Kozhikode

Pedestrians have their own way – no takers for subway

People cross the road at the busy Palayam Junction in Kozhikode by avoiding the four-way subway, leading to chaotic traffic and accidents.– Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

People cross the road at the busy Palayam Junction in Kozhikode by avoiding the four-way subway, leading to chaotic traffic and accidents.– Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup  

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Around 6.45 p.m., Kallayi Road in the city is choked with traffic. There is every possibility of every vehicle bumping into the other between Malabar Hotel and Link Road that leads to the railway station.

Particularly, frayed tempers are at their peak at Palayam Junction, where vehicles dart in all directions. And, pedestrians add to the chaos while crossing the road.

Not helping matters ease in any way is the four-way subway for pedestrians, which came up following complaints that a foot overbridge was too steep to climb.

If a vehicle brakes suddenly and is hit by another from behind, you know that a pedestrian has just triggered this mess, says Umar, a lottery ticket vendor, whose stall is located near the subway.

Very few people use the subway. The others just prefer to cross the road and create trouble.

The Kallayi Road is not very wide. Midway, it has some lumps of concrete that seek to pass for a median. At will, people cross this road to make their purchases from shops on either side.

Some pedestrians complain that the subway is closed at 6 p.m., and that rainwater turns it slushy. The early closing is attributed to low patronage and complaints of alms-seekers and anti-socials taking over the subway in the evening.

Drivers of vehicles bringing vegetables into the Palayam market lament that some pedestrians do not take the shortest distance across the road. Instead, they resort to a diagonal crossing, causing trouble for motorists heading in two or three directions.

When the subway was renovated and reopened early this year, traffic policemen tried to persuade pedestrians to use it. They gave up later, especially with some elderly persons saying that their arthritic knees protested when they tried the subway’s steps.

Some people who frequent S.M. Street and the vegetable market for their purchases say that in the absence of proper signboards, they ended up on the wrong side when they used the subway.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:04:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/pedestrians-have-their-own-way-no-takers-for-subway/article7907451.ece

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