Wednesday, February 28, 2007

`Pedestrian-friendly measures glaringly absent'

`Pedestrian-friendly measures glaringly absent'

The Hindu

BANGALORE: According to M.N. Sreehari, a professor with M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology and Chairman of Traffic Engineering and Safety Trainers, pedestrian-friendly measures are glaringly absent in Bangalore.

The minimum width of the pavement should be 1.5 metres as per the Indian Road Congress, the width should go up depending upon the number of people using the pavement, he said. A 1.5 metre-wide pavement can take 600 people an hour. However, very few pavements in the city match that standard.

Even if one prefers to walk on the downsized footpath, several obstacles — electricity poles and transformers, trees, ditches, hawkers, shopkeepers' display articles and many more — force one to walk on the road. Public attitude of crossing the road at their fancy has also been one of the main reasons for fatal accidents.

Mr. Sreehari said scientifically planned skywalks, subways and kerbstone-laid zebra crossings could ensure minimum safety to pedestrians. These facilities should be provided near important bus stops, shopping areas and school zones. Considering the public's tendency to cross the road as they like, pavements should be barricaded except at the entry and exit of skywalks or sub-ways. Skywalks should be at places convenient for pedestrians and not at places favourable to advertising agencies, he added.


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