While the GK Moopannar bridge eases traffic congestion to an extent, the pedestrians have little to cheer as the footpaths along the road have lost to encroachments and dumping of the debris.
The narrow mouth of the road leading off Mount Road is a tricky stretch for those on foot to navigate due to the traffic. The footpath further ahead is uneven and sees bikers and cyclists ride over them for a quick shortcut to beat any traffic. Further along, closer to the signal is a series of shops that occupy the pavements.
With mechanics parking the bikes that need to be fixed along the footpath and even on the road, the pedestrians are forced to cross the stretch in dangerous conditions. Construction debris is also dumped on a perfectly navigable portion of the pavements, cutting off access.
Jayashree S, a resident of Turnbulls Road, says, “We have to cross the signal at Cenotaph Road to reach our house. The spillover of customers from the food hawkers near the signal blocks the traffic. The unregulated entry and exit of cars also add to the chaos. The duration of the signal is long and leads to a pile-up of traffic and the uncontrolled crowd does not ease the situation.”
On the other side, various eateries and establishments have taken to parking close to the road. The section opposite the Apollo Cancer Center also has autos parked along the footpath. In addition to being an obstruction, the autos also cause a blind spot as passing vehicles are unable to see pedestrians making way to cross the road.
Murali Kumar, a two-wheeler workshop owner on Cenotaph road says, “We try not to inconvenience the public and clear the vehicles as much as possible. There are other shops here in this line as well. We have to conduct our business somewhere. People also park their cars on the pavements here. It’s not just the businesses.”
Dustbins too are placed at odd locations on the pavement, leading to an accumulation of uncleared waste that sits on the footpaths until it is cleared. The state of pavements in even an important road such as this is abysmal.
With heavy traffic at most hours, not having safe pathways for pedestrians puts them at great risk of accidents and endangers everyone on the roads. Another resident in the area, Ravikumar, says that walking on the pavements is difficult as well due to garbage and other items strewn carelessly around the area.
“In fact, so many families and students have problems walking along the stretch. There are sections where we have to get off the pavement – and walk on the road during peak hours to continue – and that is quite dangerous, especially when there are children involved. We sincerely hope that someone takes note of this issue soon, since it’s a prime area.”