Citizen Connect: Haphazard parking on pavements puts residents on dangerous path

Residents of Chromepet struggle for access to safety on roads, especially pedestrians on RP Road and Nehru Nagar, as haphazard parking takes up space on pavements.
Citizen Connect: Haphazard parking on pavements puts residents on dangerous path
Two-wheelers parked on both sides of the busy Rajendra Prasad Road

Chennai

Residents of Chromepet struggle for access to safety on roads, especially pedestrians on RP Road and Nehru Nagar, as haphazard parking takes up space on pavements. Rajendra Prasad Road and stretches in Nehru Nagar are some of the busiest stretches maintained by the Highways Department. 
With about 22 bus routes passing through the areas, there is heavy pedestrian traffic all through the day. However, they have very little access to safe walking space, thanks to the choc-a-bloc shops and stalls on the pavements. A steady number of visitors to these shops, who have been taking up the sidewalks, have converted the space into a parking lot. 
V Santhanam, president, Federation of Civic and Welfare Associations of Pallavapuram Municipality, said, “There are two petrol bunks, close to 10 marriage halls, supermarkets, banks, tea shops, eateries and small shops on these roads. People who visit commercial establishments on two-wheelers or cycles park their vehicles on the pavements, in a disorderly manner.”
He added that the Highways Department can do very little and that the police should take the initiative to keep the encroaches off the pavements. “They have to use megaphones and warn the public against taking up space. But that hardly happens and this is an absolute menace. At the moment, we have people walking on the road because they do not have space on the sidewalks,” he said.
The members of the federation are mulling over conducting a campaign to reclaim the pavements. “Only a sustained movement can help us in solving the issue,” he added.
Santhanam added that the parking sometimes extends to the middle of the road in some of the stretches. “It is a dangerous situation even for an unsuspecting motorist, who takes a blind turn on any of these roads. He or she can bump into these parked vehicles,” he said.
A source from traffic police said that efforts were being made to ensure safe access for pedestrians on roads. “We do conduct frequent checks to ensure there is no encroachment, but they keep returning as there is continuous movement on these roads,” said the source.
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