Federal capital in dire need of overhead bridges

M2 motorway between islamabad and lahore

M2 motorway between islamabad and lahore (Photo credit: manitoon)

Source: ISLAMABAD: The federal capital seems to be turning into a city of elite as the pedestrians’ right of overhead bridges has been ignored while wide and signal-free avenues are being developed to ensure uninterrupted traffic flow.

Those who face the brunt of this massive development are the pedestrians who are left to cross these signal-free avenues risking their lives because the motorists bother little about the rights or the safety of pedestrians.The daily crime report of Islamabad Police reveals that almost two to three hit-and-run incidents take place in the city that some times also claim pedestrians’ lives.

The Islamabad Highway has been widened to 10 lanes, while work to widen Kashmir Highway to 10 lanes is also in progress.

However, no pedestrian bridge has been installed at various points despite the fact that these avenues have massive public movement that leads to accidents.

Both the avenues are being tagged as the country’s widest roads and a plan is in the process to develop more such avenues and interchanges, but there seems to be no mechanism in place to address pedestrians’ woes.

The recently completed Zero Point Interchange is surrounded by various government and media offices, residential sectors of G-7 and G-8; however, the pedestrians have to wait for long to find a safe space amidst fast-moving traffic as no walkers’ crossings have been made there.

Likewise, hundreds of people cross eight-kilometre-long 9th Avenue every day. It cuts through sectors F-8, G-8, H-8, I-8 and F-9, G-9, H-9 and I-9. Important places, including Fatima Jinnah Park, H-9 weekly bazaar, Allama Iqbal Open University and several industrial units are located on this road.

“I feel lucky if I find a safe place to cross the road amid heavy traffic,” said Tauheed Ali, a pedestrian crossing the Islamabad Highway.

Pedestrians’ bridges are installed at few locations on the Islamabad Highway, but they have either been installed at improper locations or have not been linked with any footpath. The bridges are usually surrounded by clouds of dust and the people are compelled to walk through mud and mounds.

The Islamabad Traffic Police had introduced slow-speed zones in Islamabad, but the system could not continue for long.

“What to talk of reducing speed in respect of pedestrians, the motorists seldom bother to care about the zebra crossings,” said a traffic police official deployed at Peshawar Morr.

Ramzan Sajid, the CDA spokesman, said that they had already awarded contract to the Heavy Mechanical Industries Taxila for installation of pedestrian bridges on Islamabad Highway and Kashmir Highway.

He said a walkers’ bridge has also been planned near H-9 weekly bazaar and work on it would be started soon, as funds are available.

Source: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\04\30\story_30-4-2012_pg11_4