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Will foot overbridge at Five Roads Junction serve its purpose?

S.P. Saravanan
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Pedestrians will have to climb up and down several stairs

Getting ready:A foot overbridge under construction at Five Roads Junction in Salem.-Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan
Getting ready:A foot overbridge under construction at Five Roads Junction in Salem.-Photo: E. Lakshmi Narayanan

For the convenience of the pedestrians and to ensure smoother vehicular movement on the city’s most chaotic junction point, the highways department is constructing a foot overbridge at Five Roads Junction at a cost of Rs. 75 lakh.

The junction is the city’s entry point as vehicles from Railway Junction, Yercaud, Omalur and Bangalore and near by districts pass through the junction to reach the New Bus Stand.

Connection

The around 20 feet above-the-road level bridge would connect Omalur Main Road, Junction Road and Sarada College Road.

Though many people in the city feel it as a welcome step, members of residents’ welfare association and pedestrians feel that it would serve little purpose to the growing city’s vehicular population and lacks foresight.

Pedestrians feel that one has to climb over 50 stairs to reach the bridge and take another 50 stairs to cross the road. “Senior citizens will find it difficult to climb stairs to get across the road as escalators would serve the purpose,” they added.

The junction point is where over 1,000 unorganised workers wait in the morning looking for jobs to earn their livelihood.

Presence of shops and two-wheeler parking, open drains and poor traffic management leads to congestion throughout the day.

Absence of pedestrian signals makes people run across the road as buses moving towards Junction or Omalur stop near the signal point and block traffic.

Secretary of Salem Citizens Welfare Association P. Arul Mani told The Hindu that with growing population, the city needs vehicle transportation bridges at least from Junction to New Bus Stand and not foot over bridges, that is a temporary measure.

Adequate space is available at Five Roads Junction and hence a sub-way connecting all the five roads should be established as a long-term measure, he added.

Traffic police personnel on duty said that pedestrians crossing the road at their will could not be stopped even if the foot overbridge is put to use.

“Pedestrians are reluctant to use the bridge as they feel it is a time-consuming and difficult task,” he added.

Demand

The public demand that police personnel could be deployed at the junction to help pedestrians cross the road as pedestrian signals would regulate movement of pedestrians.

Members of business fraternity said that instead of foot over bridge, a study should be done to ease traffic congestion in the area as vehicles have to wait for longer time in the signals.

Instead, an overbridge like the one in Guindy should be constructed as a permanent solution.

Highways officials said that the bridge work would be over in two months time and would be put to public use by December end.


  • Overbridge will connect Omalur Main Road, Junction Road and Sarada College Road

  • A subway connecting five roads suggested as long-term measure to ease congestion


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