What is a Flyover?Edit
A flyover is an elevated road at a junction. Junctions create a conflict between different streams of traffic and require special treatment. For example
- Traffic Signals
- Stop and Go systems
A flyover is designed so that some lanes of traffic completely avoid the junction.
Opposition to FlyoversEdit
Sustainable Transportation Policies abhor flyovers since they simply attempt to cater to the need of the traffic volumes at the junction instead of trying to reduce congestion due to excess vehicles. In particular
- Flyovers favour cars and two wheelers, since Public Transport (buses) prefer stops at the junctions. Pedestrians find junctions with flyovers extremely difficult to cross due to continuous streams of fast traffic (this is seen to be the case at the Pune University Chowk). Cyclists also suffer for similar reasons and tend to use the slip road (the lane/s that do not go over the junction) which is usually congested
- In Indian cities (like Pune) there is overall network congestion due to excess vehicles and poor traffic and roadspace management and a flyover simply makes congestion worse at the subsequent junctions (this is seen to be the case at Sancheti Chowk)
- Flyovers are very expensive (Rs 50 – 100 crores) and the same amount of money could be spent improving public transport which is seen to be a sustainable solution.
- They are built by destroying tree cover and are ugly structures.
The National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) has not supported flyovers and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) has refused funding for them.Worldwide not only are new flyovers not being built, but existing ones are being dismantled.
Assessment of Efficacy of FlyoversEdit
No pre- and post-project studies are carried out by the city in order to scientifically assess if the stated goals of a flyover are actually met. Transport groups are now demanding that the following data, information and reports be prepared and made available to the public.
- Design drawings
- Estimated project cost and duration
- Risks and risk mitigation strategies (what are the various factors that could lead to project budget and time overruns and what steps are being taken to minimize these risks)
- Traffic volumes by mode (including cyclists and pedestrians) – convert to PCU and Persons (if there are 3 buses that pass through, since a bus is considered 3 PCU this is considered as a 9 PCU equivalent. However since a bus carries 40 people it would carry 120 persons).
- Congestion data (trip travel-time data, am, pm and off-peak) (floating car or other methodologies are used to get data on how much delay is experienced by a commuter at various times. One of the goals of a project would presumably be to reduce the delay)
- Alternate solutions for improving throughput (PCU and Persons) – Traffic Management measures .
- Projected volume and congestion post project (once the flyover is built what will be the volume and by how much will congestion/delay be reduced)
- Cost Benefit Analysis (is the cost of the project justified?)
- Environment Impact Analysis
- Project Impact Analysis (what will be the impact on the situation while the project is being implemented and what planning has been done for this)
- Area Impact Analysis (what will be the impact on neighbouring junctions due to this project)
Flyovers in PuneEdit
In spite of evidence to show that flyovers are a poor solution for congestion they are routinely proposed by various consultants. Most recently the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) prepared by IL&FS, while espousing the principles of sustainable transport, has proposed many flyovers as an “intermediate solution”.
This flyover was controversial for many reasons including the delays and the severe congestion for many years while it was being built as well as the design being considered flawed.
More recently NMT activists have made suggestions for improving the pedestrian crossing at this busy chowk.
- Design Drawings
- Contractor - J Kumar Infraprojects Limited Contact Person Jitendra Dali (PMC) email@example.com
- Budget - 61 crores (= 200 new buses for PMPML @ 30 lakhs per bus)
- Project duration 21 months
- Estimated Project completion date February 2010
- Jurisdiction - A1 defence land (under direct control of Brigadier Sanjeev Talwar, BEG and Centre)
- Project funded by Pune Municipal Corporation
<googlemap lat="18.554526" lon="73.863487" zoom="15" type="normal" width="350" height="350> </googlemap> Answers to Questions (based on the assessment of flyovers above)
- Traffic volumes are available and will be shared
- Congestion data is not available but can be done if so decided by the authorities
- Since Holkar bridge is the single point of congestion, alternate solutions may not be possible through traffic management alone.
- It is claimed that the new bridge will suffice for traffic volumes as forecast by the Comprehensive Mobility Plan up to 2031
- No Cost Benefit Analysis done but can be if decided by authorities
- As per a letter from the Ministry of Environment and Forests it is being claimed that any projects that are along existing right of way are exempt from clearance from environmental and forestry angles. PMC claims that it has sent a letter to MPCB stating that this is their position and that the MPCB should inform them as to whether they are required to prepare an EIA. No answer from MPCB to date (4th December 2008)
- However it was asked if they would still prepare an EIA even though it is not mandatory and again it was stated that it could be done if authorities say so.