Quality & Safety Assessment of Pedestrian Sidewalk in Two Mid-Sized Cities of Haryana
|Chitranshu Saluja 1, Bhavana Arora 2
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Sidewalks play an important role in transportation, as they provide a safe path for people to walk along that is separated from the motorized traffic. In suburban areas, sidewalk helps to provide equal access to people who cannot drive, notably children, the elderly and the economically disadvantaged. Sidewalks also play an important role in accommodating people that, while perfectly able to drive, may choose not to depending on the length and type of trip they are undertaking - such as a walk to a local shop, a walk for recreation or physical exercise, or taking a pet (such as a dog) for a walk. High densities, mixed land use patterns, short trip distances and high share of walk are major characteristics of Indian cities. But, many of Indian towns and cities are not friendly to the pedestrian movements. The safety of pedestrians has been seriously affected by the rapid growth of vehicular traffic and inadequate pedestrian network especially in the Central Business Districts. The pedestrians are further affected by the urban air pollution and noise pollution. Pedestrians are expected to walk on the sidewalk constructed on the side of the carriageway. Most of the times, these sidewalks are encroached by road-side development or occupied by vendors and hawkers. In case sidewalks are available, then a buffer area is provided for the pedestrians but those buffers are either occupied by parked vehicles or encroached by other users. As a result pedestrians are forced to walk on the carriageway. Not many comprehensive studies on pedestrian sidewalk facilities and assessment of their safety and quality have been taken up especially in the mid sized cities in the country. Absence of sidewalk wherever necessary, deteriorated conditions of footpath, encroachments of footpath, presence of footpath wherever pedestrian movement is negligible are some of the problems to be studied. As pedestrians are the most vulnerable among road accident victims, the study aims to highlight the need for providing better sidewalk facilities for pedestrians to save them from road accidents.