Bengaluru gets its first ‘slow street’

 Bengaluru gets its first ‘slow street’

Alexandra Street will have signage directing motorists to be sensitive to pedestrians and children

Alexandra Street, off Richmond Road, has been designated Bengaluru’s first ‘slow street’.

This is a step to ensure pedestrian and pedaller safety, and follows the introduction of pedestrian-only streets across Bengaluru.

A slow street is one that employs ‘traffic-calming’ measures in residential areas, and makes the streets safer for people to walk, cycle and play.

The project is promoted by the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT). Alexandra Street will be marked with symbols alerting motorists to slow down and respect non-motorist transport. V Manjula, DULT commissioner, says the ‘slow street’ project is an effort to sensitise drivers to residential areas and school zones.

“It is every citizen’s right to feel safe on the streets. Vehicles roaring through streets predominantly used by children, cyclists and pedestrians takes away this right. This project is aimed at bringing about a behavioural change among road users,” she told Metrolife.

Sathya Sankaran, bicycle mayor of Bengaluru, welcomes the idea. “Such measures have been implemented globally and have yielded great results,” he says.

He believes every locality needs such a safety zone. “Measures can be tailored to fit each locality. DULT has come up with some great initiatives and it is up to us as a community to help implement them,” he says. 

Some citizens say not enough effort goes into maintaining such safety zones. 

“If you’re making a cycling zone, you also need to ensure it remains a cycling zone and does not become parking space for cars,” says Niveditha, a cyclist.

Alexandra Street is a pilot project. “Once we have a better understanding of how residents and pedestrians feel about the ‘slow street’ initiative, we could have more,” says Manjula.

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