The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) is set to close traffic on Bengaluru’s popular road Church Street during weekends, for five months, under the ‘Clean Air Street’ initiative starting November 7.
According to officials, the sudden reduction in transport and other emissions due to covid-19 lockdown has reduced pollution levels and created an opportunity to envision greener, healthier and prosperous public spaces. “As we breathe cleaner air, we must ensure we preserve sustainable travel behaviours once the immediate crisis has passed,” DULT officials said.
Speaking to Indianexpress.com, DULT Commissioner V Manjula said, “Under the Clean Air Street initiative, Church Street is one of the streets proposed to be closed for motor vehicles every weekend for five months beginning November 7. Our aim is to reprioritise clean mobility and demonstrate the positive impact of streets focused on people and sustainable behaviours. The initiative will also provide the opportunity to trial and refine street designs and create a blueprint for other streets across Bengaluru.”
Throughout the duration of the ‘Clean Air Street’, the DULT has proposed to engage with all street users like businesses, shoppers, travellers and residents to understand the social, economic and environmental impact of pedestrianisation and according to officials, this will ensure future urban policies are implemented in a way that works for all parties.
Church Street in Bengaluru’s Central Business district, which houses offices, restaurants and pubs, was upgraded at a cost of Rs 9 crore in recent years with a pedestrian-first approach and it is the city’s first road to be paved with granite cobble-stones.
“In this five months period, the street will be opened to organisations and initiatives enabling healthy and citizen-centric street environments which prioritise safe, green, and active forms of transportation. In addition, Church Street will be transformed into a demonstration area for clean air innovations,” Manjula added.
As part of the up-gradation process, 750-meter Church Street in the past two years has been renovated, by replacing the underground utility of the road, LED streetlights, cycle stands, dustbins were placed along with granite cobblestones on the footpath. In the last Budget, the state government announced that this model would be implemented in Brigade Road and Commercial Street.
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