Kochi

Narrow roads, unusable footpaths leave a question mark

Large parts of the city have storm water drains either under footpaths with removable covers or along roads without any cover.

Large parts of the city have storm water drains either under footpaths with removable covers or along roads without any cover.  

KMRL faces tough odds in its mission to promote non-motorised transport

KOCHI: Even as Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is pulling out all the stops to promote non-motorised transport (NMT), it may take yeoman efforts by the metro agency to prevail over the seemingly insurmountable odds to achieve the feat.

The NMT master plan, covering an area within two kilometres on either side of the metro corridor, gives a detailed insight into the challenges before KMRL, ranging from narrow roads and unusable footpaths to poorly-lit roads to unscientific storm water drains.

Around 80% of roads, out of the total length of 1,240 km in the project area, have less than 6 metres of available right-of-way (RoW), while another 10% have available RoW between 6 metres and 12 metres, leaving just 10% of the roads with adequate width. This means that all such roads will have to be widened to accommodate dedicated footpaths or cycle tracks.

Besides, a large number of roads have dead-ends, while inland water channels break the road network at many places effectively, leaving them beyond the radius of two kilometres of walking or cycling distance from metro stations.

Shockingly, 81% of roads have either no footpaths or a width of less than 0.90 metre, leaving them unusable. Only 3% roads have 1.20-metre-wide footpaths to accommodate two pedestrians walking shoulder-to-shoulder on both sides of the road. Another 5% have 1.2-metre-wide footpath only along one side of the road and 11% roads have footpaths with less than 0.9-metre width on any one side of the road.

Large parts of the city have storm water drains either under footpaths with removable covers or along the roads without any cover. About 86% of roads in the project area with storm water drains under the footpaths are largely unusable due to frequent wear and tear of drain covers.

Poor visibility owing to very low intensity street lights is another factor making roads out of bounds for pedestrians and cyclists at night. Surveys indicate that 85% of street lights have an intensity of less than 4 lux (measure of luminous flux over a unit of area) and just 11% with an intensity of less than 8 lux, whereas according to the Indian Road Congress codes, the space for NMT usage requires lights of 25-30 lux intensity.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 5:51:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/narrow-roads-unusable-footpaths-leave-a-question-mark/article18961876.ece

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