Delhi’s Rajghat road redesigned to make it safer for pedestrians
The Delhi government on Tuesday started trials at the redesigned the Rajghat intersection in central Delhi to make it more pedestrian friendly, as part of its project to establish “zero fatality corridors” on accident-prone stretches in the city.
According to officials, plastic barriers, spring posts, cones, and other such equipments have been laid around the Rajghat intersection to reduce exposure of vulnerable road users to the traffic, increase walking space for pedestrians and to slow down vehicles passing through the stretch.
Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said such interventions to reduce accidents and fatalities will be replicated on 11 high-risk stretches across Delhi.
“Delhi roads belong to all, as much to pedestrians and cyclists as to motorists, and the Delhi government is committed to making them safer for all users. It was keeping this in mind that we had launched the Delhi road safety policy in 2018. Through these tactical urbanism (TU) trials, earlier at Bhalswa Chowk and now at Rajghat, we aim to develop a comprehensive network of safe roads and junctions across the city. Small interventions like these, which you and I can take up, can effectively drive the behaviour change needed from commuters and the general public, to enable safe road practices in cities,” Gahlot said, while launching the trials at the Rajghat traffic intersection.
According to officials, TU trials are “temporary, quick and relatively low-cost interventions” that test urban design, transportation planning and infrastructure changes for improving road safety for all road users, especially the most vulnerable, like pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised transport users. The trials will see road space being redistributed to ensure modal equity, road geometry, channelising traffic, reduction of vehicular speeds, and addition of safety infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
Officials said the project at Rajghat intersection was undertaken in collaboration with the Delhi traffic police and NGOs SaveLife Foundation and Swayam. The work is part of the Delhi government’s “zero fatality corridor” (ZFC) project where it ties up with stakeholders to work on the city’s most accident-prone stretches through interventions that focus on altering motorists’ behaviour and making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Apart from Rajghat, officials have identified 11 more intersections — Mukundpur Chowk, Nirankari Colony/Gopalpur Red Light, Azadpur Chowk, Majnu Ka Tila, Burari Chowk, Sarita Vihar Metro station, Nehru Place, Khel Gaon, Gandhi Vihar Bus Stand and ISBT Kashmiri Gate -- for the same project.
Piyush Tewari, CEO of SaveLife foundation, told HT that the Bhalswa zero fatality corridor project recorded a 100% reduction in road crash deaths by limiting pedestrian exposure.
Delhi transport commissioner Ashish Kundra said since 2016, the Rajghat intersection and Rajghat bus depot collectively witnessed 47 crashes,13 fatalities and 51 injuries. “These trials are aimed at making the intersection safe for all in an inclusive, cheap and quick manner. The end goal of these trials is to transform high fatality intersections into high safety intersections,” he said.
Tewari said that they have followed a six-point intervention strategy to redesign the Rajghat junction. “All the elements focus on either reducing the speed, or minimising conflict. Through these interventions we have managed to reduce the pedestrian exposure distance by about 50% and pedestrian exposure time by 30%,” he said.
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