Green corridors planned along Sanganoor Canal

City engineers of five cities got down to the brass tracks to plan transit systems, pedestrian pathways, cycling tracks, parks, pedestrian zones, etc. on the second day of the two-day conference on ‘Sustainable Cities Through Transport’, held here on Friday.

Aided by coordinators from the Institute for Transportation and Policy Development (ITDP), the engineers from Madurai, Tiruchi, Tirupur, Salem and Coimbatore worked on the city maps in front of them by discussing plans, throwing ideas, sharing suggestions and at times, arguing contentious points.

The exercise began with the presentation on the need for bus rapid transit system (BRTS) and how it could help Coimbatore.

Aided by Christopher Kost, Technical Director, ITDP, Deputy Commissioner S. Sivarasu, City Engineer K. Sugumar, Executive Engineer A. Lakshmanan, Assistant Executive Engineer T. Gnanavel, Assistant Commissioner (Revenue) M. Sundararajan and S. Baskar of IC Centre for Governance, an NGO, the team decided that the city would do well to have BRTS on Avinashi Road, Trichy Road, on Cross Cut Road - 100 Feet Road - Sathyamangalam Road (till Saravanampatti), Mettupalayam Road and near Ukkadam.

In providing BRTS link to Ukkadam, the officials debated if it was feasible to provide the link via Lanka Corner or through the Valangulam By-pass Road, as a few argued that taking the BRTS line through the railway underpass would be a herculean task. Finally, it was decided to use the Valangulam By-pass Road.

The team shifted its focus to creating cycling tracks to help people bicycle to take buses on the bus rapid transit system. Starting from the east, with the engineers’ inputs, the team decided to provide bicycle tracks near the Coimbatore Medical College, on Kamarajar Road, Thanneerpandal Road, around Race Course, Bharathi Park Road and a few other parts of the city so as to link those areas with the BRTS.

Likewise, the team also decided to widen pedestrian pathways on Cross Cut Road, 100 Feet Road, Dr. Nanjappa Road, around Race Course, Town Hall, Oppanakara Street to help pedestrians reach offices and shopping zones.

The next task was plotting bicycle bays, where people could pick up bicycles, use them and then leave them at other bays for no charge or a minimum depending on the time used.

Mr. Kost said that the system was successful in many Latin American, European and American cities and was about to be implemented in Chennai, where the mapping exercise was complete.

The team also decided to have green corridors along the Sanganoor Canal.

Finally, it rounded off the exercise by estimating that the aforementioned mobility improvement exercise could cost the Corporation Rs. 900 crore – 840 crore towards transport (BRTS) and another 60 crore for park improvement.

Two parks

The team had planned two parks in Ukkadam and on the Coimbatore Central Prison Grounds.

The plan for Madurai was estimated to cost Rs. 500 crore, Trichy Rs. 504 crore, Salem Rs. 319 crore and Tiruppur Rs. 537 crore.

The ITDP team had carried out a similar exercise for the Chennai Corporation and was now implementing many of what was proposed, said Jamie Osborne, who coordinated the Madurai team.

A Coimbatore Corporation source said that the day the city would have a few of the proposals discussed was not far off as the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration was committed to improving cities in the State.

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