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Updated: March 13, 2014 01:07 IST

Besant Nagar footpath scores

Special Correspondent
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The footpath, on Second Avenue, provides the disabled with access to shops. Photo: Special Arrangement
The Hindu The footpath, on Second Avenue, provides the disabled with access to shops. Photo: Special Arrangement

It is the best in terms of width and provides easy access, find disability rights activists after audit of a few sidewalks

Disability rights activists on Wednesday conducted a social audit of the broad, new footpaths on Second Avenue, Besant Nagar, and found them better than a lot of other footpaths previously audited.

So far, they have conducted audits of footpaths on Police Commissioner’s Road, Conran Smith Road and K.B. Dasan Road in Teynampet.

Amba Salelkar of the Inclusive Planet Centre for Disability Law and Policy said the footpath in Besant Nagar was the best in terms of the width and other features, including space between bollards.

“It sort of bridges the gap between walkers and other requirements. Though there were hawkers on the footpath, there was access to most shops. One of our friends was actually able to go buy vegetables. Otherwise, he would have to depend on the driver to shop,” she said.

However, the activists shared concerns about obstacles, including concave surfaces, un-gated trees and bikes parked on the footpath.

S. Shankar, access consultant from Disability Rights Alliance, Tamil Nadu, said there were three factors that were necessary for a footpath to be accessed by the disabled and the visually impaired, and those with low vision. “It should be a continuous stretch without hazards, it should have an anti-skid surface with a gradual slope for rainwater to run off, and there should be warnings in case there are obstacles such as lamp posts or trees,” he said.

He also said contractors should be given training on how footpaths must be constructed to ensure access.

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First of all, widening alone is not sufficient. Standardization needs to be overall.

1. How you split your lanes based on the breadthand what should be the pavement breadth

2. Hieght of the pavement.They have installed the foothight pavements with granites all ove the city. This discouragespeopleto step up on the pavement especially older/physicallychallenged people. Leave the youth they will walk on the road anyways! because breaking rules starts from basics in our society.

3. Traffic Lights & Sign Boards. Standardize the type of lights we have for the different turns andalso the sign boards (tey should be on the sideof the road where the driver seat is.

4. Lamp posts, Telephone/EB junction boxes fitted right in the middle of pavement.Can't we design a better way to do this? We still have the ones designed in 1950s.

5. Fibally elevated Potholes which can even dent the botton of a high rise SUV or a truck.

I will be interested if someone from the Corporation can respond.

from:  Yuvaraj
Posted on: Mar 13, 2014 at 21:10 IST

One consequence of the widening of the pavements in II avenue and 7th
avenue, is the shrinking of what was a wide road, into a 2 lane road,
leading to congestion on the roads. Besides, the presence of vendors on
both the roads has defeated the purpose and the widening of the footpath
will encourage more such vendors.

from:  N.V.KUMAR
Posted on: Mar 13, 2014 at 17:57 IST

I wish the authorities and the concerned interested persons conduct a similar audit of other roads as well - particularly the newly laid footpath on Bharathidasan Road in Alwarpet

from:  G.Sridhar
Posted on: Mar 13, 2014 at 17:55 IST

There should be a specification for building foot path and should not
be left to the discretion of the site supervisor. The width of the
foot path may vary depending on the road width and available space
but the construction standard should be same . The major problem with
the presently available foot paths are they are not in one level with
dips on every house entrance and slopes for car parking entry .The car
entry slope can be on the side of foot path without encroaching the
leveled foot path. The corporation should give a general notice of one
month about clearing encroachment of foot paths and lift what ever
kept on the foot path in overnight drive in few streets .This will
send the message to the violators and there will be improvement .

from:  sbalaraman
Posted on: Mar 13, 2014 at 08:11 IST
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