Bad road planning, disregard for traffic rules cause pedestrian deaths in Delhi
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Bad road planning, disregard for traffic rules cause pedestrian deaths in Delhi

According to a traffic police study, of the 1,510 people who died in road accidents in 2017, at least 44% were pedestrians. Last year, a total of 1,604 people had died in road accidents.

delhi Updated: Jan 14, 2019 11:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
delhi,pedestrian deaths,delhi traffic police
A special task force constituted in April last year to enforce the Supreme Court order to remove encroachments from public spaces found that there were encroachments on Delhi’s arterial roads.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT Photo )

In Delhi, more than 1,500 people die in road accidents every year, studies conducted by the Delhi Traffic Police shows.

Almost half the deaths are those of pedestrians.

Experts say the high number of pedestrian deaths is due to bad road planning, bad infrastructure, encroachment on pavements and a disregard for traffic rules. Experts also said that one requires a strong will and plan to ensure that people of the city walk and when they do, the roads are pedestrian-friendly.

According to a traffic police study, of the 1,510 people who died in road accidents in 2017, at least 44% were pedestrians. Last year, a total of 1,604 people had died in road accidents.

One of the problem areas identified by the multi-agency that will come up with the walkability project in Delhi is ISBT. The Ring Road stretch between ISBT Kashmere Gate and Majnu Ka Tila is one of the most vulnerable spots for pedestrian accident deaths.

“At stretches like ISBT, accidents happen because of multiple reasons. Pedestrians cross the road haphazardly. The cars are speeding. The subway or the foot-over bridges have been built far away from the road. There are many cases where pedestrians get killed while crossing the road. Also if two-wheelers hit pedestrians crossing the road, they also get killed,” said a police officer.

It just isn’t planning but a lot of pedestrian deaths are also a result of Delhi residents refusing to use facilities such as a subways or foot overbridges. The ITO in central Delhi is another area that the multi-agency has identified for the walkability project.

“Studies show that people prefer on-street walking facilities, instead of climbing overhead bridges. Take the case of ITO for example. The intersection by now has well connected subways and a new skywalk. But still, hundreds of people are seen crossing the intersection using the roads. Instead of spending so much money, the agencies could have simply focused on making footpaths continuous without, any gaps. This is not only more effective, but is also way cheaper,” said K Ravinder, principal scientist, transportation planning division, CSIR-Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).

The Rs 55 crore ITO skywalk was first projected to see a footfall of 30,000 pedestrians daily. But, officials in the Public Works Department said the bridge is getting a footfall of few hundreds only.

Another major problem for pedestrians in Delhi is the encroachment of public spaces, especially the arterial roads. A special task force was constituted in April last year to enforce a Supreme Court order to rid encroachments found that there were encroachments on arterial roads.

In a place like Karol Bagh, which is also one of the places identified for the walkability project, the roads have been taken over by illegal vendors.

“Anti-encroachment drives are regularly conducted. We have been submitting reports at the zonal level every week,” said a spokesperson of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The Delhi government said it is already working on making Delhi more pedestrian-friendly.

In its first project, the government will redesign a 3km stretch between Burari and Bhalswa, which , according to Delhi police is the deadliest road in Delhi with 67 preventable deaths in the last two years.

First Published: Jan 14, 2019 11:44 IST