CHENNAI: As the Greater Chennai Corporation commencing restoration of pedestrian pavements in KK Nagar, which were damaged during storm water drain works, activist urge the civic body not to widen the pavements as space for vehicular movement would be reduced again.
V Gopalakrishnan, an activist based in KK Nagar said that pedestrian pavements on Lakshmanasamy Road and Rajamannar Road were widened a few years ago to make the roads pedestrian free.
“However, the number of walkers on the stretches is too low to use the pavements. Instead of wasting the space, the civic body should provide more space for traffic,” he said.
He urged the civic body to construct the pavements only on the storm water drains.
“Persons, who walk on morning hours are very less. Also, wider pavements encourages unauthorised parking and encroachments by shop owners,” he pointed out.
Also, civic body should conduct study of number of pedestrians and cyclists on roads before widening pavements. Recently, Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) issued a notification to widen 422 roads. “As the roads require more space to accommodate vehicles, widening pedestrian pavements is unwanted,” he added. It may be noted that the civic body created cycle tracks and widened the pavements in KK Nagar in 2017 even before the implementation of pedestrian plaza on T Nagar.
When asked, an engineer said that the pavements should be restored as it was before the storm water drain works. “Any decision to modify the design or size of the pavements should be taken at the higher level, “ he added.