September 02, 2012

Vehicles rule, no space to walk on roads: Street audit

Published: Sunday, Sep 2, 2012, 11:34 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

How many times have you found pedestrians walking on the road and cursed them for hindering traffic? The findings of a street audit might interest you. More often than not, it is compulsion and not choice that pushes people to walk on the carriageway. About 20 corporate employees participated in a street audit exercise on Saturday. They found out that road space was inequitably distributed; pedestrian space was encroached and vehicles were parked haphazardly on road side leading to major traffic problems in the city.

Around 20 employees of different corporates of the city participated in the street audit exercise conducted by an Ahmedabad-based corporate social responsibility (CSR) research and advocacy group, The 4th wheel, and Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). The participants spent three hours on three busy streets—CN Circle to Panchvati, Parimal Garden to Panchvati and CN Circle to Parimal Garden.

They observed various aspects of streets such as trees, garbage bins, pay-and-park facilities and parked vehicles. Participants noted that most footpaths have so many obstructions that pedestrians are forced to walk in the carriageway next to fast-moving motor vehicles, risking their lives. Illegal parking is rampant and blocks the footpaths. “Streets need to be organised for all. This is such an inequitable distribution of road space. At present, it is all for vehicles, moving or parked,” said Haresh Trivedi, assistant manager, CSR, Gujarat Heavy Industries Limited.

Head of Human Resources at Idea Cellular Niral Bhatt felt there is hardly space in the name of footpath from CN Circle to Parimal Garden road and whatever small patches exist are lying in utterly neglected state.

Chris Kost, director of research at ITDP, said, “It was an exercise to raise awareness about importance of creating streets that facilitate pedestrian mobility. The audit was an opportunity to sensitise participants about good street design and encourage them to demand better walking facilities in Ahmedabad.”



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