Monday, February 16, 2009

Let pedestrians walk

World Streets: Message from India: Let pedestrians walk

"Last Saturday, several citizen groups held a Protest Walk demanding pedestrian space on roads. Sujit Patwardhan, who steered this protest stated in the press release that, ``since Ganeshkhind Road and also other roads in Pune have been widened, it has become increasingly difficult for pedestrians to cross the roads safely. Traffic speeds have also increased and made the situation worse. We have been asking the PMC engineers to have designs that take into account the needs of pedestrians and even cyclists and not just treat them as an afterthought. At many of the crossings of Ganeshkhind Road, we have given specific suggestions and drawings. In spite of assurances not much has happened. Roads continue to be unsafe for walking and cycling, while auto vehicles are moving faster on widened cement concrete roads. We have therefore decided that it is high time to protest on the street itself.''

Urban cities in the USA and Europe have witnessed the social menace of having encouraged private vehicles by building more roads and flyovers and yet having bumper-to-bumper traffic - which implies that no matter how many roads you widen or increase, the problem of road congestion is incessant."

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