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How pedestrian! Barfiwala flyover in Andheri runs over footpath

It showed just how pedestrian-unfriendly our city is, when the southern arm of the much-delayed Barfiwala flyover opened this June, bringing relief to motorists but nothing more than frustration for those who prefer to walk.

Ever since the southern arm of the flyover became operational, a footpath on Rajiv Gandhi Chowk in Andheri (West) that intersected the starting point of this flyover was shut, despite it being used by a large number of people.

The footpath on the Rajiv Gandhi Chowk, which is used by several including school children, has been closed ever since the southern arm of the Barfiwala flyover was thrown open to traffic



Many of those who use this footpath include students of two nearby schools, MA High School, Shree Ram Welfare High School, and senior citizens who reside in the neighbourhood.
 
As a result, these pedestrians now walk dangerously on this stretch of road that meets the flyover. Major traffic jams have also been observed on the flyover, thanks to people crossing the road. 

According to traffic officials manning this stretch, the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) has made a grave mistake that could easily have been avoided, had they built a Foot over Bridge over this stretch.

An official from the Mumbai Traffic Police, who requested anonymity, said, "If the MSRDC had sought our suggestion, we could have suggested solutions. Now it's difficult to solve the issue. Pedestrians will keep crossing this road."

When this reporter visited the spot on Friday, he found pedestrians trying to cross this stretch of road, several of them school students. However, as would be the case, cars on the flyover were speeding and pedestrians were sprinting dangerously to avoid being hit by vehicles.

Mahadev Shinde, a senior citizen who often used the once operational footpath, said, "If the authorities would have planned it in a better way, this problem would not have arisen.
 
Senior citizens like us have to run around dangerously to cross this road. From all of this, one thing is clear. Authorities only consider the problems of motorists. Our safety is a non-issue." Despite repeated attempts, no official from the MSRDC was available for comment.

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