To understand the root cause of traffic congestion and provide adequate solutions by designing better streets, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) recently organised a first-of-its-kind workshop for engineers of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).
At the workshop, the engineers developed a special non-motorised friendly methodology that will be implemented for the most 124 congested chowks in the city. Street design expert Michael King, who has over 20 years of global experience in designing streets, conducted the workshop. The workshop was organised under the Pune Streets Programme (PSP).
He outlined a three-pronged strategy for designing pedestrian-friendly streets. First: observation of physical conditions and street user behaviour, second: iterative testing of design solutions, and third: setting a direction for policies that are supportive of non-motorised transport.
“The workshop was a combination of sharing knowledge about road safety principles for all users and a hands-on-exercise for methods to do it. The participants were divided into five teams based on the theme of pedestrians, cyclists, motor vehicle users, public transport users and public place to redesign Alankar Talkies Chowk. Each team visited the site during morning and evening peak hours to conduct traffic counts, and observe user behavior.
After the exercise, the teams made a presentation based on their ‘observation of the site’ and ‘solution for the site’ as per theme allotted to them,” ITDP Transport Planner Pranjali Deshpande said. The PMC is the first municipal corporation in the country to undertake a programme to design and implement the dense street network. The civic body floated a couple of tenders; namely for creation of street design guidelines and empanelment of urban designers.
“Total 50 engineers from the PMC actively participated in the workshop. By doing a sample study of Alankar Chowk, we have formulated a solution to minimise traffic congestion and facilitate cyclists and pedestrians. We are planning to implement this solution at different chowks in the city,” Additional City Engineer Pramod Nirbhavane said. He was one of the participants.