Beed Bypass: Fallacy in Urban Planning – Need for Change

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Aurangabad is growing at an exponential pace, initially having MIDC’s and now AURIC which is the proposed industrial township. This has caused heavy movement of freight vehicles between important cities and Aurangabad. To adhere to this huge movement of freight vehicles the corporation created bypasses or ring roads so that vehicles do not have to enter the city limits keeping people safe from accidents at the same time saving a lot of commute time for these vehicles, one such road is the bypass between new Link Road and Deolai which is a national highway. The initial aim was the same, to divert the freight traffic away from the city keeping people safe but urbanization has had its toll and the city has expanded exponentially causing residential neighborhoods to come up along this road as the city limit was already exploited. At least, 60,000 people reside in these neighborhoods today. This has become a matter of serious conflict and danger; the residential areas open up on the bypass road having heavy freight vehicles moving with tremendous speed. This is becoming root cause of accidents along this stretch, which is also evident from accident data which states there have been three major accidents along this stretch in last four weeks causing two deaths, by this data the quantum of the problem can be understood. The total number of minor accidents is far more.

Any road which passes through an urban area loses its characteristic during that stretch in the city and becomes part of Urban hierarchy of road network, in this case the road being collector road. Vehicle movement here should be according to urban standards for collector roads and not as national highway. If this urban planning flaw is not catered to the problem will only multiply in magnitude and cause more deaths.

Cross Cuttings Marked
So what can be done now? There are various solutions to this problem
1. Restrict the freight vehicle movement between morning 7 am to night 10 pm. These vehicles if using this road will only be allowed to commute for 9 hours’ time window and other times will be prohibited from entering these roads.
2. Since its an urban road, freight vehicles will need to maintain speed of 30 km/hr during this entire stretch from Link road till Deolai. The same restriction does not apply to private vehicles. But this is still a concern as freight vehicles will be there on roads.
3. There has to be a speed breaker installed 10 meters prior to the intersection between a heavy traffic residential road and the bypass, so that speed of vehicles approaching the intersection will be limited. This can be implemented in case any solution is adopted as it will help reduce accidents at intersections in general.
4. The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation can delineate a new bypass passing way outside city limits and devote this current road for urban usage only. This seems like the least acceptable solution but if implemented might be the best possible solution and city is yet to grow to its potential along this transit corridor.

Aditya Varma
Urban Planner,
College of Engineering Pune.

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