'18 skywalks planned by Palike not needed'

'18 skywalks planned by Palike not needed'

Proposed locations ‘unscientific’: DULT; expert wonders if footbridges meant to benefit ad agencies.

In a major setback to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has found fault with the civic agency’s proposal to build skywalks at 18 places in the City.

An expert team of the DULT conducted a survey at 33 places where the BBMP has planned to build skywalks, and submitted a 69-page report. The team observed that the locations chosen for skywalks at 18 places are unscientific. It also questioned the logic behind providing such facilities at these places.

The survey covered three parameters — road history, traffic congestion and inconvenience to pedestrians — and the 18 locations did not fit in any of these parameters, the team noted.

The emphasis should have been on accessibility and free vehicular movement. Pedestrian safety is equally important. The road designs also ignored safety of the cyclists. Pedestrians and cyclists are the sufferers of traffic congestion, the report points out.

Accidents

The report further says that most pedestrians meet with accident while crossing the road in the absence of facilities at places where there is heavy vehicular movement. It further said that every year, at least 800 pedestrians meet with accident, of them almost 50 per cent die. In view of these accidents, it is necessary to provide facilities to pedestrians, it said.

The BBMP has already given work orders for skywalks at six places and the work is in progress.

Mayor B S Satyanarayana, District In-charge and Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy and BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana had attended the ground-breaking ceremony. These projects were handed over to private firms on Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis. The private firms have also been given advertisement rights on these skywalks.

The DULT team observed that skywalks should not come up near junctions where zebra crossing is already there. It also questioned the need for a skywalk near underpasses, besides expressing reservations about the lack of enough space at places where skywalks are needed. The team also noted that most skywalks in the City are not in use for various reasons.

Traffic expert M N Srihari, who was part of the team, remarked, “It is not clear if the skywalks were planned to benefit pedestrians or the advertisement agencies.”

A senior BBMP official denied the charges. The skywalks were planned keeping the traffic flow in mind, he said and added that the objections raised by the DULT would be discussed at the next meeting of the BBMP Council.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)