Walk at your own risk!

Watch out: Pedestrians face many problems in the City

Walk at your own risk!

The answer is definitely a ‘no’ especially when the safety of pedestrians is taken into consideration. Crossing any road in the City is a risky affair.

The traffic signals are meant to ease the problem, but motorists and drivers are time and again seen jumping signals, much to the woes of pedestrians who try to cross the roads.

The authorities say they are trying to bring everything under control, especially with the help of technology like surveillance cameras at most of the junctions. A spokesperson of the Traffic Department says, “We do all that we can to ease the situation and catch people who flout the rules. At places, where a cop is not stationed, there are surveillance cameras.”

But there are many in the City who are not aware of these cameras and hence, think they can go unnoticed. So the pedestrians continue to bear the brunt of this complacent attitude of the authorities and vehicle users. Many say that vehicles completely disregard the signal. Sometimes even an unabashed traffic cop stationed at the signal does nothing to catch the violators.

Says Anurag, “I pass the MG Road-Brigade Road junction almost everyday. Most of the time, the vehicles just drive past without the drivers even looking at the signal. A few cops, even if they are present on the spot, do not catch them or make a note of the number. We have to run across the road in order to avoid being hit by a speeding car or bike.”

The average waiting time at most of the junctions is at least five minutes depending on the traffic. But the signal that allows pedestrians to cross is for less than a minute. This is not at all sufficient. Says Anjan, a professional, “At many junctions, there is always a huge number of people waiting to cross the road. Given the less amount of time alloted for crossing, it is not possible for everyone to do the same.”

He adds that some signals do not have timers denoting the time each signal will take. Hence, some vehicles drive across and are mid-way when the signal turns from green to red. Says Ankit Shetty, who rides to work everyday, “I have come across this situation many times in the past. So even if we are not at fault for jumping the signal, we are caught by the cops.”

A few note that the problem can be solved considerably if more number of skywalks are built throughout the City. In view of the risk pedestrians face while crossing the roads, the BBMP had planned to construct over 50 skywalks. But as Avinash avers, “Constructing them will take an eternity as always.

So until then, we are supposed to be at the behest of vehicle users who take the liberty to drive past even when the signal is red. The cops too just turn a blind eye.” Making the roads safe is a problem that should not take a backseat. A lot needs to be done to make Bangalore a pedestrian-friendly City.

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