It is all right for us to walk, say city residents

94% of respondents willing to shift to walking provided there is adequate infrastructure

KOCHI: City dwellers may, after all, be not as averse to walking as the proliferation of vehicles may have come to suggest, going by the primary surveys conducted as part of preparing a detailed project report (DPR) for Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) master plan.

It was found that 94% of respondents were willing to shift to walking if they were provided with adequate infrastructure. Unsurprisingly, safety was cited as the most important factor influencing that shift.

While 35% of those surveyed chose safety as the determining factor, for 28%, travelling time was the deciding factor, and another 25% put comfort the top-most consideration.

The significance of such a shift can be gauged from the fact that nearly 2,500 new vehicles are registered in a month at the Ernakulam Regional Transport Office (RTO) alone, not to mention the registrations at the Muvattupuzha RTO and sub-RTOs at Thripunithura, Aluva, Mattancherry, North Paravur, Angamaly, Perumbavoor, and Kothamangalam.

The NMT master plan is meant for two kilometres on either side of the metro corridor.

It focuses on providing safe, comfortable, and accessible walking space and cycling infrastructure for easy access to metro stations, other transport stations, and public spaces.

The city residents’ relative affinity for walking, however, has been largely subdued when it comes to the other mode of NMT ie., cycling. The near total absence of infrastructure facilities was cited as the main reason for majority of respondents finding it difficult to comprehend cycling in the city. While 73% of respondents were willing to shift to cycling, 16% were not willing under any circumstances.

The survey found that 52% people put safety as the prime consideration before shifting to cycling, whereas 34% and 14% respectively were willing to consider depending on comfort and travelling time.

The result of a household survey conducted as part of the NMT master plan further drives home the significance of promoting NMT modes. It found that households in the project area earned on an average a monthly income of ₹33,700, of which 8%, which comes to ₹2,570, was spent on transportation.

While 32% of households spent between ₹1,501 and ₹2,500, 20% spent between ₹2,501 and ₹4,000, 12% between ₹1,001 and ₹1,500, and 14% between ₹501 and ₹750.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 7:27:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/it-is-all-right-for-us-to-walk-say-city-residents/article18961848.ece

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