Vidya Venkat

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation is working to make the stretch of Lattice Bridge Road between Shastri Nagar junction and MG Road junction a model pedestrian-friendly road.

City Connect, a non-governmental organisation backed by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), which did the groundwork for the initiative, is advising the Corporation on various methods by which pavements on this road can be made easy to walk on.

“The L.B. Road has heavy traffic and people often take the risk of walking on road sides braving the speeding vehicles,” said Raj Cherubal, co-ordinator, City Connect. “So, a team of planers undertook a survey of this stretch of the road, mapped and redesigned it on computer to see how the existing pedestrian space could be utilised to make room for everyone,” he said.

Some of the suggestions include making the footpath surface smooth, removing obstructions such as Tamil Nadu Electricity Board junction boxes or walls and making the edges of the footpath smoothly curved to enable easy climbing and descending.

Mr.Cherubal said that most pedestrians complain about there is no space or blame hawkers for their woes.

“On LB Road we found that we could accommodate all the hawkers and yet create enough space for pedestrians to walk. It is all about planning things the right way,” he said.

He even suggested a few ways in which citizens can audit their roads for pedestrian friendliness. “Check for what causes pedestrian conflict with vehicular traffic and reasons why you are forced to walk on roads and are pedestrian facilities integrated with transport terminals and shopping places,” he said.

Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni told The Hindu that work on the stretch, based on the suggestions, is nearly complete and they were waiting for permission from the TNEB to shift some of the junction boxes to a commercial complex nearby.

City Connect proposes to initiate such pedestrian friendly measures in other localities too, said Mr.Cherubal. He said those desirous of participating in such initiatives may call 9381013498 or e-mail to raj@janaagraha.org.

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