Hundreds of minor accidents happen every year on Rajiv Gandhi Salai, thanks to pedestrians climbing on to the medians and jumping onto the road.
Most of these go unreported as the pedestrians are unhurt. Many motorists on this road connecting Madhya Kailash and Siruseri deal with people suddenly emerging from in between plants on the median.
“I have given many written complaints to the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC), which manages the road, about the openings. People climb across as most times they are unable to climb the foot overbridges. They also do not want to walk to nearby signals. But in the 22-km-long road there are only some 13 foot overbridges,” said S. Wilson, a trader of Perungudi.
The best solution would be construction of at-grade subways where vehicles will have to go over small elevations on the road and pedestrians need not climb up or down, suggested Mr. Wilson.
From Siruseri to Madhya Kailash, there are around 29 small openings in the median, where portions of the structure have been removed to facilitate pedestrian movement. The maximum number of openings, six, are between Mettukuppam and Thoraipakkam junction.
“Though the TNRDC has installed signages for things including speed limit, there are no warning signs at these spots where people cross. At night and during rush hours it is even more difficult for people who drive,” said B. Kannan, a resident of Thoraipakkam.
In an effort to reduce accidents on the road, the traffic police have written to the TNRDC, requesting the closing of gaps in the median and also increase its height from SRP Tools junction to Karapakkam.
“Since it is a highway we cannot have speed breakers on the carriageway. We have recently placed drums with reflectors at accident-prone spots. Ziz-zag barricades have also been placed. Though these have helped reduce fatal accidents when compared to last year, we want accidents to further reduce. There are too many openings on the medians that have to be closed,” said a senior traffic police official.
Sources in TNRDC said a decision had been made to close them and a few had already been closed.
“We will also be studying the pedestrian pattern on the road in a detailed manner,” the source said.
“Points where maximum number of pedestrians cross must be studied and TNRDC could consider construction of ramps and provision of elevators for those who are unable to climb the foot overbridges,” said a planner.