The ride on the pothole-hit stretch from Ulsoor Lake to Hoody junctaion turns into a battle for survival
Get, set, go… and stop! That is in short the description of travel on two-wheeler from Ulsoor Lake to Hoody junction. Alternating between 10 kmph and 20 kmph with generous doses of braking and paddling, we finally reach our destination some 15 km away — full of sympathy for those who use this route during morning peak hours every day.
We start from Ulsoor Lake at 9.30 a.m., pass through Swami Vivekananda Road and reach Byappanahalli junction at around 9.50 a.m., to realise what we are in for. The rickety ride on the pothole-hit stretch, squeezing between Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses and cars, turns into a battle for survival. Add to the cocktail of trucks, which a traffic cop at the K.R. Puram junction claims are allowed only after 11 a.m., and you get an idea of the challenge.
To begin with, one must be armed with talent to think on your feet (or in this case, on your wheels) to clear the Byappanahalli-Kasturinagar-Suranjandas Road junction. It is almost impossible to make it at one go to clear the signal before it goes red again; unless, of course, you decide to break the rules and go on the wrong side of the divider to make it closer to the start line. Carefully manoeuvring our bike on the remaining asphalted portions, we reach Tin Factory, K.R. Puram.
Chaos is an understatement at this junction, where traffic from Ulsoor and Hebbal Ring Road flyover merge. A sea of humanity greets you here and joins the innumerable vehicles on either sides of the road in choking it. Here we see the K.R. Puram skywalk, which is probably one of the best utilised in the city, thanks to the general pandemonium which forces pedestrians to use it.
As we continue wading through the dust and smoke, we reach B. Narayanapura extension, where traffic smoothens a bit. We finally reach the BMTC bus-stand at Hoody Circle at around 11.05 a.m. and start turning left to return. But, we notice 80 per cent of the vehicles heading straight towards ITPB (International Tech Park Bangalore, commonly known as ITPL).
We change our mind and go with the flow towards ITPB. It is not difficult to figure out the reason behind the choc-o-bloc traffic. A steady stream of single-passenger cars wait in line from the rows of posh apartment complexes to get on to the main road, seemingly oblivious to the half-empty air-conditioned BMTC buses that cater exclusively to this part of the city.
The barely three-km stretch took us another 25 minutes even as we fought for space with buses coming in from Old Airport Road towards ITPB at Hoody junction.
At last, at 11.30 a.m., our back-breaking two-wheeler ride came to an end as we reached ITPB. What took us by surprise, almost pleasantly, was that the ride back took us less than 45 minutes. Obviously the Hoody-to-Ulsoor track would bear the brunt of return traffic in the evening.
Byappanahalli-Kasthurinagar-Suranjandas Road junction
Tin Factory junction