Walk Tall!

Stakeholders plan for NMT improvements in Gurgaon

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-24/gurgaon/37269607_1_transport-private-developers-golf-course-extension-road

Stakeholders from all walks of life, from urban planners, urban developers, transport management experts, urban design consultants, to the MCG councillors, have joined hands in promoting the idea of non-motorized transportation in the city.

Residents, who have come together for the cause, have organized a workshop on the subject on Monday, which will be attended by the chiefs of Gurgaon police, the municipal corporation, HUDA and HSIIDC, among others.

The group has already formulated the ideas to be presented and subsequently discussed during the course of the workshop on Planning for Non-Motorized Transportation (NMT) in Gurgaon.

“We got together as a group after reading about the revamping of the existing Golf Course Extension Road and that the cost in this multi-crore project will be shared by the Haryana Urban Development Authority. Instead of adding value to DLF’s real estate by doing so, the state government could have planned better public transportation, which would have taken care of half of the exiting problems on this stretch. The road, as it is, can take the load of traffic volumes it has,” said Rwitee Mandal, an urban design consultant and a visiting faculty at the School of Planning and Architecture.

According to Mandal, Gurgaon is like a headless chicken. She explained: “Private developers have made the city a mess and the government agencies have limited vision to set things right. There is no overlap between the government and private developers. The city lacks any public spaces and planned transportation. Gurgaon is a perfect example of isolated private development with no integration of infrastructure. It might not happen at one go but one still needs to begin somewhere.”

Added Nisha Singh, MCG councillor, Ward 30: “Gurgaon is a new city and the right steps might still save it from being the mess it is heading towards. Haphazardly broadening roads, chopping trees and removing roundabouts in an unplanned manner will not lead us anywhere. Parking has always been an issue with this city since one is heavily dependent on cars to move around in the absence of a better public transport. We hope to come up with solutions by the end of this workshop.”

The suggestions so far range from making space available for pedestrians by providing sidewalks, removing signboards placed in the middle of footpaths, increasing the number of foot overbridges to installing rumble strip or traffic signal at every pedestrian crossing.

There were also suggestions for installing more number of CCTVs at public places and traffic lights, make cycling lanes and parking spaces and increasing vehicle parking spaces in the city. The maximum suggestions from members were on introducing safe and reliable public transport around the city to make sure people have an option.

“We got together after reading about the revamping of the existing Golf Course Extension Road. The state could have planned better public transportation, which would have taken care of half of the exiting problems on this stretch. The road, as it is, can take the load of traffic volumes it has” said Rwitee Mandal, an urban design consultant, said.

Sensitization of traffic police about handling and prioritizing NMT, especially at wider and heavy traffic junctions.

Sensitization of motorists about NMT users and safety; signage for accomplishing this.

Cycle lanes, not only marked lanes, there should be flexi barriers to demarcate them; greenery/ plantation along the roads for NMT.

Ensure footpaths with ramps and that cycle lanes are not used by two-wheelers; safe crossing for NMT even if junction for motorists is not there.

Promote cycle rickshaws and other NMT as green modes of commuting.

Promote market places, zones and time slots with non-motorized vehicles.

Promote use of NMT in schools.

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