Skywalks in Bangalore?

Found this interesting tender on BBMP website. Its titled “Expression of Interest for Empanelment of Agencies for Design, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) of State of art Sky Walks In Bangalore City.”

In order to facilitate easy and safe road crossing for the pedestrians in busy areas of Bangalore, BBMP is planning to erect skywalks fitted with aesthetically designed capsule lifts which are suitable for out door erection at 30 select locations.

Wow, sounds cool! Wonder what these 30 locations are. I hope a few are planned for Outer Ring Road too. Actually, there are so many roads one struggles to cross these days that 30 of these may not be enough. But a good start, let us see.

Did you notice that most existing pedestrian over-bridges don’t get used as much. People walk across Airport Road right under that ped bridge. Ditto for the one near Jaynagar 4th block complex. Climbing up a flight of stairs may be the issue there. And that is perhaps why these new Sky Walks are designed to have lifts for elevation.

BTW, are these the Skywalks IISc designed and talked about a few months ago?

20 Comments so far

  1. Chitra (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 6:10 am

    Sounds great! 30 is definitely not sufficient. But, like you say, a good start!

  2. Ravi (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 9:44 am

    Sigh. Why am I reminded of the skywalks in Singapore which people USE without fail?

  3. Rajesh (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

    Infact they are badly needed at almost every main road junctions, looking forward!!

  4. M O H A N (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

    The traffic in singapore roads where such sky walks exist are the only option as traffic speeds exceed 80KMPH and no sane person can zip thru.

  5. Srivathsa (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 12:48 pm

    Not sure why people don’t use these things. Climbing a staircase vs risking life and limb – a no brainer for me. I have used the one near Bangalore Club and it was fine. BTW – have not seen such skywalks in any other Indian city.

    In Singapore, some of these have escalators (in and around Orchard Road). Most don’t. Some are twice as high (to accommodate double decker buses). But people use them. Lifts are not a smart option. Escalators make more sense. Throughput is higher.

    Of course you need to plan them sensibly and put them where it makes sense. but let’s face the fact that you cannot put them everywhere. One has to make some sort of effort to use them.

    Understandably, it is difficult for old people to use these. But even the young able bodied don’t seem to use them. Why??


  6. indore (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 1:59 pm

    In our Indore city, the Nagar nigam has planned to open similar bridges, I don;t know whethter they also call it skywalk or not, but they are basically made with the staircase moving, so that if one person keeps his leg on the staircase he will reach up and then walk and then automatically reach down.

    In some malls, airports also this type of staircase are deployed these days.

    Actually they make it under BOT, by which one private company will make it and earn money from the advertisments and will also maintain it for some 10 years and then it will transfer it to the Nagar Nigam. So Nagar Nigam also doesn’t have to bear the sonstruction cost, and after 10 years it comes as free to them,


  7. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

    throughput issue. exactly what i thought. lifts cannot be the solution. too much of a bottleneck.
    also how much of heat and dust can these lifts and elevators thingies take? maintenance.

    also advertisement rights should be inside the skywalk and not outside. that will ensure that the operator has actually interest in running this thingie and ensure ‘footfalls’. he will put barricades, he’ll man signals.

    outside only traffic signs and public service messages – naavibbaru namagibbaru

    could that make it unlucrative?

  8. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 2:07 pm

    exactly the same thing. indore is planning for escalotors, blore is planning for tube lifts. prolly indore’s solution is better.

  9. Srivathsa (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

    Escalators and lifts come with maintenance. No getting away from that. Even here in Singapore, I find quite a few of them broken down and constantly getting repaired.

    We need the auto-start escalators (if at all) so that they don’t run all the time. As soon as a person approaches it, it starts.

    I still think staircases are the way to go. Given the power situation, given our maintenance standards, these escalators are not sustainable.
    The initial cost will be higher with escalators and I would rather see more skywalks (with stairs) near schools with the money saved (kids at least can be made to climb the stairs if the adults are not interested).

    Escalators also (purely based on observation)tend to be steeper. If they don’t work, climbing them is more difficult.

    Another option is having ramps up and down. But they obviously take more space. But it’s possible, given that we don’t need high skywalks (no double deckers).

