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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

Gurugram’s Bakhtawar Chowk made safer for pedestrians

Around 13,000 vehicles cross the junction every 60 minutes, during peak traffic hours, as per a study carried out by Haryana Vision Zero.

gurugram Updated: Aug 11, 2019 14:17 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Gurugram In a bid to make Bakhtawar Chowk pedestrian-friendly, the Haryana Vision Zero team executed major engineering changes at the junction on Saturday night.
Gurugram In a bid to make Bakhtawar Chowk pedestrian-friendly, the Haryana Vision Zero team executed major engineering changes at the junction on Saturday night.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
         

Gurugram In a bid to make Bakhtawar Chowk pedestrian-friendly, the Haryana Vision Zero team executed major engineering changes at the junction on Saturday night. Officials said that the median will be extended on all four sides, to reduce the gap in the middle, which is the main cause of accidents and leaves pedestrians at risk.

Around 13,000 vehicles cross the junction every 60 minutes, during peak traffic hours, as per a study carried out by Haryana Vision Zero.

Traffic moving towards key areas of the city — Rajiv Chowk, Hero Honda Chowk, Huda City Centre and Mayfield Gardens — converge at the junction, making it one of the highest vehicle-dense points of the city.

Officials with the Haryana Vision Zero said that the main issue, at present, is that the intersection is too wide. This, coupled with a shorter median, leaves a huge gap, they said.

“We carried out an extensive traffic study at the junction last April and found that the gap in the middle leaves pedestrians vulnerable and also leaves possibilities for commuters to indulge in wrong-side driving. We came to the conclusion that extending the median length and bringing the stop-line points closer to the intersection is the best possible solution for making the intersection more compact and reducing the possibility of collisions,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, programme coordinator with Haryana Vision Zero.

Bhatt said that the paths for pedestrians have been painted with bright colours and the crossing distance for pedestrians has reduced, with the extension of the median by 15-20 metres. “With the gap in the middle of the intersection reduced considerably, pedestrians can now wait for the traffic signals to turn red and then cross towards their intended direction. In addition, designated paths will also indicate to motorists the space demarcated for pedestrians,” said Bhatt.

The decision to overhaul the junction was taken by Mohammad Imran Raza, additional deputy commissioner, during a district road safety meeting on July 3.

Last year, eight fatalities and 11 accidents took place at the junction, of which around 85% involved pedestrians, according to officials.

Following recommendations made by the Vision Zero officials, Raza approved engineering changes at Bakhtawar Chowk and the introduction of traffic signals at Rajiv Chowk. The introduction of traffic signals is expected to be carried out next month, said officials.

Last month, a similar pedestrian-friendly design was also introduced at Shankar Chowk as authorities have been trying to find solutions for making key junctions safer.

On February 2, traffic police blocked passage on one carriageway, with jersey barriers, for giving pedestrians more time to cross the road. Commuters heading from Sector 49/50 towards Huda City Centre or Medanta could no longer take a right turn or head straight towards the junction. Instead, they had to take a mandatory left turn towards Subhash Chowk and take a U-turn for proceeding towards either of the directions.

Despite this engineering change, the problem for pedestrians at the other three locations remained, leading officials to look for a long-term solution.

First Published: Aug 10, 2019 23:47 IST

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