District administration proposes pedestrian-friendly changes for Delhi-Gurgaon ExpresswayUpdated: Sep 29, 2020, 23:56 IST
To ensure smooth and safe movement of pedestrians at six major intersections on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, the district administration has asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to make changes, including installation of mandatory traffic signage, creation of pathways for pedestrians, refuge islands and introduction of speed-calming measures for safety of road users. These six stretches include Hero Honda Chowk, Rajiv Chowk, Shankar Chowk, Khandsa cut, Sidhrawali cut and Bilaspur Chowk.
The district road safety committee has also recommended that speed limit on certain road stretches that is currently limited to 60 to 70 kmph should be further reduced to 40 to 45 kmph.
These locations in the past three years have seen several road accidents and fatalities and a study conducted by a road safety organisation working with district administration made these recommendations, said officials privy to the matter.
Anurag Kulshreshtha, president, Trax, an NGO working with the district administration, said that facilities for pedestrian are minimal at these intersections and there is need for redesigning these stretches to create a safer environment for pedestrians. “The maximum number of people who are dying on the roads are pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders. The main reason is speeding and poor road design. We are preparing a detailed report on these stretches that shall be submitted soon,” he said.
As per the road safety committee, the key flaws at Rajiv Chowk are lack of pedestrian crossing, no refuge island and lack of speed-calming measures. At Hero Honda Chowk, the experts found rampant wrong-side driving, no pedestrian infrastructure, lack of signage and a need for stricter enforcement. Khandsa Cut also lacks pedestrian infrastructure, has no waiting space for pedestrians and speed calming measures. Shankar Chowk, on the other hand, witnesses random movement of pedestrians, lack of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and has high number of conflict points. The Sidhrawali Cut and Bilaspur Chowk on the NH 48 also suffer from similar issues apart from no road markings, open drainage and lack of speed-calming measures, the committee said.
Sarika Panda Bhatt, a road transport expert, said that these traffic intersections have a number of structural flaws, which need to be corrected. “We have done a comprehensive study for the redesigning of some of the major intersections in the city and the authorities need to take action on this soon,” she said.
Apart from changes at major intersections, the road safety committee has also proposed that speed limit on certain roads, such as MG Road, Golf Course Road, Manesar to Bilaspur Road, Rampura to Manesar Road,, Subash Chowk to Sohna Road, Rajiv Chowk to Kherkidaula toll plaza, Sidhrawali to Kapriwas, Netaji Subash Marg and Pataudi to Haily Mandi should be reduced between 40 to 45 kmph.
Prashant Panwar, additional deputy commissioner, Gurugram, who is also the member secretary of district road safety committee, said that the objective of this exercise is to reduce fatalities to a bare minimum and prevent road accidents. “Remedial measures would be taken to make it safer for pedestrians to cross roads and prevent accidents. This will be done through changes in road designs and other interventions. The issue of reducing speed on roads is being studied by GMDA, which will take a call on this matter,” he said, adding these measures would be taken before the onset of winter.
The NHAI on its part said that it will actively works with district administration to ensure road safety and implement the measures recommended by it.
Vikas Mittal, senior manager, NHAI, Gurugram, when asked about the proposed changes, said that they are studying the recommendations made by the road safety committee. “A final decision on the changes can be taken only after a joint visit to the spot with the stakeholders and traffic experts. We will need to know the exact signage and spots where these need to be fixed,” said Mittal.
Referring to the proposed visit to these spots, Kulshreshta said that a visit to these spots has been scheduled on October 5. “Experts from Trax, along with officials from concerned departments, will visit these spots and take a final decision,” he said.
As far as reducing the speed on different roads is concerned, the GMDA said that the proposal is under consideration but since it involves multiple stakeholders, feedback from them is required before implementing the changes.
JS Sindhu, engineer, traffic management, GMDA, said that this matter was under consideration of Committee on Traffic Managament formed by the GMDA and decision in this regard would be taken after obtaining feedback from different agencies and road users. “Each road has a different character and an analysis would be conducted by experts and traffic police department after which a decision will be taken. Feedback from different stakeholders including road users and residents would also be factored in,” said Sindhu.
Amit Khatri, deputy commissioner, Gurugram, said that all efforts are being made to identify the traffic blind spots and find solutions to minimise road accidents and fatalities. “This is an ongoing process and multiple agencies are involved for better results,” he said.