  10. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    i believe there is a psychological aspect to this.
    the approach to a skywalk is an imposing gradient. somebody suggested subways are better that way, because initially you are climbing down. then you are forced to climb. :)
    but subways come with their own set of problems.

    you right about the energy aspects too.

  11. Srivathsa (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

    Subways are much more expensive to build and cause more disruption. The last thing we need. Though they ought to plan a few when they are anyway tunneling for the Metro (the underground stretches).

    Why are we as a people so inclined to take shortcuts even if it means risking our lives – jumping red lights, run across the roads WHEN there is a skywalk right next to us, drive without seat belts, don;t wear helmets.

  12. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

    regarding people, as seinfeld says, people! they are the worst!!!

    one man had this problem of men urinating and spitting on his compound wall. so what this really smart guy did was he drew a ganesha on the wall. problem solved.

  13. kauphi1976 (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

    Before we dream about skywalks, i would suggest good footpath which are not dug up !

    I think we will need more than 500 of these to be of practical use. 30 would be more like showpiece factor. I am thinking more in the lines of escalators and moving walkways so lazy people won’t need to take an extra step.


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    ps: u can tell i am dreamin of that day !

  14. Sriram Iyer (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 6:07 pm

    One reason people do not use the skywalks is the absence of proper road dividers. Why climb over when you can quickly zip through when you find the slightest of gaps in traffic flow?
    I visited Chennai last week and found that the road dividers (cemented ones) are as high as 4 feet and then you have metal grills for another 1 feet above making it impossible for 90% junta to hop over. This has definitely made a huge difference to the “Jaywalkers’ Club”. No harm in coying ‘best practices’ from other cities.

  15. silkboard (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

    Sriram made a very good point here. Fencing the pavements and road-divider around the area where you have a ped bridge will deter jaywalkers.

    Actually, they have tried this on Mysore highway. In some central areas of towns on the way, they have fenced the highway and made ped bridges. But, I noticed that the fences are being brought down (literally been broken!) by lazy jaywalkers.

    The thing is, for the “diversity of awareness” that we have, we need hard deterrents in our country.

  16. tarlesubba (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 11:31 pm

    you are right sriram, i have seen some pics of those – the ones with red median walls. i also like what they have done with sections of ECR that hey have completed.

  17. Srivathsa (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 8:45 am

    Given our one-ways in namma Bengaluru and the traffic police’s fondness for converting roads into one-ways, how will medians work? We probably need cages around the footpaths :).

  18. Dev (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

    Interesting approach. Since this will be on BOT scheme, how will they get pedestrians to pay. Consider what is happening around the city with sulabh type toilets. I find some of our citizens conveniently using the area around such facilities to relive themselves for free. It is tough to get someone in our country to pay for a facility

  19. Srivathsa (unregistered) on March 15th, 2007 @ 7:10 am

    Revenue model in this is through sale of advertising space. Will easily pay back over a 10 year period. A hoarding in a prime area costs about 80-100K p.m. There is also then an incentive to keep the place clean (pranav has already mentioned this point)

    Some amount of stick will be needed. I remember about 20 years back, walking on the (even then) busy Kempegowda road, there used to be a cop who would chase any jaywalker with a lathi and send him/her back to the pavement. Might not work anymore(?)

    Or else fine people Rs.100 for jaywalking around areas with skywalks – word needs to get around. Even if a bribe exchanges hands, it hits the person monetarily forcing him/her to think the next time. I am a person who believes in minimal state intervention in peoples’ private lives, but have very little sympathy for people who break a reasonable law.

  20. silkboard (unregistered) on March 15th, 2007 @ 11:06 am

    Tarle, I am guessing these will have stairs as well as lifts. Not just the lifts.

    Dev, as Sri said, I think advertising space is how the operator’d make money on these. Who’d ever pay to use a skywalk!? Never.

    Fine idea isn’t practical in our country. We don’t and cant have enough cops to enforce these fines. All you would end up with is stray cases of cops harassing unaware/poor pedestrians. See a parallel in stop sign vs Road humps. We cant have stop signs for you cant enforce a see-sign-stop-and-go law. But a speed bump works, a practical solution. Thats my “hard deterrent” theory.

    So fence the busy areas of the road well enough so that folks cant get on to the road, and provide a skywalk there. Should work.

    kauphi1976 – good point there about having good footpaths first.

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