Study by citizen’s group in Pune nails parked vehicles as common footpath encroachment
Out of the 1,000 respondents, 628 believed that vehicles are one of the biggest obstructions in using footpaths, followed by other obstructions and hawkers which make it next to impossible to use the footpathsUpdated: Feb 29, 2020 18:01 IST
A recent survey conducted by a citizen’s group finds that most pedestrians in the city are unable to walk on footpaths as it is used by parked vehicles, cited as one of the most common encroachments.
Over a thousand residents were asked to submit a questionnaire regarding the usage of footpath and other pedestrian facilities in the city. Over 60 per cent of them said that city’s footpaths’ are often encroached upon by parked vehicles.
Parisar, a citizen’s activist group, during a national conference on the ‘Right to Walk’ at the SM Joshi Socialist Foundation auditorium in Navi Peth on Friday, puts up a perception survey wherein a thousand citizens were asked 20 questions regarding footpaths and walking facility in the city.
The study said that most citizens do not use footpaths as it is encroached upon by vehicles. Out of the 1,000 respondents, 628 believed that vehicles are one of the biggest obstructions in using footpaths, followed by other obstructions and hawkers which make it next to impossible to use the footpaths.
Area wise answers as per the survey stated that 100 per cent respondents living in areas of Kalas-Dhanori, Kasba peth-Somwar peth, Kondhwa Budruk- Yewalewadi, Koregaon Park-Ghorpadi and Baner-Balewadi-Pashan did not feel safe to use the footpaths.
The objective of the survey was to understand the difficulties and issues faced by the pedestrians on the city roads, to study whether pedestrians wish to raise their voices/demands for better pedestrian infrastructure and safety, to generate community engagement around pedestrian issues, to get the views or suggestions from pedestrians for the overall improvement of pedestrian facilities, and to get connected with a group of interested people for pedestrian campaign building.
Madhavrao Naik, a retired government servant who also participated in the footpath challenge, said, “As an elderly citizen I certainly feel more fearful to walk on the roads. Due to discontinuous footpaths we have to get down and up often which is physically painful and also exhausting which is why people often prefer to rather walk on the roads which are again unsafe because of the man-vehicle conflict. I hope the initiative forces the policy makers to make the city safe for pedestrians.”
Priya Pharande, member of Parisar who presented the survey, said, “We also got to know that almost half of the respondents did not have their own vehicles and so were completely dependent on public transport. The footpaths were unsafe due to multiple obstructions on the way.”