT corridor was too high for it to be successful without allocating more space for car lanes.
DIMTS, the nodal implementing agency for BRT, had however turned down such suggestions, asserting that its project plan and traffic volume estimates showed the corridor would be a smooth affair. RITES had done the detailed study for the corridor in Delhi. DIMTS, with help from IIT-Delhi experts, had then implemented it.

Traffic experts from the School of Planning & Architecture (SPA), Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), and Central Road Research Institute (CRRI), it is learnt, had expressed serious reservations about road space to be made available for vehicles other than buses on the corridor. They had suggested that space for other modes of transport need to be increased for BRTS to work successfully.

Prof P K Sarkar, HoD, Transport Planning, SPA, said: “A three-lane road in Delhi must be re-touched with utmost sensitivity and not cut down unless you can add to road capacity. I have been raising the BRT issue for a year now, as our studies showed it would not work at grade in Delhi. While BRT as a concept has an admirable motive and I fully subscribe to it, I think this is a historical blunder in Delhi.”

Sarkar, honorary secretary of the executive committee of Institute of Urban Transport (IUT), said there has been no proper safety audit or detailed project report done on the corridor. “I have repeatedly told DIMTS that taking one lane away from a heavy-traffic corridor will never work. But who is listening?”

CRRI studies had earlier said Moolchand intersection clocks one of the highest passenger car movements in the city on a daily average.

“The project is a good idea and public transport needs to be encouraged but it would definitely work better if road space for vehicles other than buses was increased to, say, six lanes instead of the present four lanes,” another expert, who did not want to be identified, said. “But DIMTS said they were confident the corridor would manage the traffic well. We had suggested that traffic volume expected in the next five years must also be kept in mind while planning the corridor but DIMTS did not really share our point of view on it.”

Rohit Baluja, president of IRTE, said: “We had expressed reservations on the issue almost eight months back. We felt that a total of four lanes — two on either side of the road — would be insufficient to handle traffic volume here. After all, the BRT corridor is on an arterial road and already faces heavy traffic.

“Traffic flow should be smooth on an arterial road, so we suggested space for other vehicles should be increased to make it work. We also raised the issue during the basic assessment of construction done by IRTE at the L-G’s behest.”
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Old April 24th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #3
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About time the Idiotic Delhi govt. sends workers to break down the corridor and let people of South Delhi get on with their lives .

Also it's quite amazing how IIT Delhi used 2002 traffic data to implement the project .

what a waste of 100 crores of Public money.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 12:31 PM   #4
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Angry

The authorities should be kicked out for being so unprofessional.

Trained for a day, marshals flounder at the deep end

Quote:
Even as 120 marshals sweat out along with 12 teams of transport department enforcement staff, over 35 traffic police officials and an army of officials from Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS), RITES and IIT, snarl-ups are the order of the day on the BRT corridor.

Imagine the situation when enforcement will be left only to the marshals, deployed there on a permanent basis.

An early morning brief about the task for the day and a day's training on traffic management. That's all it takes to be a traffic marshal on the BRT corridor. Compare it to the thorough two-week orientation for traffic policemen before they start duty - even after which they are not allowed to man an intersection all by themselves.

When Times City interacted with numerous marshals, it found that even those manning the most challenging points are untrained and have no idea about the BRT concept. This, even as the government claims that all the marshals have undergone rigorous training in traffic regulation.

Said Shailendra Kumar, who was diverting traffic into MV lanes and bus lanes at the start of the corridor after the Press Enclave crossing: "I used to be a Blueline bus conductor before I joined here as a marshal about a week ago, so I can relate to the bus drivers. I have not undergone any training but have been told to direct the buses into one lane and the rest of the traffic into the other. That is not a tough job - what kind of training would help anyway. The trouble is that we can't issue challans like the cops."

Another marshal, Pawan Singh, positioned at the Pushpa Bhawan bus shelter also admitted that he was posted on the corridor the very day he was inducted. "What special training?" he said. "I was given a uniform and sent here. I don't know how the entire system is going to work since it looks very different from the other roads. But I am just going with the flow. I do whatever I am told by officials each morning."

Marshal Kallu Singh, whose job was to stop motorised traffic from entering the cycle tracks, looked exasperated. "No one listens to us. I can only afford to stand here till there is an official behind me. After that, with the way tempers are raging here, I feel people would start beating me up if I stop them from taking a short cut from here. We can't control it all by ourselves," he said.

