Delhi govt launches ’tactical urbanism’ road safety trial at Signature Bridge

Updated on Oct 15, 2022 02:30 PM IST

The new road safety measures at Delhi’s Signature Bridge will be made permanent once proved successful in reducing the number of accidents

The Delhi government said it wants the Signature Bridge to become a benchmark for road safety. (File Photo)
The Delhi government said it wants the Signature Bridge to become a benchmark for road safety. (File Photo)

The Delhi government has launched a “tactical urbanism trial” for road safety at the Signature Bridge with certain changes in road markings, additional speed calming measures etc, which will be made permanent once proved successful in reducing the number of accidents, said officials.

The new measures also include better signages, narrowing of merging and diverging angles and approach lanes for the reduction of conflict points at the site, installation of cones, removal of vendors etc. to check cases of accidents. The trial will continue till November 6 and a study will be done to assess its impact.

“The government wants to make Signature Bridge, an architectural landmark in India, to become a benchmark for road safety,” said Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC) vice chairperson, Jasmine Shah.

“‘Tactical urbanism’ trials have been envisaged by DDC under its Delhi@2047 initiative, which leverages deep, sustained collaborations between government, civil society and private sector to realise chief miniter Arvind Kejriwal’s vision of making Delhi the No. 1 city in the world by 2047. The trials so far have proven that such low-cost solutions can have a significant impact by reducing the number of road crash fatalities on target sites and stretches to zero,” he said.

The trial has been launched by the Delhi government in coordination with SaveLIFE Foundation, a road safety NGO, BSES Yamuna Power Limited, Delhi Traffic Police, the Delhi Transport Department, Public Works Department (PWD) (Central and Northeast) and Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC).

Between 2018 and 2021, the Signature Bridge witnessed 53 road crashes and 17 fatalities. Inaugurated in November 2018, this cantilever spar cable-stayed bridge is India’s first asymmetrical cable-stayed bridge. Launched as both a tourist attraction and a means of reducing travel time for commuters plying between north and northeast Delhi, the Signature Bridge connects Wazirabad across the Yamuna to the inner city.

“The trial is designed to test temporary urban design interventions to improve safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. An essential component of these trials is road space redistribution to ensure modal equity, road geometrics modification, traffic channelisation, vehicular speed reduction and the addition of pedestrian and cyclist safety infrastructure,” said an official, who did not want to be named.

“The ‘tactical urbanism’ approach especially focuses on safeguarding the most vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists and other two-wheeler riders by testing out and scaling up effective urban design, transportation planning and infrastructural changes,” Shah added.

Chandra Kumar Singh, DCP, Traffic (North and central district), said, “Ever since its inauguration, the Signature Bridge has experienced a high level of over speeding, especially of goods/ commercial vehicles and two-wheelers. The speed limit in this section is 40 km/hr for HCVs and 60 km/hr for cars. This unsafe road practice has been witnessed both during the day hours as well as night time leading to multiple road crashes and fatalities. The reduction of speed through the additional speed calming measures put in place during this trial will help reduce over-speeding and make the stretch safer for all road users visiting the bridge. It is important that motorists take cognisance of these speed calming measures and signages and use them correctly for a safer commute for all.”

Piyush Tewari, CEO, SaveLIFE Foundation said, the solutions will be shared with the government to make them permanent and replicate them.


    Alok K N Mishra is a journalist with the Hindustan Times, New Delhi. He writes on governance, policy and politics. He is an ardent follower of politics and is fascinated about making politics work better for the middle-class and the poor. He loves to discuss and predict the national political behaviour. Before shifting to Delhi, he covered political instability, governance, and misgovernance besides Maoists insurgency in Jharkhand for almost half a decade. He started out in 2010 as a city reporter with Times of India, Patna.

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