It doesn’t matter whether you are in Bangalore for a short visit, or you live here: there are two things about this amazing city you can vouch for- the pleasant climate and unpleasant travel experience on its roads. Once known for its greenery and leisurely paced cool life, the city has gobbled up more than it can chew in the past few decades, leading to chaos all around.
The pollution around areas of traffic concentration is so severe that staying on roads long enough is enough to kill you. No wonder Bangalore is called the suicide capital of India, since all those people on the roads are attempting suicide. If you are on the roads of Bangalore, there are few things you will experience everyday as you drive towards your destination, filling your lungs with polluted air. Let us have a peek at them.
Bangalore forgot to take baby steps before embarking on a great sprint of development and growth. The result is traffic congestion and infrastructural desuetude that mocked BMP (Bangalore Mahanagara Palike). Not to be intimidated, BMP churned out plans after plans of constructing flyovers in Bangalore. Unfortunately, this has not eased the massive traffic gridlocks in many places. The flyovers are always deserted whereas there is gigantic traffic jams below it. Do the citizens of Bangalore think flyovers means you flyover over them in helicopters? Are they afraid falling of it? Do they suffer from Acrophobia? No one knows! The calmness of the flyover and chaos below is striking especially at the Sirsi Circle Flyover.
It looks as though Bangalore Metro Project, known as “Namma Metro” is gunning for a Guinness Books of World Records for missing highest number of deadlines. Forever under construction, the metro has only added to the traffic pangs people suffer on roads, especially in busy areas. Leaving behind dangerous potholes, dug up dirt, construction leftovers without cleaning up after them is the style or work. Wonder when will the people of Bangalore be delivered from the labor pangs of Namma Metro!
If you are visiting Bangalore after a gap of say 15 days, do not use the routes you have taken earlier without checking out whether they are still working or not. Bangalore roads changes color faster than the chameleons. Two ways become one ways or worst no ways overnight leaving you stranded on wrong foot.
It is tough to keep quite when you have a fellow traveller on your vehicle to chat with, but in Bangalore people love to chat with friends travelling on other vehicles as well. Two rickshaw drivers or even bus drivers may stop their vehicles in middle of nowhere to have a small chit chat. Amazing are the scooter or bike riders who move in tandem to the yapping they do. Girls can perform the synchronized riding on their scooters as well. It is not rare to see people driving with a weird tilt to their heads since most of the people start of their mobile phone chats as soon as they start driving on the roads.
The auto rickshaw drivers are puzzling and most unpredictable people you will find on the roads of Bangalore. No one can explain why they decide to take a break during the rush hours. You want to go to Jayanagar, they will refuse to take you there, but offer to take you to Shivajinagar. Though they have meters on the Autos, in certain localities, they charge you according to the time, destination and the dress you wear.
You may have heard about dog eat dog world, but on the roads of Bangalore dogs rule so strongly that they can eat people anytime they feel hungry. Some say, Bangalore is going to dogs since the human:dog ration is 25:1 according to some experts. Dog menace continues to haunt commuters in almost every region of Bangalore.
Motorists on Bangalore roads are the bravehearts of the city. They are unstoppable once they ignite their motor engines. Traffic jam on roads, they will just clamber on to the footpath and continue moving forward. Even a small space between cars is enough for them to snake through.
Every day you will hear the desperate wailing of the ambulance on the roads of Bangalore, when the commuters try to take advantage of the situation to meet their own goals moving ahead quickly. It is more difficult for the people to give way to emergency vehicles than it was for Thakur to lose his hands.
Crawling behind a lazy driver can be frustrating on any day, unfortunately ‘The Crawlers’ on Bangalore roads are also ‘The Unpredictable’. Aiming precisely at the gap you are looking at, they block it on time to prevent you from overtaking them.
In Bangalore, the chicken is replaced with a dog or cow who often cross the roads for no reason. Both this animals have their own inimitable of crossing the roads. Whereas the dogs look around in desperation, try to run left but quickly decide right side is the better option, try to give up in between but finally scamper to a random spot still in confusion. The cows have no worries at all. They take their time, pee and poop on road as motorists try to maneuver around them to reach their destination. Why they cross roads? No one will ever know.
You jump out of your skin to the loud honking from a big truck all of a sudden on the road where large vehicles are not allowed, only to find a Nano or scooty passing by. Having loud horns on small vehicles is catching fancy in Bangalore lately, not only confusing commuters, but also leading to mishaps due to panic.
The ultimate experience on the roads of the Bangalore is diving into the potholes and jumping over the speed breakers of various shapes every now and then. Adding to your woes, the speed breakers can come in various shapes and sizes which can be literally pain in the ass.