A senior official, however, said that 120 traffic marshals have undergone training with the traffic police where they were taught basic principles of intersection management.
========================================================

Tough time for traffic marshals on BRT corridor

Quote:
The BRT corridor continues to make headlines and an army of traffic marshals struggle to make it work in favour of the capital's citizens.

Paid a pittance, these marshals also have to face Delhiites throwing their weight around.

For the last two days, Prithviraj is trying to come to grips with a tough job. He's manning traffic on the Bus Rapid Transit corridor at Khanpur and the traffic lights have not been working since Tuesday morning.

To make it worse, people don't seem to have any respect for his job.

''The only people coming to this area are the VIPs. Every person we have stopped since morning says that he is the son or daughter of an influential person,'' said Prithvi Raj, Traffic Marshall.

Prithviraj is paid Rs 100 for an eight-hour shift on the traffic junction. He invariably has to do overtime to earn extra money.

''Every thing is third class here. I have been sweating all day,'' added Prithviraj.

A few metres away, his colleague Ramesh is a shade luckier. He is a regular employee of his company and his monthly salary of Rs 4,000 supports a family of 10 people.

''The people are ill-mannered, they do not listen to me at all. If I try to stop them, they even drive over my feet,'' said Ramesh Dwivedi, Traffic Marshall.

On trial every day, to make the BRT corridor work, are 132 traffic marshals. They try to cope with a lot of things like endless traffic, cattle, infrastructure failure and also relentless stress.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #5
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Arrow

If BRT doesn’t work we’ll scrap it says government

Quote:
April 23: Two more days and if things don’t improve on the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) stretch, the government in all likelihood may abandon the project that has caused widespread anger and a traffic nightmare in south Delhi.

“If the people of Delhi feel that it is not working, we could take a decision. After all in a democratic set-up, policies and programmes are drawn for the benefit of the people,” said Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf on Tuesday. He, however, still hoped that the 5.8 km corridor from Ambedkar Nagar to Moolchand flyover would “succeed” after the faults are rectified.

“We do not want to do anything to inconvenience the people in an election year,” he said. His comments came even as jams on the BRT continued to fuel public anger for the third straight day.

The anger echoed in the Rajya Sabha as well where members demanded scrapping of the project — “one of the most ill-conceived transport schemes ever seen by the capital”.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit meanwhile chaired an emergency meeting with all BRT stakeholders. A source said she was “angry, disturbed and annoyed” due to the complete failure of the project so far. “She had realised that the cascading effect of the corridor had practically led to huge traffic problems in most south Delhi localities,” the source added.

Abandoning the project did not come up for discussion but Dikshit gave a stern warning to all involved in the project — DIMTS, transport department, DTC, traffic police, RITES and two professors from IIT-Delhi. “You people had advised us that the project is doing wonders elsewhere. The experience suggests otherwise,” she told the officials and gave them two days to improve the system.

It was decided at the meeting to remove all the 100 Blueline buses from the route with immediate effect. From Wednesday, DTC buses, including the new low-floor ones, will replace them. The signages would be improved in the next 72 hours with the focus being on big pictorial signs.

The next review would be held on Saturday. “If things do not improve by then, it could well be bye-bye BRT,” said a source.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #6
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Every one is blaming every one, but we all are short sighted on the issue.

It is true that BRTS carved out exclusive lanes reducing 5-20% of road space from other traffic and hence the traffic crawls. This is bound to happen in few years anyway as the number of vehicels increase exponentially.

The difference is, instead of slow death(ave speeds going down every year), travellers noticed a signficant change overnight.

BRTS is a good long term solution, if they can either add an additional lane or keep it on elevated(Expensive).

The need is for a comprehensive traffic solution with long term planning that entails migrating travellers to public transport, developing by-lanes, instill traffic discipline, parking lots at stations, last mile connectivity etc..

Since all of the above cannot happen overnight, we might have to live with this painful transition.

Any thoughts?
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Old April 24th, 2008, 10:04 PM   #7
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From what i have read the road seems to have a very high traffic density and I am not too sure if having a BRTS is a wise option considering the total lack of discipline among Indian drivers. Its sad that in India factors like crowd discipline have to be taken into account during the design stage.There is only 1 solution. Lay down the lane discipline rules clearly and heavily fine (maybe Rs 10000)violators.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 12:38 AM   #8
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I still believe BRTS is not for Indian cities. No matter what you do, there will be frustration both the BRTS users as well as other motorists. Even if we add more lanes, it wont solve the problem.

