A couple of months ago, a jazzy foot-overbridge (FOB) was inaugurated on the Ring Road stretch near Wazirpur. Later, an announcement was made by the government that 25 more would soon come up across Delhi. It’s all great news and hoorah for the pedestrians — but are these stairways to safety the perfect solution the woes of the Delhiwallah-on-foot?
There’s a FOB standing tall near the Akshardham Metro Station, that cuts straight across the flyover. But it doesn’t seem to have helped the pedestrians or those driving in the vicinity. Even now, every time you drive past, you have break speed because some moron will dash across the traffic as if he simply can’t see the shiny metallic bridge on his left. After a similar incident at Ashram Chowk this morning, I was convinced that FOBs don’t work because people are bullheaded and don’t understand what’s good for them.
But, I’ve been discussing the topic with friends and colleagues all day and have been presented with so many arguments — for and against the usefulness FOBs — that I’m confused as hell now. So, I’ve decided to present both sides of the case and let you be the judge.
Why FOBs don't work
1. It’s too hot and we’re too lazy. Who wants to walk up 3,33,333 steps of gleaming metal?
2. Zabeeh, a keen photographer who seeks high vantage points all over town to get great angles, points out that in most cases the FOB is at quite a distance from the nearest bus stop or metro station. Add that to the staircase trek and you’re looking at an extra 15 minutes of travel time.
3. Dim lighting. Two weeks ago, around 8pm, I was at the FOB near the Yamuna Bank station. The entire bridge was dark, except for one pithy light, and it opened to even scarier darkness near the station. I was so freaked out that I walked back to the main road and waited for a friend to pick me up.
Why they work
1. You are not playing Russian roulette with your life everyday
2. If the lights work and we leave home a little earlier, it’s great cardio
3. If you dash across the traffic, you could get run over and killed.