Risking their lives, several hundred commuters walk across the Grand Southern Trunk Road in Chromepet daily to reach the railway station and bus stand.

The Chennai Suburban Traffic Police along with the Highways Department and local bodies has been plugging gaps on the median wherever possible to prevent jaywalking and criss-crossing of vehicles across the road.

As part of the measures to reduce the rate of accidents and to improve traffic flow on the arterial road, barricades were installed a week ago at a pedestrian crossing between the medians.

According to police officials, the pedestrian crossing was closed as a traffic signal at the intersection of CLC Works Road and GST Road was activated recently and as it was only 50 metres away.

The move has not gone down well with pedestrians as they have to take a circuitous route to reach the bus stand and railway station. Many of them squeeze their way through the narrow space between the barricades and the concrete median.

Police officials said they had taken into account safety of pedestrians and motorists before placing barricades as it was not wise to have two pedestrian crossings in a space of about 50 m. However, since it was done only recently, they would study the new arrangement and take into consideration the pedestrians' views.

Chromepet residents recalled that as early as 2006, the National Highways Authority of India had mooted a proposal to construct a foot over bridge with escalators for the benefit of pedestrians to reach the railway station and the bus stand and even a function to lay the foundation stone was held a couple of years later. If such a facility was in place, pedestrians' problems would be a thing of the past, they added.

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