Bangalore Traffic

12.09.08 | Comment?

Snapshot of Bangalore Traffic

I’ve written about it before, but you really have to experience it to get a flavor for it. This morning there were statistics in the newspaper about how vehicle ownership has grown and it’s effect on traffic in the city. Since 1998, the number of vehicles has tripled from 1.2M to over 3.6M today.

Meanwhile, the average speed of traffic in the city has dropped from 12.5mph (20 kph) to 5mph (8 kph.) On another dimension, as the roads have become more crowded, they have also become more deadly. In 2001, there were 703 fatalities on Bangalore streets; the number through November, 2008 is 925.

The close proximity of vehicles, the mix (large trucks, passenger vehicles, buses, auto-rickshaws, motorbikes, scooters, bicycles, pedestrians, and random animals) make it a constantly changing landscape in which to drive. The horns are constantly in use and traffic controls are only moderately effective and obeyed.

The city recognizes it is grinding to a halt and is working to build a new train system, rehabilitate the roads, redesign intersections, and provide a more effective bus system. All good initiatives and all in desperate need. In the future, I see a booming business in helicopter transport as it’s the only reliable way to get out of the traffic….

Here’s a video of the traffic moving along well – in fact, much more smoothly than I have seen this visit. The animals seem to be missing from this footage…

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