The average pedestrian crossing the Western or Eastern Express Highways will simply run across — choosing speed over safety while ignoring the many foot over-bridges across both highways.
The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority hopes to correct that. As an incentive for pedestrians to use foot over-bridges (FOBs), it plans to build elevators with a carrying capacity of 20 people for 15 of the 18 FOBs it has built on the two arterial highways.
Of the 18 FOBs, built at Rs 18 crore, 11 are on the Western Express (WEH) Highway, seven on the Eastern Express Highway (EEH).
“We’ve invited bids to give out ad space on these FOBs. Whoever wins the contract will have to build — and maintain — elevators on the bridges,” MMRDA spokesperson Dilip Kawathkar said.
MMRDA will have ad space and elevators at six FOBs on EEH, nine on WEH.
The winning bidder will essentially payfor the construction of the elevators in exchange for the rights to let out ad space on the FOBs for five years.
“These elevators will be a big help for senior citizens and the physically handicapped. Hopefully, they will also promote FOB use among commuters in general and help reduce the number of accidents that happen when people simply run across these highways,” Kawathkar added.
MMRDA is planning escalators for the city’s skywalks. It is hoping to get them built through advertising contractors who will then get ad rights on the skywalks. The ad agencies have not shown enough interest.