Chennai

Pedestrians at risk

The side wall of a bridge in Ambattur has to be repaired immediately

A portion of the side wall across the Cooum river in Ambattur that is damaged due to weathering is seems to be putting road users out on a limb. The narrow bridge connects both sides of CTH Road, but does not have a footpath for pedestrians to walk.

This situation exposes pedestrians to great danger, as motorists tend to speed on the bridge, especially since a new digital traffic signal was installed at Ambattur police station junction, around 100 metres away from the narrow bridge. Many motorists drive at a fast clip, leaving little space for pedestrians to walk. They find it risky especially during the evening hours when there is a huge volume of vehicles and poor street lights around the damaged side wall of the bridge compounds the problem.

“Earlier, we could hold the sidewall while walking along the bridge to keep ourselves from falling into the river. Now, we have to wait for the vehicles to pass through the bridge,” says B. Sriram, a pedestrian from Ambattur.

The new traffic signal at the junction, traffic police sources say, has brought more safety to the road but speeding is still an issue.

For motorists try to catch up on time lost in traffic between Ambattur Old Town (OT) bus terminus and Canara Bank bus stop.

Secondly, Ambattur OT bus terminus and Telephone Exchange is a short route for motorists from Red Hills, Avadi, Annoor, Puzhal and Ayambakkam to reach the Chennai Bypass and Poonamallee High (PH) Road. As a result, motorists including motorcyclists tend to drive at a high speed near the junction once they cross the Ambattur OT traffic point.

Earlier, along with a few notorious stretches like Poonamallee High (PH) Road, Old Mamallapuram Road (OMR), East Coast Road (ECR), Grand Southern Trunk (GST) Road and Anna Salai, CTH Road between Padi and Tiruvallur was among the deadliest stretches where, on an average, two fatal accidents would occur every day. Most of these stretches were two-lane until a decade ago when they were widened as part of the state government’s efforts to make these key arterial roads safer. However, the CTH Road was the last one among these stretches to witness actual widening of its space since the stretch was laid some four decades ago. “Steps will be taken to rebuild the side wall of the bridge soon,” says a State Highways official.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 6:16:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/pedestrians-at-risk/article30712179.ece

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