Sudha Nambudiri | TNN | Feb 26, 2017, 06.26 AM IST
KOCHI: The city should have sky-walks in heavy traffic points, where there are Metro stations in the Cochin business district (CBD), suggests an NATPAC study on Pedestrian Friendly Urban Transport System.
The study recommends that pedestrians must be given the shortest possible direct route to cross at key points.The Metro stations can be used as a link point to enter and exit the station as well as cross the main road.
“We proposed the skywalk as a multi-purpose facility, which can be used by passengers who are travelling by the Metro as well as those who want to cross the road at that very point,” said T Ramakrishnan, technical officer, NATPAC, who did the study.
He said the skywalks are being used in different cities, where the Metro has become operational. Pedestrian spaces are very important in a fast growing city which is a tourist spot and also a commercial capital. “We have to move to that reality. It is time that shoppers and other road users are given their space on roads. This is good for economic activity too. If people start shopping in places like the Broadway, Convent road or Ernakulam Market, they will realise that it is much cheaper and there’s a vast choice to select from,” said V Mohammad Asharaf, president, Kerala merchants union.
Skywalks have been suggested at five places including High court jetty-Madhava Pharmacy Metro station, KSRTC boat jetty-Ground Metro stationKSRTC bus stand, Vyttila junction-Vyttila mobility hub, Kaloor Metro station-Kaloor private stand and Ernakulam North railway station-Ernakulam North Metro station.
Also foot-over bridges have come up at Menaka and Pallimukku. About 2,331 passengers cross the road at Jos junction-Pallimmukku between 5-6pm every day. At Menaka, during the same peak hour, about 3,178 persons cross the road. The numbers shoot up at the high court junction with 4,062 persons using the road in the evening after office hours.The Vyttila Junction, yet another road-user junction also has about 4,156 persons.
“Though skywalks have been suggested, one is not sure about its usage because on an average every pedestrian likes to just cross the road straight rather than climb up and down a bridge. I have noticed that except probably Chennai Central where people use the skywalk, mostly they avoid it,” said D Dhanuraj, chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research, a Kochi think-tank.