Chennai’s woes with footpaths have been a recurring irritant in recent months. From protests against political parties that claim footpaths to erect their banners, to citizen complaints of newly laid footpaths being unserviceable due to design flaws and encroachments — there is a chorus of voices sounding a clear demand for better facilities for pedestrians.
Pavements across the city suffer from poor design, inconvenient placement of street furniture, street vendor stalls that block access, broken tiles, dumping of debris and overflowing garbage. This leaves little room for those who commute on foot to navigate the city’s streets safely.
Take a look at these three arterial roads to highlight what ails pedestrian infrastructure in the city.
No room for pedestrians on Greams Road
Greams Road links Mount Road, College Road and Pantheon Road. The road is home to many shops and eateries and a bylane, the Greams Lane, has the famous Apollo hospitals. The road sees heavy footfall at all times of the day and has two-way traffic. Below are some pictures of the various obstructions in the form of encroachments, illegal parking, improper dumping of garbage and street furniture placed in an inconvenient manner along the road.
Gandhi Mandapam Road: Poor design and broken pavements
Gandhi Mandapam Road sees heavy traffic at all times of the day. The road houses several educational institutions such as Anna University and AMM School. The Anna Centenary Library, which has many patrons, is also located on this road. There is inadequate pedestrian infrastructure on this road. Uneven and broken footpaths, vendors who block the access to footpaths and illegal parking is rife on Gandhi Mandapam Road.
Jawaharlal Nehru Road: More woes for pedestrians
Jawaharlal Nehru Road near Ashok Pillar is an arterial road with a post office and primary school in the vicinity. There is also a busy bus stop that serves many people. The footpaths are an eyesore as they are encroached and blocked in many ways.
(Pictures by Aruna Natarajan and Laasya Shekhar)