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Pedestrians on the streets

Dec 12, 2012, DHNS:

No Choice

risky Many prefer walking on the main road rather than the footpath. dh photo by S K Dinesh

Commuting in the City on foot can be a nightmare for most pedestrians. In part, this is because of the pathetic condition of the City’s pavements.

While some areas of the City have broad, well-maintained footpaths, this is unfortunately not the case everywhere — especially on the outskirts.

Often, pavements are broken down, irregular or littered to such an extent that most pedestrians choose the riskier option — they simply walk on the roads instead.

Metrolife speaks to a few Bangaloreans to explore this issue further.

Naksha, who works for an internet company, says, “I always prefer walking on the footpath. And when I see somebody walking on the road, I get paranoid. But I really cannot blame them. The condition of footpaths is so pathetic — they are not properly maintained. Moreover, two-wheelers ride on footpaths as well, endangering the pedestrians’ lives.

So, there has to be strict discipline inculcated in the civilians — awareness drives should help the situation.” Pedestrians also avoid footpaths because they are often littered with trash.

Sushma, a commerce student, explains, “I do not like to walk on pavements — particularly because they are often used as dumping yards, with garbage lying everywhere. In such situations, walking on the footpath becomes a nuisance. To make matters worse, many people urinate on the walls facing the footpath. It is disgusting.

Because of this, I prefer walking on the road.” Aarti, an engineer, adds that some pavements are badly maintained and uneven, which is why they are tough to walk on. She says, “Though I prefer walking on footpaths, I often don’t because many of them are uneven. I could slip and fall down at any moment. Another problem is that the BBMP has put broad stones on some footpaths — if they aren’t fixed properly, they swing from one side to the next.”

When pedestrians take to the road, it obviously plays a part in adding to traffic congestion.
Ravi, an IT professional, says, “People often complain about rash driving on the roads. But we seldom notice the problems caused by pedestrians. Though there are footpaths, they do not use it. Instead, they come between the roads, talking on the phone and completely unaware of the traffic situation. Even if we honk, they do not move. The pedestrians who don’t follow traffic rules should also be fined.”

An official of the transport and road safety department, adds, “Under section 92 of the Karnataka Police Act, jaywalkers are fined between Rs 100 and 200. If a person repeats the offence, the fine could go up to Rs 10,000.”


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