Skipping FOBs,city jaywalks

Now,an internal government survey has confirmed that pedestrians in the city would rather dart across the road than take a foot overbridge.

Written by Ravi Bajpai | New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2012 3:56:05 am

Anyone who has driven in Delhi already knows it. Now,an internal government survey has confirmed that pedestrians in the city would rather dart across the road than take a foot overbridge (FOB).

At a fifth of the total foot overbridges on major roads,nearly as many people walked under the structure as those who chose to use it,the findings revealed.

Officials of the Public Works Department (PWD),which owns most major roads in Delhi,conducted the survey at its 51 foot overbridges last month to find out the usage trends.

According to the survey report accessed by Newsline,near the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre on the Mehrauli-Mahipalpur Road,for each person who took the FOB,four preferred to jaywalk.

At the busy Azadpur crossing,three pedestrians chose to cross the road for every two who took the foot overbridge that has escalators on both ends. One of the escalators is not operational currently.

At the foot overbridges near Jasola and on the Mehrauli-Badarpur Road in South Delhi,and at two near Apsara Border,nearly all the pedestrians gave the FOBs a miss,an official said.

“The survey reveals that foot bridges are popular. But at the same time,it’s a big concern that so many people prefer to simply ignore them and walk across the road,” the official added.

The survey was conducted between 7 am and 10 pm last month,with officials taking a count of users of each FOB on a particular day. The survey revealed pedestrians do use footbridges at certain spots. As many as 20,240 persons took the FOB at the Inter-State Bus Terminus in Kashmere Gate in the course of a single day,an official said.

“But again,6,794 persons chose to dash across the road. This despite us installing escalators at both the ends of the FOB. The trend is worrying,” the official said. Another source in the PWD said engineers have now been asked to go back to the FOBs to find out ways to discourage pedestrians from jaywalking.

“The main problem is that the central verges at several major pedestrian hotspots do not have railings,encouraging pedestrians to avoid climbing the foot overbridge. Once the assessment is done,we’ll take corrective measures,” the source said.

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