The pedestrian path should be supplemented with public amenities like lighting, street furniture, water fountains and dust bins

For a decade, pedestrian-friendly footpaths were a pipe dream for the citizens of Hyderabad. Occasionally, news would be flashed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on taking up some pedestrian pathways and bicycle lanes here and there but with missed seriousness.

Recently a workshop was held in the city involving experts and representatives of the GHMC, Roads & Building, traffic police, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) and NGOs to address the problems faced by the pedestrians.

At last, good sense has prevailed in the machinery concerned to realise that walking should be seen as the most basic and important mode of transport.

During my visits to the US in two spells each lasting for six months, I studied each nerve and curve of the footpaths, cycle lanes and signage meticulously and prepared the following prelude for the pedestrian-friendly footpaths.

Gate and footpath to be negotiated to maintain unbroken footpath continuously crossroads to crossroads facilitating senior citizens, children in strollers and those in wheel chairs to move smoothly.

Gate entrances to be pushed back in case ground levels of the houses are higher to have smooth-level negotiation between the curbing and road level.

Street corner with smooth-level negotiation with gritty flooring to control the speed of bicycles, strollers and wheel chairs manually handled or battery charged.

Details of road comprising smooth level man covering at T junction.

Footpath design comprising greenway, avenue plantation (with controlled canopy), footpath widths, electrical street lighting have to be designed for different widths of roads.

The pedestrian path should be supplemented with public amenities like lighting, street furniture, water fountains and dust bins. The surface quality of the pedestrian path must be good by adopting textured surfaces, pattern-level differences should be negotiated by ramps and surface must be finished with gritty tiles.

A.B. Reddy

The author is a senior architect and can be contacted at ‘archineers212@yahoo.com’.

More In: HABITAT | FEATURES