Rampant encroachments, struggling pedestrians and mismanagement of space in the carriageway – problems besetting the city's arterial roads, but the authorities are now looking to address these issues in a more nuanced way so that these facilities can be developed to international standards.
A detailed project report (DPR) that will take into account every conceivable problem and issue, ranging from need for acquiring extra land to utilising available space on Anna Salai, Jawaharlal Nehru Salai and Poonamallee High Road, will take shape in about nine months.
The Highways Department has appointed a Mumbai-based consultant to bring out the DPR on upgrading these three arteries on the city's roadway map.
“The consultant would have to bring out a comprehensive proposal that can be implemented including the cost analysis. The DPR would also have to detail the modifications required for a bus rapid transport system. It would have to give even details like ducting, bus shelter design and stormwater drains,” said a source in the department.
Segregation of traffic
Urban planners say that segregation of traffic with provision of service lanes and pedestrian footpaths would help in increasing vehicular speed and decreasing accidents.
Any investment on improving these roads would help vehicle-users and pedestrians.
“If there is adequate space on either side it is possible to have service lanes. For instance Anna Salai has enough width in most spaces. Separate lanes for two-wheelers, heavy vehicles and cars would not work as some lanes would be under-utilised and others over-utilised. We had tried it on Anna Salai, but had to revert to the system of mixing traffic,” explained an urban planner.
Another planner explained that with the Chennai Corporation also planning to upgrade several of its roads to international standards, major city roads would be developed.
“Once the city absorbs the standards they can be replicated. But it is not a simple task and not like laying tar roads,” he said.