75% of footpaths in inner Bengaluru, and 58% in outer part walkable

Janaagraha team wants the Street Quality Score to be a frame of reference that can bring together MLAs and Councillors, administrators and citizens to inform budgeting decisions in the city, to fix the roads.

Which street in Bengaluru do you like the most? Does the street that you like the most have all the facilities that make it better than the rest?

Well, the latest Street Quality Score by Janaagraha has come out with the top four and bottom four streets in Bengaluru which is the result of a survey conducted in the last three months. The survey has measured the quality of roads in Bengaluru based on five criteria namely, walkable footpaths, pedestrian crossing, street lighting, bus stops and air pollution.

The report has picked up following four roads of being better off compared to others.

The better roads are:

  • 100 ft road Koramangala 24th Main,
  • JP Nagar 4th Main,
  • Jayanagar 3rd Block 13th Cross,
  • Basavanagudi

The report also has chosen four bad roads that scored the least in the Street Quality test. The four streets are:

  • Hosa Road
  • Madivala Road
  • Mysore Road
  • Wind Tunnel Road

Know about Street Quality Score

Janaagraha’s Street Quality Score 2015 supported by the Germany-based Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, was carried out to understand the quality of roads in Bengaluru. As a part of the project, the team measured the infrastructure quality of 3,500 km of roads (arterial, sub-arterial and collector) across Bengaluru.

Here the quality of infrastructure was measured based on the percentage of footpaths walkable, percentage of intersections crossable, average lux (measure of intensity of light perceived by human eye) available for the street, service area of each bus stop and the air quality. The survey was conducted using simple android applications for a span of three months from September to November 2015.

Report highlights

  • Of the 662 km arterial roads surveyed, 17 per cent of the roads are below average quality.
  • Of all the roads surveyed, 58 per cent have footpaths, 38 per cent have bus stops, 9 per cent have pedestrian crossing, lighting provided in a footpath is 8 lux (it should be 10 lux as per the benchmark) and air particle pollution of 35 mg.

Bad footpaths

  • Out of 3318 km of streets that were surveyed, only 1928 km (58 pc) have walkable footpaths. Footpaths in inner zones have scored (75 pc walkable) comparatively better than outer zones (45 pc).
  • There are 23,343 locations across the city that have been identified where footpath may have to be laid, an existing footpath repaired, or an obstruction cleared.
  • Tender Sure roads (from Vittal Mallya Road to St Marks Road) score the highest marks when it comes to quality footpaths, followed by Brigade Road, Cubbon Park Road, Nimhans Road, 100 ft Road Koramangala and MG Road.

Pedestrian crossing

  • The overall roads across the city score the worst in pedestrian crossing. Only 9 per cent of the roads have pedestrian crossing. Out of 3,256 intersections surveyed, only 279 have usable pedestrian crossings.
  • Outer wards have very poor pedestrian crossings, with 97 per cent of them having no usable pedestrian crossings.

Poor streetlight

  • Average street lighting score is 8 lux, while the minimum safety requirement is 10 lux. This is a thing to worry about as it may pose threat to women’s safety.
  • Main roads in the city that lack good streetlight facility are Cubbon Road, Infantry Road and Varthur Road. The streetlight quality is still poorer in outer wards.

Lack of bus stops

  • Out of 1,750 km of streets that were covered in the survey, only 665 km (38 pc) have serviced bus-stops.
  • Arterial roads have better bus stops compared to sub-arterial and collector roads.
  • Outer wards need more attention, given greater road length and larger area but significantly lesser bus stop coverage.

Air pollution

  • As per the WHO guidelines, the benchmark for PM (particle pollution) 2.5 is 25 µg/ m3, where anything above it is considered harmful to health. However, city roads PM 2.5 score is 35µg/m3.
  • PM 2.5 is a serious health concern, since its smaller particles can travel deeply into our lungs and long term exposure may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease.
  • Lowest PM level was found in Lalbagh Road, Cubbon Park and GKVK, whereas highest PM was traced in Outer Ring Road, ITPL and Dasarahalli.

Why the study?

Janaagraha team which has conducted the study believes that Street Quality Score can be a frame of reference that can bring together MLAs and Councillors, administrators and citizens to inform budgeting decisions in the city.

“Even as our city needs several fixes, some areas in the city are evidently nicer and more liveable than others. Not all neighbourhoods have access to basic minimum quality of infrastructure and services. On the other hand, the city only has limited funds each year. Therefore, where these funds are spent, for what purposes and towards what goals, all greatly matter,” says the report.

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