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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

Delhi prepares to put on walking shoes

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 03, 2009
First Published: 23:11 IST(3/12/2009) | Last Updated: 01:29 IST(4/12/2009)

It will help be a relief to pedestrians on Delhi's roads and will go a long way in reducing carbon footprints of the city.

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The Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning and Engineering) Centre (UTTIPEC) has come up with the first of its kind pedestrian design guidelines to ensure that walking in the city becomes safe and a pleasurable experience.

The guidelines were approved last week.

The UTTIPEC is a body that was formed under the chairmanship of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna to adopt an integrated approach to all traffic and transport projects in the city.

The guidelines have found favour with city planners.

Urban planner and Delhi Urban Arts Commission Chairman K.T. Ravindran said hailed it. “All great cities in the world are walking cities,” he said. “They have broad sidewalks and elaborate street furniture for pedestrians.”

Ravindran pointed out that in Delhi people do not walk because there is hardly any space to walk. “Sidewalks have been encroached upon and roads are choc-a-bloc with vehicles,” he said.

According to him, the pedestrian design guidelines, once implemented, will go a long way in addressing these issues and encourage people to walk. “It will help in endearing the city to its people,” he said.

What does it mean?
The guidelines spell out specific measures that civic agencies need to take to make the roads safe and comfortable for
pedestrians.

All ongoing and forthcoming road projects will have to adhere to and implement them.

They specify the minimum width of pedestrian walkways as 1.8 metre — which is the minimum width required for two people to cross each other comfortably — and the maximum height of a pavement (kerb, walking surface, paving) as not more than 150 milimetre.

They also say the pavements have to be free of all obstructions like utility ducts or poles and electric, water or telecom boxes.

“The idea of having mandatory guidelines is to ensure increase in comfort for the walking population in the city,” said a senior UTTIPEC official who did not want to be named. “It will help reduce dependency on cars.”

The guidelines once implemented will also ensure that public streets and crosswalks are fully navigable by the physically handicapped.


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