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It’s still a long walk to pedestrian safety

Lack of footpaths, foot overbridges in traffic-dense regions and missing slabs from pavements put walkers at a risk; `200cr approved to improve pedestrian safety but there’s no progress yet

Published: 22nd September 2017 02:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2017 07:16 AM   |  A+A-

Miller’s Road: With cars parked on footpaths and slabs missing, pedestrians prefer to walk on the main road instead | vinod kumar t

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Civic authorities like Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike are slowly realising the importance of having good footpaths for pedestrians, like on TenderSURE roads. But lack of adequate pedestrian safety continues to put lives at risk every day.

Though statistics indicate a reduction in the number of pedestrian deaths in the city over the last couple of years, there still is a long way to go. While the absence of pavements in traffic-dense regions such as Outer Ring Road has been a major concern, pavements with missing slabs in different parts of the city, absence of foot overbridges or pelican lights at places with heavy traffic pose a huge risk.

According to the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India reports compiled by National Crime Records Bureau, on an average, one pedestrian died every two days in Bengaluru. While the number of pedestrain deaths was 255 in 2014, it was 85 in 2015.

Data also shows a decline in number of pedestrian deaths between 2014 and 2015, even as the proportion of accidents at pedestrian crossings increased during the period. In 2014, 7.5 per cent of all accidents in the city occurred at pedestrian crossings while the proportion was higher at 10.7 per cent in 2015.

Earlier this year, even the Home Department had acknowledged that pedestrians were at high risk on several stretches of roads in Bengaluru, especially the Outer Ring Road. Though there was no specific data on the exact number of pedestrian deaths along the stretch, the state government had stated that nearly half of the 4,841 people who died in accidents between 2011 and May 2017 were pedestrians.
No work has started

Speaking to Express, R K Misra, member of the Bengaluru Vision Group, highlighted several aspects that need to be addressed to ensure adequate safety of pedestrians in the city. “Recently, funds of `200 crore were approved to improve pedestrian security in BBMP limits. However, no work has started,” he said.
Construction of footpaths in high-density corridors and arterial roads, protected pedestrian crossing and 30-second cycles for pedestrians to cross the road at all major signals are some of the steps that are required, he said.

When contacted, D Chandrappa, chairman of the BBMP Standing Committee on Town Planning, said that officials have been given instructions to ensure that all footpaths are in good condition. Funds allocated for the purpose will be released in the coming days, he said.

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