Pedestrian Problem

I saw a nice scene today which prompts me to write this. I saw a Traffic Sergeant hold the hand of an old lady and help her cross the road. Nice gesture, I thought. Immediately afterwards though, I began thinking about what the situation would be if the Sergeant was not there. How would the lady otherwise cross the road? Going by the sense of courtesy seen on roads, and adding peak office hour traffic pressure, I am sure no car would have attempted to stop.

This is no ordinary road, by the way. This is the Indiranagar – Koramangala Ring Road, almost like a stretch of highway, probably about 3-4 kms in length, with only one “cut” for cars to take “u-turn”. As you can imagine, cars move at a very fast pace on this road. Next to the road there is a Tech Park, which has hundreds of companies, with thousands of people. Everything is there, but one thing: a pedestrian cross or a foot bridge. Many of us actually cross this road everyday, some with bicycles on their shoulders. This is no mean feat though. Crossing this road takes skills: you need to be a patient opportunist with athletic abilities and total disregard for the concept of safety to do this.

At the end of this road on one side is the Indiranagar flyover, which was completed only last year. It is a complex set of bridges, connecting important roads like the Airport road, ring road and Indiranagar 100 ft road, carrying hundreds of cars every minute. However, again, uno problemo: it doesn’t have any sidewalk. So, people who wants to walk from ring road to say 100 ft road, don’t have any other choice but to walk on the road or the divider.

I enjoy long walks. Sometimes, I walk back home from office. But I literally put my life at risk every time I cross the ring road / flyover. This is a problem which is not specific to this area of Bangalore, or Bangalore itself. Recently when I was in Gurgaon, I faced the same problem. You should see people crossing roads at Kolkata, the city where I grew up: no one seems to care about their life. One bicycle enthusiast friend in Bangalore was also mentioning the lack of banking on roads for her to cycle on: respect for her own life forces her to get off the bike and walk at times. I am sure the same problems are there in every city in India. Old structures, old roads – I understand. But even with new roads, bridges, I really don’t understand. Is that short sightedness of our urban planners or is it short sightedness of our urban planners?

Anyway, will find out more about what can be done later. Got to go packing: going to Kerala tonight. There is no such pedestrian problem in the backwaters, I guess.

8 comments:

Rohit Talwar said...

Oh tell me about it. After talking to you, I almost got killed crossing that Sec 55 Gurgaon crossing under the flyover that's so-wonderfully-planned-that-traffic-problem-is-the-same thanks to a dirty Haryana Sumo. Brrr. The roads are so busy I don't think anyone would care if anything goes wrong.


Bugggerrrrrrrrrr, go go, travel. Hmph! Per kya pata, South itna asani se kal ho na ho!

Aarbee said...

Backwaters? :(
Photos lana khoob saari!

Waise pedestrians bhi kam nahi hain. You should see the dare devil acts they put up on the roads.

~ Deeps ~ said...

indeed there is short sightedness from urban planners.....we generally only cater to people on vehicle.......
have fun in kerala........

Subhadip said...

@RT
:)

@RB
Basic problem here is lack of discipline and courtesy, I guess.

@Deeps
Just came back from Kerala. Also went to Munnar. Now I know why you were suggesting that place: Thanks for that.

Butterfly said...

Yeah, you're right. No one cares about their precious lives here. Belive it or not, there have been 42 road mishaps over the past 16 days! This information was published in today's newspaper.

IG said...

This is just something I wanted to clrify, not really realted to your post. I've heard that Bangalorians take pride in announcing that they have driven their car at 80 kms/hr on 100 ft. road (of course with a southern accent). Is this true ???

Subhadip said...

@Butterfly
42 in 16 days! Crazy!

@IG
Maybe at 2 in the night. Don't see that happening anytime between 7 in the morning to 11 in the night. There are some good stretches here and there where one can drive (like the one near my office), but not the 100 ft roads.

arobindo said...

well...your post on population control may give some insights to our planner's road kills