The best solution is to use the lanes as effectively as possible. After using BRTS, i feel monorail is a better choice, it consumes the least space of all, is cheaper than a metro line and faster than a BRTS bus. Im sure Ahmedabad will face the same problem, no matter how many cops they have on the road trying to divert traffic.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 01:36 AM   #9
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I don't agree with the across-the-board prescription that BRTS cannot work in India. It can be made to work - we just have to ensure that we take local conditions into consideration. Every corridor may not be suitable for BRTS, but there are surely corridors where it can be made to work.

Similar pessimism was expressed about every attempt at modernization in India. The Delhi Metro was a prime example. I was indirectly involved with the initial proposals for the system - from the light rail plan of Madan Lal Khurana (he called it high speed tram system) in around 1995 through the formulation of the current Delhi Metro plan. At every stage, all kinds of reasons were given to show that such a system would not work in India. Delhi Metro has proved the critics wrong and now there is much more confidence in our ability to make successes of metro projects (after decades of pessimism following the Kolkata Metro and Chennai MRTS experiences). Similarly, it will take one big success to change minds.

At the same time, I disagree with the kind of anti-metro extremists, who try to suggest that BRT is the solution to all our urban transport problems and that it could replace metro systems. What we need is an objective sense of what is best for the transportation system of the city as a whole. And adapt it to local conditions rather than blindly transporting concepts from Curituba or Bogota or somewhere else. And of course, good execution is critical to success.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 03:38 AM   #10
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It is exactly the kind of across-the-board conclusions like the above that we should refrain from drawing based on this experience. There are large cities that have made successes of BRT systems and small ones that have been utter failures. The same goes with rail based transit systems.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 06:07 AM   #11
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From what i observe, i would lay down following rules to make BRTS a success.
  1. Streets with BRT should create extra lanes for the BRT with no apparent reduction of lanes for motorists. This takes care of existing traffic so that the current generation of motorists is not dissatisfied.
  2. BRT corridor should be exclusive for BRT buses and not for all buses. Other bus routes should act as feeders to BRT routes and should end at terminals/close to bus stops where passengers can board these special buses.
  3. BRT buses should have high frequency 2-3 minutes between buses. Corridors should be sufficiently long so that advantage of BRT corridor is realized.
  4. Underpasses for pedestrians at all bus stops. Fine jaywalking.
  5. Introduce high-quality higher-priced buses for enticing motorists to move away from driving. Provide motorists with parking space at the BRT terminals or close to the major bus stops.

Some reference :

Last edited by qwertyasd; April 25th, 2008 at 07:04 AM.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 06:58 AM   #12
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http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...ow/2980691.cms

Quote:
If BRT doesn’t work, we’ll scrap it – says the government! Whatever the political compulsions or the style of governance may be, such an impatient reaction to any project during its trial run could only be termed as strange.

BRT — Bus Rapid Transit, or High Capacity Bus System as it was called earlier — has reached its current stage only after years of planning, series of government approvals and crores of taxpayers’ money flowing down the corridor. How can this brainchild of IIT-D be suddenly junked and why?

Did we expect the corridor to instantly eliminate all the traffic bottlenecks and cut the travel time to half? If it were to be so indeed, transportation theory tells us that many travellers will soon learn about the faster route and opt for it to save their time.

New users will add to the traffic and travel time on new route will increase, thereby making the other alternatives comparatively faster. Over a reasonably long timeframe, travellers will keep switching to faster option until the traffic on all alternate routes balances out and the travel time using each option is almost equal. Once that state is reached, initial euphoria of ‘travel-time-down-to-half’ will disappear and the blame game will start then.

Therefore, it must be borne in mind that any addition/closure of a route or any measure to increase/decrease the throughput on specific sector affects the entire road system in and around that area and complete impact of such a change can be known only after reasonable passage of time.

Given that BRT is a change from the existing traffic system, one cannot expect the implementation without any criticism, resistance and opposition. As a concept it achieves two objectives. First, it confines all buses to the central corridor.

This will eliminate the dangers associated with bus drives stopping at will, in the middle of road to let the passengers board or alight. This will also ensure that bus drivers keep to their lane and do not try to overtake other buses at every bus stop. Second, a dedicated corridor allows a reasonable speed and makes the transit rapid.

