The roads leading from Kalamassery to the bypass junction at Edappally on National Highway 47 have become an obstacle course for pedestrians. Walking along the stretch between Edappally Toll and Stationkavala is nothing but a nightmare.
Footpaths on this stretch are conspicuous by their absence and pedestrians have no option but to use dusty side extension of the tarred road. However, even that path becomes out of bounds when motorists use it as a shortcut to avoid the long queue of vehicles. In short, the stretch is a tightrope walk for pedestrians
The situation is no better on the small bridge situated just before the junction. When vehicles get too close for comfort, the only escape route pedestrians have is the hardly a foot-wide ledge made of concrete railings.
“Crossing the bridge has become a big risk for pedestrians. It’s a problem faced by everyone in our flat complex,” said Satyaprakash, who resides near the junction. He brought the issue to the notice of The Hindu through a letter. “It takes courage to pass through this stretch, especially crossing the bridge. We constantly have to peer over our shoulders to know whether we are at a safe distance from the motorists who whiz past with scant regard for pedestrians,” said P.V. John, who lives at Edappally.
“We have come to know from newspaper reports that the junction and the approach roads will be modified complete with footpaths as part of the proposed Kochi Metro Rail project. The earlier it is implemented, the better,” said Hamza, a resident of the locality.
Two-wheeler riders travelling along the stretch are also put at risk. There is a difference in height between the tarred road and its pathway because of the road’s rough edges. The two-wheeler riders who are pushed off the road by bigger vehicles often land with a small thud on the pathway.
Sudhakaran Krishnan, another two-wheeler rider, felt that the traffic-clogged stretch posed a threat to all unfortunate motorists forced to pass through it.