Pedestrians last on road designers' mind, says study

City ranks fourth in country in number of accidents, according to findings by Centre for Environment and Science
Last Updated 23 June 2014, 19:53 IST

A report by the Centre for Environment and Science (CSE) made public on Monday has pointed out that Indian roads, including those in Bangalore, are not friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.

It says that roads are designed for motorists and this increases the vehicle speed, leading to more accidents. Bangalore ranks fourth in total number of accidents and third in the list of total number of people killed.

The CSE collected the data of cities for a decade and compiled a report which was released at a workshop in New Delhi. It is titled: ‘Our Safe Right to Way – Addressing safety and accessibility in Indian cities’. The study focused on roads in metropolitan, cosmopolitan and other major Indian cities.

Statistics procured from Bangalore traffic police department also support this. In 2013, as many as 771 people died in road accidents compared to 760 in 2012 and 762 in 2011. However, the number of injured reduced. In 2012, a total of 4,471 were injured, while in 2013, the number of those injured was 4,289.

Helping motorists

Anumita Roychowdhury, Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, CSE, said: “In cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad, roads are designed to help increase vehicular speed. They prioritise the need of motorists and not the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. This is a national trend.”

She pointed out that many people are dying because of wrong road design.
Most traffic management organisations are designing roads like highways. A clear demarcation between City roads and highways should be maintained.

Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) B Dayananda agreed.

“Bangalore ranks very low in the walkability index. Pedestrians and cyclists are not the focus presently. Not much attention is paid to pavements and zebra crossings. There is a need for better coordination between civil engineers and traffic police for ensuring safety.”

He said that they had started installing interceptors on City roads to check speeding vehicles. Pranav Jha, member of Praja Raag, said that the roads lack facilities.

For example, on Outer Ring Road, from Hebbal to Central Silk Board, there are no zebra crossings. Same is the case on Marathahalli ring road, Jayadeva Circle flyover and most parts of inner ring road. In many instances, bus stops are located just before flyovers, which adds to the worries.

Simple solutions and strict implementation of traffic rules are needed on roasd in Bangalore to manage the chaotic situation. The traffic police have the power to strictly enforce the rules, Jha said.

(Published 23 June 2014, 19:53 IST)

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