The entire landscape of Broadway is all set for an overhaul as the Greater Chennai Corporation and Chennai Smart City Ltd have decided to improve pedestrian-friendly facilities on the roads around Broadway bus stand and the High Court. According to a Chennai Smart City Ltd official, the project would be taken up under non-motorised transport (NMT) policy to promote public transport, walking and cycling.
“Presently, the roads around the Broadway bus stand and the High Court are witnessing traffic chaos, making them mostly unfit for walking. So, we have decided to create pedestrian-friendly facilities on the roads,” the official said. The civic body has plans to implement the project as a part of the multi-modal transport hub project, which has been proposed in the Broadway area.
As per the multi-modal transport hub project, the civic body will construct a multi-level car parking above the Broadway bus stand. “We have planned a 21-storey building above the bus stand.
A certain number of floors will be used as parking space while the remaining ones will be used as commercial space. The project will be implemented under public-private partnership and the private contractor can let the commercial space for rent,” said Raj Cherubal, CEO of Chennai Smart City Ltd.
Parking bays for Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses would be created on the basement floor and ground floor of the 21-storey building. It would also have parking space for 1,904 cars and 1,820 motorcycles. The multi-modal transport hub is a part of off-street parking management project, which was announced in the state assembly.
Once the multi-level parking building is constructed, the civic body would link Metrorail station near High Court, High Court Building, Fort railway station and Broadway bus stand to make the locality a multi-modal transportation hub. Advocates and shop owners in the area could use the facility to park their vehicles and walk to their destinations.
“For this, we need very good pedestrian-friendly roads. Once the multi-level parking facility and multi-modal transport hub are created, we will widen the footpaths on all the roads surrounding the bus stand and High Court. Illegal parking on the pavements will be prevented,” he assured. However, Raj Cherubal confirmed that the roads in Broadway would not be converted into a pedestrian plaza, the one that the civic body has created in T Nagar.
Another official said the civic body has a proposal to create three to five pedestrian plazas and convert more roads into pedestrian-friendly across the city.
No end to encroachments
Despite the civic body laying new roads and constructing pavements after the completion of Metrorail works, the pavements continue to be entirely encroached upon by the hawkers and vehicles.
Even the Madras High Court had taken cognizance of the issue and directed the civic body to clear at least the two-wheelers parked on the footpath platforms along NSC Bose Road opposite High Court in November last year. However, the platforms still remain rife with encroachments.
The High Court also observed that though platforms have been extended, pedestrians are unable to use them and the hawkers and the two-wheelers parked there virtually make the pedestrians walk on the road, thereby exposing them to dangers of being hit by speeding vehicles. But with the regularisation of street vendors and with a parking management system on the anvil, officials have assured that the pedestrian facilities would be kept away from encroachers.
Non-motorised transport plan
Meanwhile, Chennai Corporation has also initiated works to prepare a non-motorised transport masterplan for the entire city and decided to appoint a consultant to prepare the masterplan, so that the roads in selected areas in Chennai would be redeveloped to promote walking and cycling.
As a pilot project, the civic body would take up 70 sqkm area in the first phase, which would comprise Nungambakkam, Royapettah, T Nagar, Mylapore, Guindy, Adyar, Velachery and Taramani for the non-motorised transport master plan. Two days ago, the civic body had removed shops encroaching upon the pavements in the T Nagar pedestrian plaza.
Two months after opening, shop-keepers encroach upon T Nagar pedestrian plaza
Even as the civic administration is discussing ways on how to make life easy for pedestrians in the city, the T Nagar pedestrian plaza, which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister just two months back, is witnessing fresh encroachments. A few days ago, the Greater Chennai Corporation conduct an eviction drive there and warned the shop owners against keeping their goods on the pavement. A Chennai Corporation official said that encroachments were removed following complaints from the public. On the other hand, the pedestrian plaza has become lively since its inauguration as several performers are allowed to use the facility to conduct their cultural events. Once rife with encroachments and illegal parking, the plaza attracts shoppers to sit on the street furniture and spend time.
In The Offing
- Multi-modal transportation hub to link bus, train and Metrorail in Broadway
- All the roads around High Court and Broadway bus stand will be redeveloped
- A 21-storey building to come up to provide parking space
- The project will pedestrianise Broadway after Pondy Bazaar
- The civic body is preparing the NMT masterplan for the city