Residents of Sadashivanagar have submitted a representation to the Commissioner- BBMP against the proposed road widening of Sankey Road, arguing for a holistic solution to Bangalore’s traffic problems instead of using Road widening as a universal solution.
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The representation was accompanied by 455 signatures (mostly one per household) representing about 1500 residents.
The background of the representation is as follows:
1. The President and office bearers of the Sadashivanagar Residents’ Welfare Association were quoted in the press a month ago as saying that the residents of Sadashivanagar were in favour of widening of Sankey Road. However, no residents were consulted by the Association before making this statement, and neither was a meeting of the residents called to discuss the issue. There was a public outcry, and residents of the locality were quoted in the press the next day refuting this statement of the Association.
2. The Association held an Extraordinary General Body meeting on 17 July 2011, attended by about 100 residents. BBMP engineers made a presentation to explain why they thought widening of Sankey Road was necessary, and how it would help Sadashivanagar. The BBMP representatives spoke about making Sankey Road a signal-free corridor, and making an underpass at Bhashyam Circle. The BBMP team was unable to provide convincing answers in the Question-Answer session that followed. The residents were not convinced, and barring 2 members of the audience, everyone felt that widening was unnecessary and harmful to the locality itself and to the city. The opinions were:
Sankey Road widening was unnecessary, would worsen the traffic problem, destroy part of Stella Maris school and homes, and a lot of trees.
The congestion at Bhashyam Circle was caused by blockage of CNR Rao Circle for underpass construction, and widening Sankey Road was not the solution.
Road widening had not solved the problem anywhere in the world, and would not also solve Bangalore’s traffic problem.
Sadashivanagar has always been a peaceful, pedestrian-friendly locality and the plan would destroy the locality.
Shops for Sadashivanagar residents are mostly in Vyalikaval, and widening Sankey Road and making it a signal free corridor would make it impossible for residents to walk across to Vyalikaval to do their shopping. Also, signal-free roads in Bangalore are the cause of a large number of pedestrian deaths. The underpass at Bhashyam circle will destroy homes and shops.
The huge amount of traffic flowing through Sadashivanagar was making the roads very unsafe for residents. The long blockage of CNR Rao circle was the cause of this, and part of the reason was also the badly designed Magic box at Cauvery Theatre.
Existing issues like the badly designed Cauvery underpass this must be addressed first instead of taking on hastily designed and possibly unnecessary new projects like Sankey Road widening.
Only a holistic solution with Reduced traffic, More emphasis on public transport and Importance to pedestrians would work.
After this, a Sadashivanagar resident made a presentation of long term holistic solutions to the traffic problem. The BBMP team left before this, which possibly indicated their lack of interest in long term solutions and alternatives to road widening.
3. Following the meeting, residents were under the assumption that their opinion would be conveyed to the BBMP by the Association. This was however not done, and hence residents took it upon themselves to make a representation to the BBMP to convey their opinion of the road widening. They collected 455 signatures in a short span of 5 days. 95 % of these signatures are one per household, which means the signatures represent approximately 1500 residents.
– Letter to Commissioner, BBMP along with Scanned copies of 2 sample pages (of a total 20 pages) of signatures of residents.
– Presentation of the long term holistic solution that we believe will solve Bangalore’s traffic problem.