In comparison, our old system in Kolkata also confines trams to the tracks running through the central corridor. However, the lane there is not dedicated to trams. All vehicles, right from horse carriages to manually pulled rickshaws and luxury cars to mini buses also use the entire width of the road and trams can run only when they get the tracks clear.

To that extent reserved corridor in Delhi is a superior concept and is likely to speed up the public transport option. Further, the corridor which may seem to be empty at times will be a great help in emergency situations and can offer a passage to ambulances, fire tenders, VIP movement and so on.

Finally, BRT or Bus Rapid Transit system is intended to improve the public transport. In this backdrop, BRT success or failure cannot be judged by sighting the time taken by car to travel the corridor distance. Even if BRT adds say 10 minutes to travel time of 200 cars and we take average occupancy as two persons per car, we estimate the time lost as 10x200x2 = 4,000 minutes. As against this, if BRT implementation saves 20 minutes for 50 persons each in the 10 buses, bus travellers together would save 20x50x10 = 10,000 minutes.

Once again, if BRT becomes a faster alternative, people may opt for public transport thereby reducing the usage of private vehicles on roads and this in the long run will mean improvement in traffic conditions.

Agreed that BRT trials have caused a temporary chaos on roads, but we can’t simply scrap the project after going so far. Public at large must know the initial basis for approval and expectations from the project. It is likely that the actual traffic is higher than the design basis.

May be the signaling system is not fully operational as yet or it could just be the teething problems common to all projects of such magnitude. Evaluating the project success, even before its formal launch can be misleading and should be avoided. We must take necessary corrective actions and allow sufficient time for BRT to prove its worth.

The author is an alumnus of IIM-B. Views are personal.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 07:06 AM   #13
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Couldn't agree with you more...we have to trust the people who implemented it and give them support..

There is a lesson to be learnt. Adopting to local conditions is the key.. Underpasses (may be a cheaper cut & fill option) to the bus stops would be key to pedestrian safety and reduces traffic signal lenght for pedestrian crossing roads..

It is no easy task to implement a change on Indian Roads. Whether it is to enforce safety rules, lane driving or jay walking...
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Old April 25th, 2008, 07:21 AM   #14
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The Times of India

BRT Spillover chokes south Delhi
25 Apr 2008, 0102 hrs IST,Megha Suri,TNN

The effect of the five-day jam session on the pilot Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor is now being felt on the entire road network of the area. Even as the movement of traffic became relatively smoother on Thursday with the average travel time coming down to about 30 minutes for the 5.6-km BRT run, major traffic snarls were reported from arterial roads all around it, including Mehrauli-Badarpur Road, Outer Ring Road, Khelgaon Marg, main Nehru Place road and inner roads of GK-1, Panchsheel Enclave and Shiekh Sarai.

"I tried taking MB Road as an alternative to the BRT mess and ended up getting stuck between Saket and Ambedkar Nagar for two-and-a-half hours. Buses taking a turn turn near the terminal to get back on the corridor are adding to the mess," said an exasperated Bhupendra Acharya, who owns a factory in Okhla. Acharya actually postponed important work appointments by an hour to apprise transport minister Haroon Yusuf about the problems faced by commuters on the stretch, when he heard the minister was present at Ambedkar Nagar.

The situation was the same on Outer Ring Road, where the stretch between Panchsheel and Nehru Place was chok-a-block during the morning rush hour. Even the inner roads of the colonies around are being used by motorists as an escape from the jams. "The R-Block and E-block roads have been choked with vehicles from outside using the colony as a transit. This leads to congestion in the residential area and is also going to make the colony more prone to crimes. Why should we suffer for the BRT?" asked Atul Handa, a resident of E block.

Strangely, the volume of traffic on the corridor seemed considerably reduced as the signals were being operated manually yet again. The waiting time at the crossings was reduced, but the daily chaos still prevailed during the morning rush hour with vehicles hopping dividers and two-wheelers taking to the cycle tracks for a fast ride.

A jubilant transport minister Haroon Yusuf said that "the situation had become much better due to improvements in the signal cycle and changes in road geometry". However, traffic police and road experts said that this reduction in traffic is a normal phenomenon, and is no indication of the successful working of the corridor.

