Pedestrians more vulnerable to accidents in Bangalore than other cities, survey

If the city roads are no joy ride for motorists, it is no cakewalk for pedestrians either. Pedestrians in Bangalore seem to be most vulnerable to accidents with the city being ranked low in the “Walkability Index” that indicates just how walkable the city’s roads and pavements are.

A study conducted by the Bangalore Traffic Police (BTP), in coordination with the National institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), revealed that Bangalore’s walkability index is one of the lowest compared with other major cities in the country.

Walkability Index is calculated by measuring various factors such as availability of pedestrian facility, length of footpaths and main roads. A higher index indicates better facilities for pedestrians. Bangalore has an index of 0.63 followed by Jaipur (0.64) and Patna (0.65). The higher end of the scale has Chandigarh at 0.91 and New Delhi at 0.87.

The survey results don’t come as a surprise, as up to October end this year, 330 pedestrians died in accidents in the city. Last year, 755 persons were killed in accidents, of which 358 were pedestrians. The Bangalore Injury Surveillance Programme (BISP) of 2012 revealed that half the deaths in road accidents last year were that of pedestrians.

Sugama Safewalk

Keeping in mind the rising numbers of pedestrian deaths, the BTP recently launched the ‘Sugama Safewalk’ campaign to address the issue of pedestrian safety. The campaign will focus on better designing of roads and junctions, and on increasing awareness among drivers and pedestrians.

As part of the campaign, the traffic police will address pedestrian-related issues in seven high-risk spots identified by them which include Trinity Circle, Siddapura Junction to Wilson Garden 10th Cross, Madivala police station junction to Aiyyappa temple junction, Lalbagh West Gate junction, Havanoor junction, Yeshwanthpur junction and the vicinity of Esteem Mall (near Yelahanka).

Another survey conducted by Janaagraha earlier this year also showed that Bangalore ranked lowest in the Annual Survey of India’s City Systems (ASICS) in comparison to 11 cities across India.

The cities including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Kanpur, Mumbai, Pune and Surat were compared on the basis of four parameters — urban planning and design, which focuses on designing of city roads; urban capacities and resources (construction of roads and budget for its maintenance); empowered and legitimate political representation (contractors who may be serving as councillors in the council, which may lead to conflict of interest); and transparency, accountability and participation (details of contractors who laid the roads, cost spent on roads and its condition).

These factors indicate the overall city system quality as well as mobility to look at the design and construction of city roads for the convenience of citizens. The average score of the four parameters for Bangalore is 2.175 and is the lowest when compared with the other cities. The 11 cities have scored across a range of 0.7 to 4.5 on a scale of 0 to 10.

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