CHENNAI:Nungambakkam may be the hub of real estates, but the pedestrian unfriendly roads in the area continue to be a nightmare for pedestrians.
From Gemini to Sterling Road, there are six points used by pedestrians for crossing — Kodambakkam High Road junction, one near MOP College, in front of the Income Tax office, near Taj Coromandel, near Allen Solly and the Sterling Road junction on College Road. All these points have low medians.
“Crossing Nungambakkam Main Road at six in the evening is a nightmare, with cars and bikes zooming down the stretch at over 60 kmph. I usually have to wait for 10 minutes to cross the road in the midst of the haphazard traffic,” says Savithri R, a working professional.
Despite the presence of traffic police at the Kodambakkam-Nungambakkam signal, and near the Income Tax office for traffic control and assist pedestrians to cross, people opt to cross in other points along the median, says Raghav S, a marketing executive.
“Though there are over six points, it is a pain because there are no signals at any of these points and very rarely do motorists stop during peak hours,” adds Savithri.
Pedestrians often opt for guerilla tactic or median jumping. This often results in near misses , with the large number of vehicles speeding by at any time of the day. Fortunately, there have not been major accidents along the stretch. “The traffic swells towards 7:30 pm around Gemini and Nungambakkam High Road. I have seen ambulances waiting to get past the traffic. The situation is aggravated by haphazard parking of vehicles on the main and side roads,” says Raghav.
It is to be noted that the stretch has a college and Central Government Office besides other important buildings.While most among the volume of students and working people opt for personal vehicles, for the others who use public transport, crossing to the other side becomes a tough task, especially during the peak hours.
“Pedestrian crossing should at least be three meters wide and should have clear demarcations. This apart, there should be a refuge island in the centre of the median for pedestrians to stop and cross. In busy areas, there should be pedestrian crossing points every 200 metres. The Corporation is quite sensitive to pedestrian friendly approach, has heard us out and said that it will try and implement the points in its road re-laying projects,” says Aswathy Dilip from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).