Walking around encroachments

Walking around encroachments

Pedestrians may be kings everywhere else, but not so much in this City. With cave-ins and potholes defining most roads, the pedestrians are left with little choice but to continue putting up with the misery inflicted upon them. Most footpaths remain
encroached upon.

These are caused not just by roadside vendors, but also shopkeepers who
extend their establishments till the end of a footpath.

Says Ayan Rajagopal, a Research Assistant at the Indian Institute of Science: “Many people avoid using vehicles completely and prefer walking. But this is never supported by the roads and footpaths in the City. Mainstream shopping areas are even bereft of railings or grills and the footpath lies so low that a mere traffic snarl causes most two-wheeler riders to easily lift the bike up and ride it on the footpath beside. Not only is this illegal but also extremely dangerous.”

Most footpaths are clearly pedestrian unfriendly. Even on the city’s showpiece MG Road, the sidewalks are full of potholes. “Walking on a footpath in Bangalore is tiring. There are so many ups and downs to it and you often have to step back on the road because there are just so many encroachments. In some areas, there are basically no footpaths, and these are some of the most busy streets of Bangalore,” notes Deeksha Singh Robert, a homemaker.

She wonders how people choose not to walk in the busy CBD areas when they have work. “It is high time that the city corporation authorities give this a serious thought because our City is known for its bad roads and non-friendly footpaths,” she says.