Cycle lane bollards disappear on ORR, residents blame motorists 

Bollards used to demarcate cycle lanes have been removed by BMRCL officials and gas pipeline company on Ring road near Marathahalli in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Bollards used to demarcate cycle lanes have been removed by BMRCL officials and gas pipeline company on Ring road near Marathahalli in Bengaluru on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

As the IT crowd makes a comeback to offices after two years, resulting in an increase in traffic, residents in areas around Outer Ring Road (ORR) are facing a number of problems, including traffic jams and driving on footpaths. However, in the last couple of weeks, hundreds of bollards placed to demarcate the cycling lane are being removed. While due to ongoing work, the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) workers have removed bollards on a particular stretch, the reasons for the disappearance of other bollards remain unknown. 

Cyclists and some residents say that the ‘private vehicles lobby’ might be the reason why bollards are being removed. “There is a perception that road infrastructure is only for private vehicles. A few weeks ago, there was an unfortunate two-wheeler accident on the ORR and without any evidence, the lobbyists started blaming the cycle lane bollards. In the last few days, we have noticed that there has been too much traffic on the road and just like that, one fine day, bollards were removed altogether,” said Mukund, a local resident. 

On a particular 500m-stretch near Haralur Junction, all the bollards which were used to separate the cycling lane, had disappeared overnight, says Shilpi Sahu, a cyclist. “With traffic increasing, private vehicle owners have lost patience and now see cycle lanes as a nuisance. They think that taking over this one meter of space will help them reach places faster, but it has only had a counter effect. While sometimes bollards would be on and off on some stretches, this time it is a whitewash.” 

The residents say that frequent complaints to many civic departments have not yielded any results. “After spending lakhs on these bollards, they are all now just gone. We are not sure if any department is looking into it,” Ms. Sahu said.

When contacted, B.S. Prahalad, Chief Engineer (Road and Infrastructure), said, “We have handed over that stretch (where all the bollards are gone) to BMRCL for their work. When they lay down their barricades, a three-lane road becomes a two-lane road and that is why they might have removed the bollards.” 

BMRCL spokesperson Yashwant Chavan also said that if any bollards have been removed for metro work, they will be put back in place as soon as the work is over. The residents, however, say that bollards have also been removed in places where metro work is not going on. They suggest that the Directorate of Urban and Land Transport (DULT) should look into installing sturdier, permanent structures for demarcation to avoid such incidents.

The commissioner of DULT was not available for comment. 

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2022 4:16:27 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/cycle-lane-bollards-disappear-on-orr-residents-blame-motorists/article65507977.ece