Pedestrian’s right to have footpaths/walkways to have safe walk
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Some of the incidents with me and my wife in last three years prompted me to think about plight of pedestrians. My wife was twice victim of bad condition of footpaths and pothole riddled roads. She broke left upper arm with nerve palsy in one incident and right forearm in another incident. I have to visit local police station just to prove my innocence, because doctor considered both the cases as medico legal cases. (MLCs). In third incident, I was walking on the left most edge of peripheral road in our area. It was not possible to walk along walkways of gardens due to wet season and as usual many of the covers were missing over rainwater drain cum footpath. One speeding vehicle, overtaking another vehicle from left, hit me from back on my right buttock and I lost my balance. Before I compose myself and note its vehicle registration number, it sped away. I was fortunate enough to spare myself with few bruises on left hand but many may not.
There are many claimants to footpaths than pedestrians themselves. There is a place for everybody on footpaths except for its right owner i.e. pedestrians. These footpaths are being encroached upon by electrical feeder pillars, telephone junction boxes, electrical/telephone poles, precariously overhanging billboards at man height, tree plantations, dustbins, illegal parking of vehicles, shopkeeper’s storage and display, extension of shopkeeper’s business area, street vendors, unplanned bus sheds & sponsored public libraries, starting of approach road to the residential and commercial buildings and what not. The pedestrians cannot use footpaths and walkways, and roads are very unsafe. It is a time to show full empathy to these pedestrians and give them safe passage to walk.
Following suggestions are made for the safety of the pedestrians and taking a little step for making this world better.
1. Remove all encroachment and make a stricter penalty for the law breakers. Treat everybody at par.
2. Rehabilitate street vendors and give them honourable place to carry out their livelihood
3. Provide planned space for bus stands, public libraries, electrical feeder pillars, telephone exchange boxes etc. leaving clear space for footpaths/walkways
4. Transitions and crossings of footpaths should be disabled friendly
5. Make societies, residential building, shop-owners and local bodies responsible for the up keeping of footpaths in their area.
6. Provides proper parking bays for two/four wheeled vehicles at regular intervals along the roads, so that footpaths do not become victim of illegal parking.
7. Footpaths shouldnot be used for green drive. Separate islands/strips may be created for creating green patches.
8. Isolated road crossings should be designed for pedestrian activated signal and illuminated for the safe crossing of pedestrians. Such crossings should also be equipped with CCTV to monitor traffic rules offenders.
9. Adopt & create National Standards for widths and height of footpaths. We can emulate from our neighbouring country like Singapore. They should also be properly illuminated.
10. Enact a law to grant them a right of way to have safe footpaths/walkways and safe crossing of roads.
Please support my petition to have safe footpaths/walkways and safe crossing of roads for the pedestrians, so that Central Road and Surface Transport ministry attention can be drawn to take necessary steps.
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