Gurugram’s Shankar Chowk to remain pedestrian friendly till Tuesday
“Despite heavy rains in the afternoon, the experiment did not lead to any congestion or traffic snarls at the Chowk, which was one of the concerns raised,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, founder of the Raahgiri Foundation.Updated: Jul 22, 2019 08:03 IST
An experiment by transport and road safety experts to make Shankar Chowk more pedestrian-friendly will continue for at least two more days, on July 22 and July 23, after a trial run over the weekend delivered desirable results. An ‘end-to-end pedestrian pass’, created using bollards and jersey barriers, allowed commuters travelling on foot to safely cross the crowded intersection, which has a reputation for being unsafe with multiple deaths of vulnerable pedestrians being reported from the spot over the past two years.
“Despite heavy rains in the afternoon, the experiment did not lead to any congestion or traffic snarls at the Chowk, which was one of the concerns raised,” said Sarika Panda Bhatt, founder of the Raahgiri Foundation. A spot visit by a Hindustan Times team on Sunday afternoon also found a high number of pedestrians using the end-to-end pass, facilitated by a team of watchful traffic policemen. A traffic constable manning the Chowk on Sunday, requesting anonymity, said, “I don’t see any problems with the redesign. We have been managing the flow of traffic as per instructions, which were to efficiently time release and halt the flow of vehicles. The real test of this system will be on Monday when the volume of traffic will increase.”
The experiment, originally scheduled for July 16, was unable to be implemented last week as real estate developer DLF, the custodian of the road, objected to the redesign of the junction and ordered the removal of the end-to-end pedestrian pass. However, after the organisers spoke with the Gurugram traffic police and consulted the developer, it was decided to implement the “tactical urbanism solution” again on the weekend, when traffic would be leaner, traffic officials said.
The redesign involves using bollards to demarcate a section of the road at the junction as a pedestrian pass between DLF and Udyog Vihar.
The crossing is one of city’s most accident-prone spots due to the high pedestrians and signal-free vehicular traffic movement.
Twelve pedestrian fatalities were recorded at Shankar Chowk between 2016 and 2018, the second highest in the city, according to traffic police data. Last year, there were six fatalities reported at the intersection.
DCP traffic Himanshu Garg did not respond to requests for comment.