Does it take eternity for you to cross a road in the city? For most Bengalureans, it does. The city's traffic clearly has not been kind to most walkers. So in a move to avoid accidents and improve pedestrian safety, the Bengaluru Traffic Police (BTP) will be introducing 60 pelican crossings in the city soon.
At a pelican crossing, the pedestrian can press a button, activate the red signal and the motorists will stop enabling one to cross the road easily. Manish Rungta, assistant chief traffic warden (Ulsoor) says that assuring pedestrian safety is a priority for the BTP. "The city is big, so some initiatives work and some don't. Bengalureans adapt to changes easily and the BTP is hoping that the signals will be accepted by citizens more. It's an effort to try and educate new drivers on the road," he adds.
The spots where the pelican signals will be installed are based on the number of fatalities and accidents that pedestrians were involved in. "We will be identifying these spots according to the data we have. The 60 signals that exist in the city are used by pedestrians widely," says R Hithendra, additional commissioner of police (traffic).
In stretches like Palace Guttahalli, the pelican crossing is used by many, says Hithendra.
"Since the signals can be seen by all, no extensive campaigns are required to create awareness. The existing ones will continue to be maintained under the annual maintenance contract," he says.
As a member of 'Bengaluru Bus Prayanikara Vedike', which has been pushing for pelican crossings, Vinay Sreenivasa is happy that BTP will be bringing these signals to the city soon. "This is a welcome move but should be initiated carefully. In the initial days, there needs to be an officer or guard to help people in operating it," he says.
"Skywalks and underpasses are not pedestrian-friendly as one has to use steps there. Pelican crossing or at-grade crossing is the best way to solve pedestrian's woes. Fines should be imposed on those not following these signals and elaborate public campaigns need to be done to make this concept popular," adds Vinay.
Arun Ganesh, a digital cartographer, is excited about it. "But where they are placed would determine whether it is a success or not. At a junction where a traffic signal already exists, this would be pointless. Identifying spots on highways or long stretches is the need of the hour," he says.
He adds that not many are aware about the existing signals. "I haven't noticed these in the city or used them. I hope the BTP makes the new signals more significant and noticeable for regular usage," he adds.