Mobility is a challenging issue in a city growing as fast as Bangalore. The ever increasing
number of motorized vehicles creates traffic congestion at almost any time of day. Two-wheelers
swarm like bats, contesting street space with private cars, auto-rickshaws, taxis, and buses,
swerving around pedestrians and bicyclists. Buses get stuck in traffic and last mile connectivity
is problematic. Walking to and from the bus stop is difficult as footpaths are often unusable
due to heavily damaged pavement, garbage disposal, parked cars, storage of building materials,
or exuberant plant growth. Pedestrians have to share busy streets with motorists, regularly
risking their lives as provisions for safe crossing are normally missing. The metro, that just
opened the first tunnel stretch in South India rendering the East-West connection line
operational, is promising relief as commuters start to use its services. Many ideas for
better mobility are discussed: the integration of public transport, the establishment
of park and ride systems, better information on bus services, improvement of footpath quality,
or incentives for cycling.
Bettina Lockemann observes these issues in Commuter Space and visualizes the atmosphere of density and the set of problems of the traffic situation. Despite the multitude of difficulties spaces open up that are used creatively which makes the circumstances of the daily commute more livable.
The work Commuter Space is the result of the bangaloREsidency at Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan and the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) in Bangalore in April/May 2016.
With the support of Goethe-Institut Bangalore.