City Governance

BDA to Introduce Smart Streets for Road Safety in Bhubaneswar

The programme will include elements of road safety for all age groups such as dedicated cycle tracks and pedestrian ways.

The development authority has initiated a process to introduce a complete street programme to include road safety measures as part of its ambitious smart city project.

The programme, covering selected major stretches, will include elements of road safety for all age groups such as dedicated cycle tracks and pedestrian ways.

The focus of the programme is to contribute to the city’s beauty and make it more liveable and green with particular stress on curbing the effects of pollution.

The development authority has already issued an expression of interest and will shortly call a tender for overall development and redesigning of certain stretches. In December, the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) inked a deal with the World Resources Institute (WRI) for smooth execution of the programme.

“WRI has the expertise in providing technical support for the programme. The company selected by tender will execute the project at ground level. The programme aims to encourage non-motorised transport in the city. We already hold events such as Patha Utsav and Ekamra Walks to sensitise citizens about it,” said BDA vice-chairman Krishan Kumar.

Sources said a Canadian firm, which is one of two consultants for the smart city project, has prepared a draft guideline of the street design to be followed while executing the programme.

“The consultant, which is helping us mainly in IT-related projects, has framed certain guidelines for roads,” Kumar said.

According to the guideline, the firm selected will design the stretches by creating high quality urban environment and ensure proper and continuous footpaths, cycle tracks, utility placement, rest area designs, public spaces, junctions and crossings, signage, street furniture and vending spaces.

A senior development authority official said the stretches would be selected based on its use and traffic flow.

“Janpath will be the first stretch to be developed under the programme. In the later phases, we will carry out a survey with WRI and select other stretches to develop,” he said.

Urban planner Aakash Nayak said the administration should take examples from other international cities such as Toronto and New York while executing the project.

“In New York, they built dedicated lanes for buses and included off-board fare payment option (mode of paying fare prior to boarding at machines). As a result, bus speeds increased by 20 per cent and the number of commuters rose by 10 per cent,” said Nayak.

 

Courtesy: The Telegraph India

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