Thursday, March 30

Kolkata: 4 overbridges across city for pedestrian safety

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The foot overbridge across Alipore Road, near the zoo, is one of four such overbridges currently being erected across the city to make pedestrian movement faster and safer. The other ones are expected to be erected in quick succession. The longest of these overbridges would be across AJC Bose Road, at a spot near the Race Course. The effort to instal these overbridges is being taken by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), in association with Kolkata Police at four strategic crossings to protect pedestrians who are increasingly falling victims to road accidents. Experts, however, are sceptical about their efficacy, as few pedestrians tent to use these, even when they are fitted with escalators and elevators. The biggest challenge for cops, said an expert, is to make pedestrians use the overbridges. One of the ways to force people to use the overbridges is to erect continuous median dividers, so that people cannot use the road to cross over. This experiment, done near the busy stretch near NRS Hospital, has also failed, said a police source. he second overbridge will be built across the width of AJC Bose Road between SSKM Hospital’s north gate and Vivekanada Park on the northern flank. “This is perhaps the most important one, as pedestrians have a harrowing time crossing the road, because of the complicated multi-directional traffic flow here. Any small glitch at this spot can cripple the entire traffic to south Kolkata,” said an officer. The third overbridge is being built at the Chingrighata intersection, over the EM Bypass, for pedestrians to cross over from Chaulpatty Road to Jal Vayu Vihar. KMDA might instal an elevator and an escalator at this overbridge to facilitate cyclists. This spot had hit the news after a cyclist and two college students died while crossing the road on February 3. The fourth overbridge is planned across the Salt Lake Bypass, near the western slope of the Nabadiganata flyover, which also sees high footfall. Kolkata Police also plans to instal digital boards and speed monitors on the overbridges, it was learnt.

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