Aundh ‘Smart city’ road unable to cope with peak hour traffic
The activists and citizens are raising concern that if this project is not implemented well, it will be yet another waste of moneypune Updated: Aug 07, 2017 10:23 IST
The newly designed Aundh ‘Smart City’ road from Brehmen Circle to Parihar chowk will cost ₹22 crore for a 1.5-km stretch. The footpath alongside the road is one-of-its kind. As per the officials, this is the ideal footpath for which Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has spent a significant amount of money keeping in mind the plight of pedestrian. Hindustan Times recently highlighted the facility and the reactions from citizens regarding the football.
However, it turned out that the new project is unable to cope with the peak evening hour traffic rush. Two wheeler riders using the broadened footpath as an additional lane has also become a common sight every evening.
The activists and citizens are raising concern that if this project is not implemented well, it will be yet another waste of money.
“This dismal state on the newly developed Aundh DP road, where two wheelers are driving on the footpath, is another example of what happens to innovative projects where prior thought is not given to practical aspects such as genuine needs, appropriate provisions, suitable set up with adequate funds for management, enforcement and regular maintenance. From the current condition of such projects in the city, it is evident that sustainability of the project with the delivery of expected benefits to citizens is never a priority. It looks like the administration believes in ‘execute and forget’,” said city activist Prashant Inamdar of pedestrian first.
Sanskriti Menon, programme director, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), said that the regulation and enforcement is the key. Protection of the rights of pedestrians and cyclists is very important if Pune is serious about improving safety and controlling congestion and traffic pollution, she added.
“The new street design of DP Road is wheelchair friendly. This makes the footpath or pedestrian space vulnerable to violation. Also, as per the law, motorised vehicles encroaching upon spaces meant for pedestrian and cyclists can be penalised. A culture of respect for pedestrians and cyclists has to be brought in among motorised vehicle users. The design itself can demonstrate the city's priority towards pedestrians and cyclists,” she said.
“But this has to go hand in hand with strict enforcement. Certainly, PMC and traffic police must roll out a good programme of enforcement combined with public campaigns about no tolerance of such violations. This initiative will yield the desired result of the physical design work, which will be accompanied by the regulation and enforcement drive.”
Rashmi Wagh, an employee of Nabla Infotech situated in Parihar chowk, feels that having a broader footpath is fine. “We should consider the right of the pedestrian and should give them a proper facility. However, at the same time, focus should be on road size and traffic control too. Most of the days, we are stuck in the traffic and desperately waiting to move. So, if the riders use the broad footbath as a third lane, I wouldn’t blame them. The authorities should set their priorities. First broaden the roads and then footpaths. If you don’t, then vehicles will have no option left but to break the rules,” she said.