Potholes, smoke and vehicle pile-up at traffic signals hamper a smooth ride under the elevated expressway on Hosur Road
A weekday ride on Hosur Road towards Electronics City is deceptively smooth when you take off from Mahatma Gandhi Road. We do not realise what is in store until we reach Bommanahalli Signal — 11 km away where the Bangalore Elevated Toll Road begins. Autorickshaw drivers on the other hand know what to expect if they have to take Hosur Road, so they either refuse to take you to your destination or demand double the fare.
Much to our relief, an autorickshaw driver consents. Our ride begins at 9.30 a.m. Belying our expectation, the ride is breezy. No hitches. Madivala is covered in 20 minutes. The oncoming traffic from Bommanahalli gives an indication of what you are up against, but when you are zipping past Adugodi and Forum Mall at more than 40 kmph, you hardly notice the ominous interstate buses that are stuck in traffic on the other side of the road.
Once past Madivala, there is a dramatic change. Potholes, smoke and vehicles begin to pile up at traffic signals. But, we continue to maintain a good pace and reach the Silk Board flyover where we stare unbelievingly at the traffic pile-up ahead. Once off the flyover, the auto driver switches off the engine, sighs and gives this reporter an I-told-you kind of a look. At which point we begin to envy those on their feet and nifty bicyclists. A Cannondale bike zips past us on the service lane even before we can call out to the rider who we suspect is a software professional going by his backpack and formal attire. “He is sure to reach ahead of any of us,” comments the auto driver in the autorickshaw parked next to ours. The service lane next to the Silk Board Flyover gradually gets dense. It is 10 a.m. and the din of vehicles honking and revving throws traffic out of gear.
A kilometre-long traffic pile-up at Bommanahalli is the beginning of the ordeal. Traffic continues to crawl and inch past the Kudlu Gate Junction and Hosa Gate Junction under the Bangalore Elevated Toll Road. Those who choose the elevated road, and the consequent toll, zip without any worries. Those on the road below the elevated road, like us, are forced to move at a snail’s pace.
The traffic police constable stops relying on the automatic signalling and steps in to ease out the traffic flow. Pedestrians, two-wheelers, four-wheelers, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses and State transport buses all jostle to claim stake to the most motorable part of the road.
A constant flow of traffic from Begur Road joins the flow of vehicles towards Electronics City. The narrow road perpendicular to Hosur Road feeds traffic equivalent to the volume of traffic from the central part of the city to Electronics City. We are sandwiched and our auto driver uses all his skills to nose past the bigger vehicles. At 10.10 a.m. we reach the Bommanahalli Junction and decide to take a U-turn. But the ordeal does not end there. We get stuck in the rush hour melee of vehicles from four directions forcing their way through under the very Bangalore Elevated Toll Road that was meant to serve as a solution to the traffic menace.