PUNE: Municipal commissioner Mahesh Zagade’s admission that the city is increasingly becoming a pedestrian-unfriendly city has boosted the hopes of the citizens groups and social organisations that the municipal corporation will now show some seriousness towards pedestrian safety and convenience.
Endorsing Zagade’s views that the city needs a policy for pedestrians, and that there is a need of a substantial budgetary provision for providing such facilities, the PMP Pravasi Manch, Sajag Nagrik Manch and Pedestrians First, has urged the municipal commissioner to start implementing some low-cost measures at the earliest.
The organisations have come out with a ten-point charter of demands including removal of encroachments on footpaths. The organisations have demanded that all encroachment material on footpaths should be seized by the corporation. Dumping of debris or construction material on footpaths is also a major cause for concern, the organisations said.
They also said that, all footpaths which are to be constructed or those under construction should have pedestrian friendly design with proper entry and exit points at intersections and chowks. The footpaths should also have facilities for wheel-chair bound persons.
The property boundaries and the property entrances should be marked distinctly to avoid any confusion and disputes. The footpaths should have railings for safety of pedestrians. The organisations have demanded that the zebra crossings should be repainted and that the traffic signals should be synchronised and should have signal phases for pedestrians to cross the road safely.
Another point raised by the organisations is about damaged footpaths which have not been repaired for several months.
Pedestrians First has also highlighted the problems faced by pedestrians using the Jungli Maharaj and Fergusson College roads after the one-way traffic plan came into effect on these roads a year back.
The group has demanded that pedestrian refuges be created and that there should be effective speed breakers a head of the pedestrian crossings, with proper signages for motorists. It has also demanded that the corporation ensure proper continuity of footpaths, and strict enforcement to make footpaths free of encroachments.
Last Monday, at the general body meeting, Zagade had said that Pune is increasingly becoming a pedestrian-unfriendly city. About 37 per cent of the people walk to their destinations everyday. Zagade had stressed on the need for signals for pedestrians.
According to Pune Municipal Corporation’s ( PMC) additional city engineer, Shriniwas Bonala, of the total 5,000 chowks in the city, only 175 have traffic signals. And, as many as 52 traffic signals are non-functional, he added.