Bengaluru Buzz: 60 accident black spots | Commuters for bus lane systems … and more

Other news of the week: 'Safe City' project targets 2024, Lalbagh says no to group activities, and property guidance value to be revised.

60 accident black spots

The Bengaluru Traffic Police have identified 60 accident-prone locations or “accident black spots” in the city and have outlined some measures to enhance safety. The list will be submitted to the civic agencies. The black spots have been identified on the State Highway, National Highway, Ring Road, and other roads.

Remedial measures include installation of accident zone signboards, construction of skywalks, placement of cat eyes and blinkers, CCTV cameras, rumbler strips, road markings, road humps, street lights, raised centre medians and speed limit signage boards.

The report showed that over the past three years, the number of accidents in 2022 rose by 120 compared to 2020, even as the fatalities shot up by 115 during the same period. Pedestrians killed also went up from 164 in 2020 to 247 in 2022. A quarter of the pedestrian deaths were due to two-wheelers.

About 19 of the blackspots were on the 60-km-long Outer Ring Road (ORR). The Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) Expressway has the second highest number of blackspots at 13.

Source: The Hindu, The Times of India

Read more: Better design, bigger budgets for footpaths: Can this prevent pedestrian accidents?

Commuters favour bus lane systems

A Greenpeace India report, surveying 979 bus users, showed that commuters who have travelled along the bus priority lane (BPL) on the Outer Ring Road want it implemented in other parts of the city too. Questions in the survey explored any changes felt in journey time, speed, waiting time, ease of boarding and safety since the introduction of the bus lane, which was discontinued since mid-2022.

Moreover, users were more regular in using the buses after the bus lane was implemented along the ORR. It even attracted new users, about 73% of whom were women. This highlights that bus lanes allowed greater accessibility and ease of travel for women.

The survey titled ‘Relying on Bus: Studying the Impacts of Bengaluru’s Bus Lane on Bus Use’ said that about 86% demanded expansion of the bus lane system. The study showcased the bus lane’s positive effects on travel time and solutions for the city’s air pollution.

The respondents suggested expanding the bus lane to key areas such as Hebbal, Tin factory, Silk Board, Marathahalli, Whitefield, Electronic City, BTM Layout, Majestic, and KR Puram. The bus lane, along the Outer Ring Road, on a stretch of about 18.5 kms, was discontinued in mid-2022, after works for the Metro commenced.

Source: Deccan Herald, Indian Express

‘Safe City’ project targets 2024

The ‘Safe City’ project, whose Phase one under the Union Home Ministry’s ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ was launched last March, is expected to be implemented by March 2024, said a senior police officer.

The Phase 1 installations are complete. About 7,500 CCTV cameras in 3,000 key areas, 50 safety islands, 158 viewing centres, and a command centre were planned. In phase one, 4,100 surveillance cameras, 30 safety islands, 96 viewing centres (88 in police stations and eight DCP offices) and a command centre with eight drones equipped with cameras have been set up.

But the go-live, after the department completes the tests and agrees with the implementation, is expected by year-end.

Source: Deccan Herald

Read more: Open letter to DULT and BMTC on improving public transport in Bengaluru

Lalbagh says no to group activities

Many were shocked at Lalbagh’s recent diktat, in which a reading community was asked to refrain from sitting and reading in groups. Authorities claim that it is mainly due to Lalbagh’s classification as a botanical garden. M Jagadeesh, joint director, horticulture, said that as they get species from various parts of the world, they need to conserve them.

Jagadeesh says all group activities are banned in Lalbagh. He said that when photo and film shoots were allowed, people would damage the trees. He added that before walkathons and marathons were banned, people would venture into the lawns and damage small plants.

Except for functions of the Lalbagh department, all government functions are also banned. While people can use benches or sit on bigger lawns to read, sitting on lawns is forbidden, as it can damage the grass.

Pile of books
A reader’s paradise in Lalbagh is now facing the ire of the authorities. Pic courtesy: Twitter/Lalbagh Reads

Lalbagh Reads is a group of book lovers who meet on Sundays in Lalbagh to read in silence. One member said that they gathered near the West Gate, partly covered in grass and partly not turfed. But one man ticked them off on September 10th, pointing out that Lalbagh is only for walkers and not groups.

Another reader rued that as ‘books are not allowed, balls not allowed, cameras not allowed, art not allowed… what is this park even there for?’

Source: Deccan Herald, The Times of India

Property guidance value to be revised

From October 1st, the city is expected to see a 25-30% rise in guidance value (the minimum price set by the government for registration of a property in a particular area). The revision might even be 50% in areas such as Electronic City, said Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda.

Revisions have not happened for five years, which could also lead to black money transactions, he said.

The Department of Stamps and Registration has begun reassessing property values and will soon come out with a draft of the new guidance values.

Source: Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindu

[Compiled by Revathi Siva Kumar]

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