Path to recovery

Second, the child will be more on the road, while she is safely closer to the footpath. Any swerving vehicle can injure the child as children tend to be far more distracted and less alert than grown-ups.

It is even more baffling to watch: pedestrians quickly sprint across the zebra-crossing, at the traffic lights. What is really appalling is the fact that the sprint happens even as the signal is showing green for the traffic to move. Why do these things happen with the pedestrians? The answer is very simple: the pedestrian is an ignored being. How often have we seen the bus halt at a road junction, a man jumping off and scurrying zig-zaging through the moving traffic to reach his destination. Why must the pedestrian risk his life thus?

So what do we need? We need tenable footpaths, devoid of hawkers, and wheelchair-friendly, and without obstructing poles and trees. The BBMP needs to get serious about its job and make sure the pedestrian survives his sojourn on the footpaths of Bangalore. A good bus system and tenable footpaths is all we really need to decongest the traffic on the roads.

Often the pedestrian seems confused at a road junction while crossing. He cannot understand if the vehicle has come to a stop, turning right or left, or going straight. The pedestrian must be taught to understand the signals from vehicle indicators. There are any number of ways to educate the pedestrian. We must understand that India has a very large population of uneducated people, and they are quite ignorant of the language of traffic lights, as well as the vehicle indicators, both of which are important to be learnt to be able to use the roads safely.

Besides, the roads are not pedestrian-friendly, occupied by zealous traders, beggars or two-wheelers as exit points when traffic gets jammed. We need to have more skywalks at crossing points, they can be maintained by the same zealous traders more legitimately with enough space for both, thus reducing the burden on the government to maintain, the skywalks as they do in Malaysia.

The pedestrian is as important as any vehicle user; remember by virtue of necessity he does not pollute the roads by adding another vehicle on the road. His meagre income and his choice  not to buy a vehicle, keeps our environment that much less-polluted. Let’s encourage him and make sure he walks to safety. Let’s ensure those footpaths, which will cost less to pave than the metro lines, are a viable option, which is more obvious than all else. Let’s be kind to our no-nonsense, environment-friendly citizen.

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