“What’s the way forward?” is a familiar refrain among much-harried motorists and pedestrians when negotiating the tortuous Konanakunte Cross traffic signal. To say that “chaos” prevails there at all hours is too modest a description.
Generally, a “Z” crossing cutting across a national highway creates complicated dynamics at any traffic junction. Synchronised traffic lights cannot prevent longer wait periods of vehicles and will only lead to lengthier, slow moving lines of traffic.
Crisscrossing paths of vehicles in motion causes confusion and disorientation, especially for first-timers passing through the busy Konanakunte Cross (K-Cross) junction.
Vehicles coming from Banashankari proceeding to Kanakapura go straight while those going to Vasantapura take a right turn, impeding vehicles behind. Since the road is narrow at the K-Cross traffic signal, vehicles going towards Amruthnagar and Bannerghatta road cannot take a free left and obstruct other vehicles.
For vehicles coming from Kanakapura, there is a right turn towards Amruthnagar and Bannerghatta Road. The longer traffic backup occurs on the Amruthnagar main road for vehicles taking a right turn towards Banashankari.
Vehicles users are resigned to a minimum wait time of two to three minutes at this K-Cross signal.
The K-Cross intersection is choked with traffic due to KSRTC and BMTC buses, not to mention the private mofussil buses, that continuously ply on this route.
The fast paced development in and around this locality — malls, apartments, offices, residential layouts, industries etc — has only added to the increasing traffic density.
The K-Cross Namma Metro station located at this junction has also added to the traffic woes in terms of bus stops and parked autorickshaws.
All vehicles moving towards Kanakapura and Bannerghatta Road converge at this junction causing a traffic nightmare. Accidents are quite common. Ambulances with wailing sirens held up in traffic jam are a common sight here.
It has become imperative to decongest this intersection keeping in view the increase in traffic density. If we do not act now, the problem could only become more severe and unmanageable in future.
One way forward
The plan below proposes an underpass towards Kanakapura (from Banashankari side) which may allow for free movement of traffic and reduce the stop time of vehicles at this critical intersection.
This may not be a complete solution, but is surely a feasible plan to reduce traffic congestion by allowing for direct thoroughfare towards Kanakapura.
The underpass down ramp could start at the Vasantapura turning point and extend beyond the Namma Metro Station. The up ramp towards Kanakapura could exit near the Metal Closures factory. The underpass itself could pass below the service road between the new Prestige Forum Hypermart and K-Cross Metro Station.
The traffic from Banashankari moving towards Amruthnagar and Bannerghatta road would have a free left turn.
Separate BMTC and KSRTC bus bays can ensure that these bus stops do not hinder free traffic movement in other lanes on Kanakapura Road.
The only open space available for the widening of Kanakapura Road and for the construction of bus bays is on the eastern side of Kanakapura Road which belongs to Khodays Breweries. The suffering public will be grateful to the government if Khodays Breweries can be requested and convinced to spare some land for this noble cause.
Vehicular pollution at this junction, both air and noise, will substantially come down and slow traffic movement will be avoided if the underpass is constructed.
Fuel wastage, frayed nerves of drivers, traffic accidents can all be eliminated, apart from reducing the stress and strain of traffic police manning this unmanageable intersection.
The creation of dedicated bus bays and providing an underpass at the K-Cross junction will be a very welcome development. It could herald smooth traffic movement and relieve the users of stressful waiting time.
Yes, there is a way forward, if the government has the will.