As a first step towards encouraging and helping cities improve their pedestrian infrastructure, the Asian Development Bank through the Clean Air Initiatives for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) and its partner network, Clean Energy Nepal (CEN) has conducted the walkability survey in Kathmandu City to collect data about the city’s pedestrian environment.
- The study has revealed that pedestrian facility in Kathmandu is in worse condition and is not user-friendly to physically disabled people.
- Residential areas in Baneshwor Height, Kuleshwor, Khusibu and Lainchaur to Lazimpat has the highest walkability scores in the following variables; availability of walking paths with maintenance and cleanliness, availability of crossings per stretch, grade crossing safety, motorists obeying traffic laws and security from crime.
- The commercial area in Ason is the most pedestrian unfriendly road. It was registered that significant modal conflict in walking path mainly comes from vendors occupying the footpaths that make walking inconvenient.
- The Public Transport areas in Ratna Park and Kalanki have the highest number of pedestrian users and obtained the highest score in walking path modal conflict.
- 46 percent of the respondents said that the situation of existing infrastructures in the city is in its worst condition. There was no observed consistency in design in terms of width, height, and continuity of footpaths or road-crossings. A number of footpaths have meter width forcing the pedestrians to use the main roads. Other amenities such as lamp post and greenery occupy the footpaths and existing guard rails are in poor state. Pedestrian signboards and crossing marks are fading that gives longer waiting time for people to cross the other side of the road.
- About 94 percent of all the surveyed road stretches has no existing facilities for persons with disabilities. In terms of improvements in pedestrian facilities, this is the utmost priority perceived by majority of the respondents, followed by improved street lighting and wider, level and clean sidewalks.
- Almost 80 percent of the stakeholders and government respondents said that there are no clear laws on jaywalking, traffic calming and roadside advertisements.The Metropolitan Traffic Police claims that traffic enforcement is regularly being implemented. However, their data reveals that the total accident for the year 2065 to 2066 (Nepali Calendars) accounts for 2765 in which the total fatality is 137; the total number of seriously injured is 720 and minor injuries reported is 2448.
- Based from the results derived from stakeholder and government surveys, the main barriers in improving the pedestrian facilities include lack of awareness on the importance of pedestrians safety, polices and investment for pedestrian friendly infrastructures and guidelines, linkages of all authorities working on pedestrian issues, poor urbanization plan and weak agency implementation.