Have you tried crossing the ring road?

Lack of pedestrian infrastructureails fast mobility corridors

July 03, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:32 am IST - BENGALURU:

On weekends, most offices in tech parks along Koramangala Inner Ring Road are closed. Yet, one still finds a few pedestrians strategising for several minutes on how to make that difficult road crossing over from across the Embassy Golf Links Business Park. A traffic signal installed at the junction is blank and motorists are in no mood to slow down or stop for pedestrians.

“On weekdays, a traffic policeman is stationed here to help people. Despite this, the vehicles move so fast and continuously that it is difficult to facilitate pedestrian movement. Many of us take the company cabs, so we don’t have to take the regular risk of crossing the road like those who are dependent on public transport,” says Shruthi, an IT company employee.

The situation is the same across most busy stretches of the Inner Ring Road and the Outer Ring Road (ORR) in the city. With little or no pedestrian infrastructure and the constant movement of traffic — mostly at high speeds, those working out of offices or living close to these roads are at their vulnerable best.

People working at or around Manyata Tech Park at Nagawara on the ORR have similar woes. As Guruthej V., who works at the tech park points out, accidents are common at the junction. “The traffic is a mess and there is no pedestrian infrastructure whatsoever,” he said.

The daily struggle to cross the road without jeopardising life or limb led to an online petition being submitted to Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) recently, seeking a skywalk near Prestige Tech Park on the Sarjapur–Marathahalli stretch of the ORR.

“The zebra crossing cannot be seen here; the swarm of unstoppable vehicles poses a huge risk to people trying to cross the road every minute. No matter how cautious or patient I am, the probability of getting hit is always high. Even when the accessible pedestrian signals are on, drivers show no concern and do not stop. People mostly prefer to find a way and cross the road in groups rather than waiting for the pedestrian signal to work,” said petitioner Monika Sharma.

Civic agencies informed

The city traffic police have periodically alerted various civic agencies, including the BDA and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), about such black spots in the city. The agencies have been informed about interventions required at various locations based on feedback from local inspectors. In June 2015, the traffic police had informed the BBMP about 38 locations in the city that needed footbridges, including opposite Kala Mandir and Innovative Multiplex at Marathahalli and at Hosakerehalli, all on the ORR. They also recommended skywalks near many malls.

While the BDA has washed its hands off, citing the recent handing over of the ORR to the BBMP, officials of the civic body said plans were being drawn up to provide the missing pedestrian infrastructure on these roads.

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