Chennai

Pondy Bazaar stretch is now a pedestrian-friendly plaza

The wide pavements provide ample space for shoppers to walk without worrying about traffic

The wide pavements provide ample space for shoppers to walk without worrying about traffic   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

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CM inaugurates the city’s first-of-its-kind facility; gets a first-hand look at all its ‘smart’ features

Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami on Wednesday rang a bell at the junction of Thyagaraya Road and Bashyam Road in T. Nagar, signalling the inauguration of the first pedestrian plaza in the city.

In the next phase, pedestrian plazas will come up in Anna Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Velachery and George Town.

The pedestrian plaza at T. Nagar is set to emerge as a major attraction for children and senior citizens, with space for organising music, dance, commerce, art and culture events.

“For the first time, Chennai is looking at a street as not just a mobility corridor, but as a social, public space for everyone, be it families, kids or the elderly. An open-air mall in the heart of the city,” said Aswathy Dilip, senior programme manager, ITDP.

Accompanied by Corporation Commissioner G. Prakash and Deputy Commissioner (Works) M. Govinda Rao, the Chief Minister walked the 1.4-km stretch of the plaza, inspecting various elements including ducting for utilities, seating, play equipment and the bicycle-sharing system. A team led by Chennai Corporation Chief Engineer L. Nandakumar and Smart City CEO Raj Cherubal explained the technical aspects of the project.

Pondy Bazaar stretch is now a pedestrian-friendly plaza
 

The project was conceived with the intent of enhancing the unique shopping experience that Pondy Bazaar offers, by reclaiming public space for shoppers.

After the launch, the number of shoppers visiting Pondy Bazaar is expected to increase.

According to a study, 4,000 people visited Pondy Bazaar during peak hours before the development of the pedestrian plaza.

Spurt in shoppers

The number of shoppers will double because of the creation of the pedestrian plaza, said Ms. Aswathy.

“The plaza is one more step to reduce dependence on vehicles and showcase how a city can be enjoyed better by foot,” she added.

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 4:34:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/pondy-bazaar-stretch-is-now-a-pedestrian-friendly-plaza/article29966729.ece

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