Poor plan­ning, flout­ing rules make roads dan­ger­ous for pedes­tri­ans

UN­SAFE ROADS Of 1,510 peo­ple who died in road ac­ci­dents in 2017, 44% were pedes­tri­ans, data shows

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - HTMETRO - HT Cor­re­spon­dent htre­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: In Delhi, more than 1,500 peo­ple die in road ac­ci­dents ev­ery year, stud­ies con­ducted by the Delhi Traf­fic Po­lice shows.

Al­most half the deaths are those of pedes­tri­ans.

Ex­perts say the high num­ber of pedes­trian deaths is due to ill road plan­ning, bad in­fra­struc­ture, encroachment on pave­ments and a dis­re­gard for traf­fic rules. Ex­perts also said that one re­quires a strong will and plan to en­sure that peo­ple of the city walk and when they do, the roads are pedes­trian-friendly.

Ac­cord­ing to a traf­fic po­lice study, of the 1,510 peo­ple who died in road ac­ci­dents in 2017, at least 44% were pedes­tri­ans. Last year, a to­tal of 1,604 peo­ple had died in road ac­ci­dents.

One of the prob­lem ar­eas iden­ti­fied by the multi-agency that will come up with the walk­a­bil­ity project in Delhi is ISBT. The Ring Road stretch be­tween ISBT Kash­mere Gate and Ma­jnu Ka Tila is one of the most vul­ner­a­ble spots for pedes­trian ac­ci­dent deaths.

“At stretches like ISBT, ac­ci­dents hap­pen be­cause of mul­ti­ple rea­sons. Pedes­tri­ans cross the road hap­haz­ardly. The cars are speed­ing. The sub­way or the foot-over bridges have been built far away from the road. There are many cases where pedes­tri­ans get killed while cross­ing the road. Also if two-wheel­ers hit pedes­tri­ans cross­ing the road, they also get killed,” said a po­lice of­fi­cer.

It just isn’t plan­ning but a lot of pedes­trian deaths are also a re­sult of Delhi res­i­dents re­fus­ing to use fa­cil­i­ties such as a sub­ways or foot over­bridges. The ITO in cen­tral Delhi is an­other area that the multi-agency has iden­ti­fied for the walk­a­bil­ity project.

“Stud­ies show that peo­ple pre­fer on-street walk­ing fa­cil­i­ties, in­stead of climb­ing over­head bridges. Take the case of ITO for ex­am­ple. The in­ter­sec­tion by now has well con­nected sub­ways and a new sky­walk. But still, hun­dreds of peo­ple are seen cross­ing the in­ter­sec­tion us­ing the roads. In­stead of spend­ing so much money, the agen­cies could have sim­ply fo­cused on mak­ing foot­paths con­tin­u­ous with­out, any gaps. This is not only more ef­fec­tive, but is also way cheaper,” said K Ravin­der, prin­ci­pal sci­en­tist, trans­porta­tion plan­ning divi­sion, Csir-cen­tral Road Re­search In­sti­tute (CRRI).

The ₹55 crore ITO sky­walk was first pro­jected to see a foot­fall of 30,000 pedes­tri­ans daily. But, of­fi­cials in the Pub­lic Works Depart­ment said the bridge is get­ting a foot­fall of few hun­dreds only.

An­other ma­jor prob­lem for pedes­tri­ans in Delhi is the encroachment of pub­lic spa­ces, es­pe­cially the ar­te­rial roads. A spe­cial task force was con­sti­tuted in April last year to en­force a Supreme Court or­der to rid en­croach­ments found that there were en­croach­ments on ar­te­rial roads.

In a place like Karol Bagh, which is also one of the places iden­ti­fied for the walk­a­bil­ity project, the roads have been taken over by il­le­gal ven­dors.

“Anti-encroachment drives are reg­u­larly con­ducted. We have been sub­mit­ting re­ports at the zonal level ev­ery week,” said a spokesper­son of the North Delhi Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion.

The Delhi gov­ern­ment said it is al­ready work­ing on mak­ing Delhi more pedes­trian-friendly.

In its first project, the gov­ern­ment will re­design a 3km stretch be­tween Bu­rari and Bhal­swa, which , ac­cord­ing to Delhi po­lice is the dead­li­est road in Delhi with 67 preventable deaths in the last two years.


A spe­cial task force con­sti­tuted in April last year to en­force the Supreme Court or­der to rid en­croach­ments from pub­lic spa­ces found that there were en­croach­ments in Delhi’s ar­te­rial roads.

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