Delhi tops in road accidents in metros: Study

June 12th, 2009 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) The national capital tops in road accidents in the metros, with pedestrians accounting for almost half the fatalities in Delhi as road conditions are most unsafe for them, a new report says
According to the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) report released Friday, the total number of accidents in Delhi is almost 2.5 times higher than that of Kolkata, and 2.1 times higher than Chennai. Pedestrians in Delhi, where a third of working people walk to work, accounted for 47 per cent of fatalities in these accidents.

“The walkers remain invisible in the maze of motorized traffic that chokes our roads. They walk in extremely unsafe and hostile conditions, in constant conflict with motorized traffic and are easy victims to crashes and accidents,” the report says.

As all public transport trips begin and end with walking, the emerging public systems such as the Metro, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor, upgraded buses cannot work optimally if these are not supported by a good pedestrian network, it said, calling for an urgent improvement in the quality of roads and creation of spaces for walking.

“Any attempt to improve the share of public transport will lead to correspondent increase in walking. Even a 50 per cent increase in kilometres travelled by public transport will lead to massive increases in the quantum of walking. Roads will have to be planned with more space for walking,” the report said.

The report also mentions that none of the areas in the national capital surveyed for “walkability” had “superlative qualities”, but the dedicated pedestrian path in the BRT corridor was the best amongst all.

The report said in many US and European cities as well as in China, policies are creating walkable neighbourhoods and fully pedestrian spaces, citing the examples are Kaufingerstrasse in Munich (Germany) and Nanjing Road in Shanghai (China).

The CSE report also said: “It is imperative to ensure that road design does not increase dependence on and usage of personal vehicles but that is possible only if policy focus shifts to public transport, walking and cycling. Government should mandate pedestrian plans and make it conditional to infrastructure funding. Investments in road infrastructure before Commonwealth Games must be linked to an explicit pedestrian plan in Delhi.”

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