mid-day campaign: From Sion to Mulund, footpaths, a rare sight
Mumbai's Lalbahadur Shashtri Marg that covers 21 km in the eastern suburbs has footpaths that are brazenly used either by hawkers or for parking cars, bikes, autos and tempos
Lalbahadur Shashtri Road in the eastern suburbs is an arterial road stretching 21 km from Sion up to Mulund toll naka. A drive along this road throws up an interesting observation – there are either no footpaths for the most part or they have greatly diminished in size thanks to encroachment or parked vehicles. mid-day visited a few locations on the stretch and found well-developed footpaths completely taken over by autos, cars and bikes, forcing citizens on to the roads.
We need to have designated parking
This is with reference to mid-day's report 'New parking spaces in Borivli.... on footpaths'. Parking on footpaths is a major problem for the common man, because we end up with no space to walk. We are compelled to walk on the road, at the risk of accidents. Authorities concerned should pay close attention and solve this problem. Designated parking spaces need to be created. It will be a great relief for residents and motorists.
Autos are a problem on this stretch, too, and do so brazenly with the connivance with the local police and traffic department (Vikhroli division). Residents nearby have been complaining for years to the joint commissioner of police (traffic and law and order) as well as deputy municipal commissioner, but no concrete action has been taken till date.
Pedestrians are forced to walk on this narrow road. You should help us get rid of this illegal parking of autorickshaws on the footpath, local RTI activist Natarajan K said.
People have to find space between parked autos, cars and tempos while using the footpath. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
The parking menace on footpaths is at its peak during the evening and early morning hours when school and college students can be seen walking on roads because there is no space on footpaths. On LBS Road, near State Bank of India and Bank of India, autos were seen parked on footpaths. Near BMC's Building Proposal office (eastern suburbs) the footpaths get wider, but more four-wheelers and private cars line the footpaths. At some places the combination of parking and encroachment have made it impossible for pedestrians to use footpaths.
About a kilometre of the footpath stretch towards Kanjurmarg, is used by autos for parking. In the afternoon, the parked autos were fewer, but in the evening and morning not even a inch of footpath is available for walking. The ongoing Metro Rail project (Wadala-Thane-Kasarwadavli) has already reduced the size of the road here creating a lot of traffic woes on both sides.
As there are several industrial and commercial offices in the area, the footpaths are encroached all the time by personal cars of officergoers parked there and in the evening by autorickshaws. On the south bound road near the CIPLA Ltd building, many private cars have taken over the footpaths. Footpaths encroached by autos continues till the Goderaj Infotech Limited building. On the south bound side, two-wheelers have been parked on footpaths. Pedestrians are forced to walk in the middle of traffic, as the metro work has narrowed it to a large extent.
'Over 90% of the footpaths have been encroached on by parked autos and bikes. During the morning, you can see school and college students walking on the roads as there is no space on the footpath. Vehicles are also washed here in the mornings. Nobody is bothered, and authorities are silent on this illegal parking'
Bala Sunder, works in Vikhroli
'At some places where footpaths are wide, authorities can consider allowing two-wheeler parking. But, this suggestion will have its own complications. Why not allow vehicle parking under bridges.'
Gaurang Damani, traffic expert
Notice vehicles encroaching a footpath near you?
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