KOCHI: In line with efforts to improve the non-motorised transport(NMT)infrastructure here with focus on increased accessibility and last-mile connectivity, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) has prioritised six more major stretches along the Metro Rail corridor for road improvement works which will enhance the overall experience of pedestrians and non-motorised vehicle users.
The agency had already carried out beautification and pedestrian-related infrastructure work along the nearly 800 m-long stretch between Shihab Thangal Road-South Panampilly Nagar Road.
On the remaining stretches, the agency had launched NMT-related infrastructure works at Aluva, Edappally and Hospital Road.
“For the remaining works, KMRL is looking at the active participation of local bodies and other stakeholders to generate the funds needed. Definitely, the NMT initiatives are of top priority for KMRL. We will also have to look into more funding sources for initiatives like CSR(corporate social responsibility),” said the KMRL spokesperson.
The primary aim of the Master Plan is to develop an integrated network of walkways and cycle track along with related infrastructure facilities at strategic locations within the study area.
However, the development of NMT corridor will not be an easy task for the agency as the detailed project report (DPR) on NMT has revealed nearly 81 per cent of the roads along the Metro Rail corridor do not have a dedicated walkway on both the sides.
For instance, if we take the nearly 17 km Metro Rail stretch from Aluva to Maharaja’s College, majority of the roads do not have adequate width either. Hence, to develop the cycle track and walkway, the roads need to be widened. Nearly three per cent of the roads are lined on both sides by 1.20m wide walkways.
In five per cent of roads, there are walkways only on one side of the road having a width of 1.3 m and in 11 per cent of the roads, the width of the walkway is less than one metre.
Another major hurdle is the inadequate number of drains on the roads along the Metro corridor.
There is also lack of adequate street lighting. Depending on the volume of pedestrians,the Master Plan recommends footpaths with a minimum width of 1.8m and maximum height of 150mm from the finished road surface.
Twenty per cent of pedestrians are using the Metro Rail corridor, according to the Master Plan. Based on the primary surveys conducted, the DPR states the city has a 4 per cent cycle mode share.
The analysis of primary surveys carried out shows 73 per cent of the respondents willing to use bicycles on a daily basis if provided with adequate infrastructure. The Master Plan has identified 31.6 Km of dedicated cycle lane with a total of 177 bicycle docking stations.
The NMT Master Plan
The NMT Master Plan focuses on providing safe, comfortable and accessible walking and cycling infrastructure for easy access to Metro stations, other transport stations, public spaces and other destinations.
The Public Bicycle Sharing Scheme recommends infrastructure provisions, operation and revenue generation strategies to establish an organised system to encourage bicycling.
Urban Place Making to improve the quality of urban spaces which would encourage people to actively use public spaces in the City there by encouraging public to walk and cycle.
The six corridors prioritised for development
Aluva-Pulinchode NMT corridor- 3 km
Kaloor - Lissie Road
stretch- 2.5 km
Muttom-CUSAT section-4 km
Edappally Junction- 1 km
Hospital Road- 0.6 km
Madhava Pharmacy Junction-800 m