MY OPINION – If CBD is not made pedestrian friendly, where else can it be?

Most Bengalureans would possibly disapprove of any support to TenderSURE. It is understandable considering their u sufferings due to unending civil works resulting in snail’s pace of traffic in the CBD. Why spend such a fortune on such a small stretch of road? Why do we need uwider pavements when there is so much of vehicular traffic pileup? These are the most frequently asked questions. Till TenderSURE happened, most of the traffic planning had been motor and motorist-centric. Besides, the bane of city infrastructure and its maintenance has been half-hearted patchwork with little quality and sustainability . Never-ending civil works like cables, water and drainage pipe-laying make even wider roads look inadequate. For the first time, a project is being implemented that caters to every stakeholder. We are so used to pothole filling twice a year that a good quality project with long-term perspective appears unusual and a waste of money .
TenderSURE is the best ever pedestrian-friendly initiative. If priority for pedestrians needs to become reality , CBD is the ideal place to begin with. Road widening is the easiest measure to push more traffic. But it is always at the expense of narrowing or even eliminating foot paths thereby pushing edestrians to roads.
Widening roads do not offer sustainable relief to traffic jams. Wider the road, more is the traffic pushed onto it. They also bring more disorder due to lane cutting and recklessness. Instead, one should reduce the volume of traffic passing through it. Why should CBD be used as a thoroughfare for connecting various ends of city , including airport? The solution lies in diverting traffic through alternate options including development of circular roads around CBD, strengthening public transportation and even imposing congestion tax for private vehicles. If we don’t give priority to pedestrians in CBD where else can we do so?
Why such wider footpaths?
Basically to accommodate all utilities under footpaths so that roads don’t have to be dug up on the pretext of repairs of utilities. TenderSURE ensures integration of all services like water, sewage, power, OFC and gas etc under the footpath. Wider footpaths would also prevent pedestrians spilling onto roads.
Will TenderSURE achieve its objectives? This depends on planners, citizens and police! It would be a flop show if habitually pedestrians continue to walk on roads. Or if oversmart (or dumb?) drivers start riding or park vehicles on the footpaths. And, if law enforcers fail to keep the footpaths clear from encroachments. It will also fail if the roads or footpaths are dug up frequently .
On the contrary , TenderSURE will succeed if all stakeholders accept it as a reality . It will be a grand success if we realize that safer roads are better than faster roads! (The views expressed are personal)

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