The Chennai Corporation is working on a proposed pilot greenway project for Marina Beach running from Royapuram in the north to Foreshore Estate in the south, Corporation officials said.
A greenway is a multi-use trail designed to provide a safe alternative to busy city streets for walking, jogging, biking, or skating. Many cities have successfully transformed urban spaces and provided alternative networks for walking and cycling.
The project, which is likely to be worth somewhere between `7 crore and `10 crore, was initially suggested for a 11-km stretch by City Connect and Institute for Transportation and Development Policy but Corporation officials said that the stretch between Lighthouse and Slumboard, also known as Marina Loop Road, was not feasible for cycling. ITDP officials said the project would include landscape and waterscape projects.
Corporation officials said that as per the initial recommendations it was planned to completely stop traffic on Wallajah Road, Sivananda Salai and part of Anna Salai stretch to make it pedestrian friendly and build lanes for cyclists.
However, after discussion with traffic department officials, it was agreed for a one-way on these stretches. “The project is still being worked out and nothing is finalised,” officials added.
ITDP sources told Express that Wallajah Road was a VIP zone, so it could still be a two-way but we will be designing it in such a way that it is more pedestrian friendly. “It will be a link from metro station to Marina Beach. Similarly Sivanada Salai has more tar but less traffic. We are planning to make it more of a uniform four-lane road,” the ITDP official said.
He said Sivananda Salai would be designed in such a way that the Cooum, which is likely to be cleaned and restored, can be accessed by the public. This part of the project is budgeted by Chennai Mayor Saidai Duraiswamy,” he said. It is believed a report, which has been submitted to the government, has recommended that the greenway include segregated cycle track connections to the MRTS stations along the corridor. “It will provide a civic amenity of the highest order, not just for recreation, but for everyday commuting,” sources said. The project will include a high quality and expanded pedestrian footpath, cycle tracks, trees, benches, waste bins, speed tables and other public space amenities.