The people of Bangalore are getting nowhere fast. Without adequate public transportation and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, one of the fastest growing cities in India is struggling to support its informal sector (read: the poorest of poor workers in one of the world’s most impoverished countries) in their most basic tasks: traveling to work and around the city.
As the city gets bigger, Bangalore’s infrastructure becomes increasingly a car-centric and classist. Meanwhile, its sizable pedestrian population is being pushed to the sidelines.
Since 1971, Bangalore has grown from 175 square kilometers to over 560; in a matter of decades, it’s become a booming urban center. With rapid urban development came the rise of the motor vehicle as the primary mode of transportation. The car has become such a powerful force in Bangalore that poorer workers who would normally walk or cycle to work have been endangered; these people have literally been pushed to the roadside (what sliver of room exists for them) by the mounting crush of cars.
Despite the unrelenting traffic on the city’s streets, 40% of households in Bangalore don’t own a car. The city is now so car oriented that pedestrians and cyclists risk life and limb if they venture out sans vehicle; they’re literally run off the roads. Even when cyclists and pedestrians do brave the streets, they’re faced with garbage and filth strewn along the roadside.
If ever-growing Bangalore doesn’t break its bad, car-centric habits soon and introduce efficient public transit, accompanied by bike- and ped-friendly changes, it may become a city in chaos.
For more on the perils pedestrians face in Bangalore, check out The City Fix.
Photos via flickr by (nz)dave
- Pasadena for Peds
- Obama Plans to Fight Sprawl, Support Peds As President
- Peds Go Naked: Barefoot is Best
- Car Dealerships Push Peds Off Streets in Queens, NYC
- Ciclovia Helps Peds Take Back Baltimore Streets