BENGALURU: Gandhi Bazaar, the iconic market hub in old world Basavanagudi, will be the next pedestrian street. The blueprint is ready, and local communities and the government are working together to turn it into a walkers’ zone, a la Church Street.V Manjula, Commissioner, Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT) on Tuesday said talks are on with locals, residents, commercial establishments and elected representatives. She was speaking at a virtual discussion, ‘Implementation of Clean Air Street -- Ideas and Opportunity for Bengaluru’, organised by B.Pac and DULT.
Manjula said the design for Gandhi Bazaar has been prepared by GIZ, a German-based company. Locals are coming forward to suggest roads which can be turned into pedestrian zones, and details are being worked out.Prof Ashish Verma, Associate Professor, Transportation Engineering Lab, Department of Civil Engineering, IISc, said they are conducting a quantitative and qualitative impact assessment study of Church Street.
Initial findings have shown that 75 per cent of the commercial establishments have a positive perception now, though they have parking problems, and 46 per cent of people coming here use public transport. Both public transport and parking facility need to be improved. Manjula said Church Street serves as a pilot, and the authorities are still addressing issues like permitting traffic movement and other problems, which is a positive sign.
IISc, along with DULT, is also assessing air quality, traffic at boarding and aligning points of the Metro and bus stand, financial impact on the 54 commercial establishments on the stretch, and understanding people’s minds on what a visit to Church Street meant then and now.
Architect Naresh Narasimhan, who reimagined Church Street, said it has been designed for upgradation for the next 30 years. It was initially meant for pedestrians only, but the locals had to be convinced. Now, the government should implement it in other places, as it is keen on improving the city’s air quality. For this, public transport and pedestrian-friendly streets are the way forward.
Roads in Jayanagar 4th Block, Avenue Road and Malleswaram 8th Cross can be redesigned, Narasimhan said.Srinivas Alavilli of Janaagraha said that pedestrian streets can be created wherever Cycle Days were held, like in Basaveshwaranagar, HSR Layout, Indiranagar and Jayanagar. Ward committees should also look at implementing the idea in their neighbourhoods.