Friday, November 25, 2005

7 skywalks on cards, yet no sky-walkers

7 skywalks on cards, yet no sky-walkers
The Times of India

Bangalore: No sky-walker this.

The pedestrian overbridge or skywalk at Jayanagar 4th Block was thrown open to the public months ago, but not more than 10 persons use it on an average every day. Reasons a long-time resident: “It hasn’t been put up at a strategic location.”

The place: Hudson Circle. Want to get across the road from the Corporation to the bus-bay some 15 steps away? The hitch: Juggernaut of traffic from five sides.

To address this desperate need of the pedestrian, civic agencies have planned over 27 skywalks across the city.
The one on Residency Road near the high-density Bishop Cottons School is 90 per cent complete. Yet there’s nary a solitary taker for these walkways. Just what prevents people from using them...?

On Residency Road, a van driver who ferries some 12 schoolchildren across the chocka-block road, says he’s not even aware of what “that structure with steps is meant for’’.

M A Saleem, DCP traffic (East) explains the police role in regulating pedestrian traffic: “Along with these pedestrian skywalks, what we actually need is high-rise barricades or railings along footpaths. They will prevent people from crossing the road at the wrong places. On busy roads where traffic movement is heavy, people have to be prevented from striding across.’’ The best example is the pedestrian overbridge near Santosh Theatre, which is used by hawkers and peddlers to sleep and escape from the blazing sun.

The 27 skywalks being planned were designed by civil engineering professors and scientists at the IISc. While the BMP grapples with issues like calling for tenders and favourable responses, the design logistics are as hi-tech as it gets.
Of the 27 skywalks, seven will have escalators costing Rs 1.5 crore each, whereas an ordinary one costs Rs 50 lakh. Will pedestrians take that hike?


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