Pedestrians are the most ignored: Citizens

Pedestrians are the most ignored: Citizens

Pedestrians are the most ignored: Citizens

Pedestrians are the most ignored road users in the city according to the members of the Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB).  

At their unique protest on Saturday, #NadeyaluBidi and #WalkSignalsBeku, the Cfb set to claim the pedestrian rights to walk on footpaths and cross traffic junctions without fear.

As an active proof of their grievance, they crossed the Richmond Circle multiple times, often with great difficulty and sometimes with ease.

Their message was loud and clear: "Pedestrians are the least prioritised road users when it comes to designing public transportation in the city."

They also demanded installation of The Pelican (The Pedestrian Light Control ActivatioN) signals system at every traffic signal of the city.

"It is important to give some time for a pedestrian to cross a road. When vehicles have the signals to cross, why not for a pedestrian?" asked Srinivas Alavilli of CfB.

He also said that the current term 'pelican' should be changed to 'walking signals' as not everyone understands what the term stands for.

"Although pedestrians are the base of the road users' pyramid, they are least prioritised. In fact, their road safety should be a matter of high priority followed by that of the cyclists. The public transportation and private vehicles should stand next," said Tara Krishnamurthy, a member of CfB. She added that the priority suggestion is a common practice in countries like Denmark, where proper infrastructure is provided for these basic modes of transportation.

"Walking is a matter of dignity and a person should be able to walk without any fear," said Alavilli. He also said that walking is the safest mode of transport but vulnerable as motor vehicles are given greater importance.

Men and women, irrespective of age and with different walking abilities were seen sharing their own stories on how difficult they find it to walk or cross the roads in the city.

Saraswathi Natarajan, an 80-year-old Malleswaram resident fell down and fractured her back due to a poorly maintained footpath near her house. "It is not without reason that we are demanding our right to walk safely in the city," she said.

Some of them wore cards reading 'Bolt' and 'Dhoni' with their jersey numbers indicating that they have to run like athletes or sprinters while crossing the roads.

They also said that the much-planned TenderSURE roads fails to help people with disabilities.