Steps to make Nehru Place crossing safer for pedestrians

Published on Jan 18, 2023 12:10 AM IST

The Nehru Place Intersection, which is four-side signal intersection located on the Outer Ring Road, experiences a high number of vehicular as well as pedestrian traffic.

The ongoing tactical urbanism experiment at Nehru Place. Temporary features were added to make the intersection safer for pedestrians. (HT Photo)
The ongoing tactical urbanism experiment at Nehru Place. Temporary features were added to make the intersection safer for pedestrians. (HT Photo)
By, New Delhi

The Nehru Place intersection has undergone several changes over the last three weeks as part of a Tactical Urbanism (TU) trial by the SaveLIFE Foundation (SLF) along with the Delhi transport department and the Delhi Traffic Police, SLF said on Tuesday.

According to the foundation, the interventions have led to a 66% increase in the space available for pedestrians as well as decreasing their exposure to traffic. The trials were launched on December 27, 2022, and will be completed by the end of this month, the foundation said.

Tactical Urbanism (TU) trials are temporary, quick and relatively low-cost interventions, which test urban design, transportation planning and infrastructural changes for improving road safety for all road users, especially the most vulnerable, like pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised transport users.

The Nehru Place Intersection, which is four-side signal intersection located on the Outer Ring Road, experiences a high number of vehicular as well as pedestrian traffic due to its proximity to one of the busiest district centres of Delhi. In close vicinity of the Intersection lies the Nehru Enclave Metro Station, and 1.1 kms away lies the Kalkaji Mandir Metro Station.

This is the seventh Tactical Urbanism trial in Delhi after Bhalswa Chowk, Rajghat Intersection, Gandhi Vihar, Burari Chowk, Signature Bridge and Mukundpur Chowk.

“We use scientific research and in-depth analysis to combat the road crash epidemic confronting the country.” said Piyush Tewari, CEO, SaveLIFE Foundation.

Rakesh Jindal, executive engineer, PWD (South-East Maintenance Circle) said nearly 150,000 pedestrians use the Nehru Place intersection every day. “There is heavy vehicular movement during night time also at this intersection,” he said emphasising the need to make the stretch safer for pedestrians.

Professor Sewa Ram, head of transport planning at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) says TU trials are proving to be successful on a short-term basis, but for lasting results the interventions made need to be converted into permanent fixtures and part of the road design features. “The basic principle in such trials remains the same, that you have to provide space to pedestrians in the form of refuge islands so they can cross safely. Secondly, one has to reduce the area of conflict of vehicles and any unwanted area can be converted into an island. Traffic needs to be channelized into different directions and unwanted directions can be blocked to control the flow of traffic, however, it is important that the road is not made narrower, which then creates an additional bottleneck,” he said.

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