BENGALURU: Recently the municipal corporation invited tenders for the construction of 74 skywalks, with elevators or escalators, across Bengaluru.
However, City Express has found that many pedestrians are reluctant to use existing skywalks along many busy stretches. Most complain that the stairs make using skywalks tiresome. Instead, they cross the road as vehicles zip past, and put themselves at risk.
KG Circle, Majestic, is one such spot. “It takes much longer to get across the road if I take the skywalk, climbing up and down all those steps,” says Revamma, a resident of Gandhinagar.
The skywalk at Domlur, 100 Feet Road, stands almost unused. Cutting across the road there is particularly unsafe for pedestrians as most vehicles speed towards them from the flyover with hardly any traffic.
“It’s still too tiring to climb the steps. I am very careful when I cross the road so I avoid the skywalks,” reasons Ramesh Kumar, who works at a shop at Domlur.
The one across Place Road, in front of Sophia School, was deserted. City Express spotted traffic policemen cutting across the road, avoiding the skywalk, at this junction.
“The skywalk too many steps — more than others’ — which makes it difficult for a senior citizen like me. We need elevators or escalators for skywalks,” says Joseph Vincent, who lives near Sankey Tank.
The skywalk on Residency Road, near Bishop Cotton School, has more users — students as well as other pedestrians. But the absence of a median also makes it easy for jaywalkers to cut across the road.
Where Barriers Make the Crossing Safer
The high road dividers and additional barricades on Mysore Road, near Gopalan Mall, forces most pedestrians to take the skywalk there. Moreover, it’s convenient, say users.
“This skywalk has an elevator, and the barricades on the road leave us with no other choice,” says Ravi Kumar, a mechanic in the locality.
Near Christ University, Hosur Road, many use the skywalk, with elevators at either end. But, there too, it’s barriers at the median that has helped enforce the rule.
“I prefer to cross on the road — it’s less tedious — but they (the authorities) have closed the medians. Hence, we are forced to use it,” says Abhishek Sohal, a Christ University student.
Barricades and high medians have helped the police get people to pick the skywalk over the busy Outer Ring Road near Manyata Embassy Business Park, Nagawara, as well.
“Before the barricades were placed, we used to cut across the road despite having a skywalk,” admits techie Anna Mariam.
In May, the city’s first skywalk with escalators was opened in Koramangala, near Forum mall. However, even there, City Express found, many chose not to use it.
“The authorities should construct one near the signal. Only that would benefit pedestrians. But this is too far from the junction,” says Jerry Joseph, a Koramangala resident.