MLAs from Chennai push for pedestrian rights

Infrastructure for non-motorised transport, including for pedestrians, has not received as much political push as others such as flyovers and bridges in the past.

Published: 22nd October 2021 06:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2021 06:35 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Infrastructure for non-motorised transport, including for pedestrians, has not received as much political push as others such as flyovers and bridges in the past. Nirupama Vishwanathan spoke to a few people’s representatives to see if this is about to change

The survey is to check where footpaths are available, what needs improvement, and streets where there are no footpaths. We have formed consultation committees and are in touch with NGOs and residents to make our streets pedestrian-friendly. Pedestrians should feel they are not inferior to anyone else on a wheeled vehicle. Our aim is to bring equality to the streets as well
— Dr N Ezhilan, Thousand Lights MLA

photos: p jawahar

Dr N Ezhilan has initiated a survey to identify issues in using footpaths in the area. As a pilot project, he is also working on a proposal to make Harrington Road and Khader Nawaz Khan Road free of fossil fuel vehicles, and encourage walking instead

As far as Mylapore is concerned, there are adequate footpaths but illegal parking makes accessibility an issue. We receive complaints that vehicles are parked on a few footpaths. We are trying to find an alternate solution so that footpaths can be used by pedestrians
‘Mylai’ T Velu, Mylapore MLA

Foot-over bridges are rarely used due to dysfunctional escalators or the strain of climbing additional staircases. A ramp may put less strain on the body but what we really need are pedestrian crosses with signals like those in other countries such as Singapore, enabling residents to cross the roads safely. The main roads should also have multi-level car parks where people can park their vehicles and walk the stretch.
-— JMH Aassan Maulaana, Velachery MLA

Citizen Playback

Sincere thanks for taking up the cause. Pedestrians in the extended areas of Chennai Corporation, especially senior citizens and women, are forced to walk in the middle of the road as the footpaths laid with the taxpayer’s money are not accessible — Raghavan, Nanganallur

Nanganallur’s woes
Raghavan also cites encroachment of footpaths on Nanganallur Market Road (4th Main road), First & Second Main Roads, and Sixth Main Road, and no pedestrian crossing spots near busy junctions such as Vanuvampet and Ullagaram (near Draupadi Amman temple). There are no platforms for pedestrians in the entire Medvakkam Main Road (from Vanuvampet to Keelkatalai), he adds

TNIE welcomes responses from its readers. We take it as a token of appreciation for the efforts our team puts in to report stories that matter. Here are a few letters that we have received over the past few days for our coverage on pedestrian rights

Residents living in streets abutting Usman Road, T Nagar, have been in a state of siege as most streets have become parking lots for shoppers’ vehicles. The worst-affected is Motilal Street. People conveniently park their vehicles least realising the inconvenience of residents. The menace becomes unbearable on holidays. Further, the refurbished footpath under the Smart City project has become encroachers’ delight. Many showrooms on Usman Road exhort their shoppers to park their vehicles on footpath. Bollards erected ostensibly to prevent passage of vehicles are either missing or in an uprooted state
— T Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association

Do you face similar woes and feel strongly about them? Write to us at

response_tn@newindianexpress.com, and do include pictures


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