Bangalore roads and pavements continue to be unsafe for pedestrians. As many as 267 pedestrians have lost their lives this year (up to September).
With the city’s population crossing the one crore mark and the number of vehicles touching half a crore, the fate of pedestrians hangs by the thread. While the city recorded 565 road accident deaths for the first nine months of this year, nearly half the victims of road rage were pedestrians, according to data compiled by the Bangalore Traffic Police.
The main reasons are uneven and insufficient footpaths, unsafe pedestrian crossings, poorly lit roads in some areas and pedestrians’ ignorance, M. Abdulla Saleem, Additional Commissioner (Traffic), told The Hindu.
According to him, a majority of the city’s pavements are not pedestrian-friendly. “Encroachment, obstructions (by shops, utility services like electric transformers) and uneven surfaces continue to affect movement of pedestrians,” he said.
About 35 pelican lights, empowering pedestrians to stop vehicular movement at traffic junctions, have been set up and on many busy roads skywalks have been constructed. Still, pedestrians continue to be the victims of road rage, he said.
In the last few years, half of the total road accident deaths in Bangalore have been pedestrian deaths. In 2007, 518 pedestrians lost their lives, followed by 455 in 2008, 365 in 2009, 400 in 2010 and 337 in 2011.
Mr. Saleem said that a majority of pedestrian fatalities were reported from Tumkur Road (between Goruguntepalya and 8th Mile) and Hosur Road (between Garvebhavipalya and Electronics City), both below the elevated highway. “These stretches witness heavy pedestrian movement and lack safe pedestrian crossings,” he said.
One of the busiest roads in the city, Mysore Road, has been in a state of disrepair for over four years, ever since the road-widening process began, said another senior traffic police official. He said the stretch of road between Muslim Burial Ground and Nayandahalli Junction does not have a footpath, forcing pedestrians to walk on the road. The bad road coupled with the absence of streetlights on this stretch has been affecting pedestrian safety, the officer added.