"Road users start avoiding roads which are choked and instead switch to a secondary road network for their commute. But the day this route becomes better, they will switch back and the jams will return. The government has to understand that such patchwork solutions won’t work. They need to tackle the entire area, including the secondary roads as a whole and then work out solutions. This way, they are only repeating their flyover mistake and shifting the troubles from one spot to another instead of dealing with them," said Dr Vinay Maitri of department of transport planning, School of Planning and Architecture.

In a thesis being carried out on the corridor by SPA, they have found the corridor to be a disaster. "On analysing the traffic volume and the designed capacity of the road, the level of service was calculated between 3 and 4 points. Ideally, a good road should have a level of service of less than 0.7. The BRT concept is not wrong, it is the area chosen and the traffic volume and socio-economic behaviour of people which was not accounted for," Maitri added.

Since the chief minister's emergency meeting, everyone concerned with BRT has been busy finding a solution to the mess. From a slip road parallel to the corridor from Press Enclave to Outer Ring Road, widening the road at the turn leading to Chirag Village, reworking the signal cycles and phasing out of Bluelines from the stretch to even planning a grade separator at Chirag Dilli intersection, every measure in the book is being initiated on ground to improve the situation.

As Rohit Baluja, president of Institute of Road Traffic Education (IRTE), puts it: "Crisis management for today can never be transport management for the future. Every new road is planned keeping the increase in traffic for the next five years in mind. If the corridor is crumbling under today's vehicular load, what will happen after five years when the traffic would have increased by another 180%. These short-term measures will prove to be of little use."

Another contributory reason for the mess around, he observed, was lesser visibility of traffic policemen in the area. Because of this, motorists jumped traffic signals and drove at will, aggravating the situation.

megha.suri@timesgroup.com
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Old April 25th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #15
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Why is everone bothered only about the cars? What about the buses, did the corridor reduce the travelling time of buses or no?
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Old April 25th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #16
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http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/63908/...-scrapped.html

According to this video, the people travelling in the bus (atleast the guy asked) are happy. Obviously, the car drivers are going to complain. And most of the TV channels have been unfairly only looking at the plight of the motorists.

However, i do agree that their condition should not have worsened after introducing the corridor. Can someone explain why the condition has worsened?

Was the dedicated bus lane "taken away" from the motorists , as in, did cars drive on those lanes before? As far as i know, the lane was "added" to the road by reducing the lane widths a bit.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sridhar View Post
It is exactly the kind of across-the-board conclusions like the above that we should refrain from drawing based on this experience. There are large cities that have made successes of BRT systems and small ones that have been utter failures. The same goes with rail based transit systems.
I think we need to focus on what can work in the Indian context irrespective of how things work across the globe. In a city like Delhi ( and all the big indian cities ) it is imperative to keep the existing width of the road intact when vehicular traffic is booming. My personal opinion though is that rail transit ( with good feeder services) is better suited for Indian cities than BRTS

Anyway, I am sure the torch bearers of all the other cities where BRTS is proposed/under construction is closely observing the developments and can take steps to learn from the current experience and do what is best suited for those cities
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Old April 25th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #18
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What shambles!!!

Hope they scrap the idea if it does not work by the weekend and a great shame too.

BRTS can work anywhere but in Delhi you have got alot to contend with like scooters, bicycles, rickshaws as well as cars, jay walkers, silly padestrians...it was also poorly planned by the look of it..

Sad sad sad....
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Old April 25th, 2008, 01:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cov Boy View Post
What shambles!!!

Hope they scrap the idea if it does not work by the weekend and a great shame too.

BRTS can work anywhere but in Delhi you have got alot to contend with like scooters, bicycles, rickshaws as well as cars, jay walkers, silly padestrians...it was also poorly planned by the look of it..

Sad sad sad....
It is hard in any Indian city and not just Delhi and the reason is the traffic sense of the Indian people and particularly more because of the high number of 2-wheelers that can slide across any gap available, no matter what rules are set. Even if the BRT lanes run smoothly with a few buses, the outside lanes will always be packed and already Indian roads are not wide enough to afford a BRT which takes 3-4 lanes for itself.

One of the solution from stopping other vehicles from entering the BRT lanes is to place a person/police at the entrace/exit of every BRT route and construct a smalll gate or rope in hand, that is what is being on Pune BRT routes currently in order to stop motorists from entering the BRT lanes and this sounds ridiculous.
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Old April 25th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #20
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From rediff

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