Kochi

Pedestrians, motorists have a harrowing time crossing NH bypass

The five foot overbridges on Edapally-Aroor NH bypass have few takers since they are not pedestrian friendly.  

The commissioning of six-lane flyovers at Vyttila and Kundannoor and the temporary scrapping of traffic signal system at Palarivattom have resulted in pedestrians and motorists on Edappally-Aroor NH bypass having a harrowing time crossing the 16-km-long stretch due to the incessant flow of speeding vehicles.

This has given rise to the demand that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which owns and maintains the NH bypass and also levies hefty toll on motorists using the stretch, step in and take proactive measures to augment safety of all types of road users.

Risky U-turns

Availability of public transport buses is inadequate on the stretch, despite plethora of residential colonies and commercial establishments on either side. This prompts people to venture out in two-wheelers and cars, which are nowadays finding it extremely difficult to take U-turns, said Lakshmanan A., a resident of Chakkaraparambu, who retired from Cochin Shipyard.

U-turns on the Edapally-Aroor NH bypass are becoming accident-prone due to incessant flow of vehicles from either side.

U-turns on the Edapally-Aroor NH bypass are becoming accident-prone due to incessant flow of vehicles from either side.  

“The commissioning of flyovers has resulted in additional influx of vehicles into the NH bypass, which have uninterrupted flow. This has made U turns, many of which are unscientifically located, more dangerous than before. One has to wait much longer than before to negotiate U-turn on the bypass and yet another turn to enter service roads from where side roads take off. Oftentimes, motorists escape colliding with oncoming vehicles by providence. The NHAI must install warning boards, reflectors, pedestrian lines and high-mast lights at U-turns and at junctions on the stretch, to avert accidents. Thought must also be given to installing a signal system at busy U-turns,” he said.

Even earlier, pedestrian-dense junctions like the one in front of EMC and ones at Chakkaraparambu, Chalikkavattom, Vyttila, Thykoodam, Kannadikkad and Madavana were highly accident prone, prompting the City Traffic Police to shoot off letters seeking the attention of NHAI.

Poor patronage

Foot overbridges built at five junctions are underutilised, since they are steep and do not have lights for use at night.

“The NHAI is most often slack in responding positively to our recommendations,” said a senior traffic police official.

Sources in NHAI said that residents’ associations, people’s representatives and the police have been submitting representations seeking redressal of safety and other issues on the congested NH bypass corridor.

“They include requests for erecting adequate number of street lights on the entire stretch to improve visibility at night. We will take this up with our head office, although it is the responsibility of local bodies to light up roads in their jurisdiction.”

“We have also sent a proposal to our head office to erect reflective studs (cats-eye studs) on the centre and either side of the carriageway to ensure safe night navigation even if street lights are not switched on for some reason. We are aware of the poor patronage for foot overbridges and would take a call on installing escalators in them,” they added.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 4:18:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/pedestrians-motorists-have-a-harrowing-time-crossing-nh-bypass/article33652154.ece

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