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Urban design interventions to make accident-prone intersection points in Delhi safer

 
New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) Temporary urban design interventions will be tested on a total of 13 accident-prone intersection points in the national capital in an effort to make roads safer for pedestrians, cyclists, drivers and other non-motorised transportation users.

These intersections points, also blackspots, have been identified at Mukundpur Chowk, Nirkankari Colony, Azadpur Chowk, Majnu Ka Tila, Burari Chowk, Sarita Vihar Metro Station, Nehru Place, Khel Gaon, Gandhi Vihar Bus Stand, ISBT Kashmiri Gate, Wazirabad, Signature Bridge (Timarpur), and Signature Bridge (Khajoori Khas).

"There are many intersection points in the national capital where fatal accidents occur on a frequent basis. The Delhi government is committed to making roads safer for al. Through these interventions, we aim to develop a comprehensive network of safe roads and junctions across the city. Such interventions can drive the behaviour change needed from commuters, and the general public, to enable safe road practices in cities," said Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, who inaugurated the Tactical Urbanism (TU) trials at Rajghat on Wednesday.

These TU interventions or trials are being done in collaboration with SaveLife Foundation.

They are temporary, quick, and relatively low-cost interventions, which test out urban design, transportation planning and infrastructural changes for improving road safety for all road users with the help of art and barriers. The trials will see road space being redistributed to ensure modal equity, road geometrics being modified, traffic being channelised, vehicular speeds being reduced, and pedestrian and cyclist safety infrastructure being added.

Before Rajghat, a similar trial was tested at Bhalswa Chowk -- a designated blindspot by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), where eight to nine deaths were reported annually.

"Since the trials at Bhalswa Chowk, the number of accidents and fatalities have reduced at this particular spot. We aim to achieve similar results from Rajghat and the other 13 points," Gahlot said.

Commissioner of Transport, Ashish Kundra said: "The objective of these trials is to insert safety elements for all road users. Since 2016, Rajghat Intersection and Rajghat Bus Depot collectively witnessed 47 crashes, 13 fatalities and 51 injuries."

"These trails take two months to complete. Within these two months, we will look at how this design formation is affecting traffic movement but most importantly how is it being seen by pedestrians and if it causing a behaviour change and if pedestrians are using this space more to navigate safety and if it turns out to be successful we will give this design as a finalised design to the Public Works Department (PWD) to make it permanent. Like in the case of Rajghat, a pedestrian plaza may come up," the CEO of SaveLife Foundation, Piyush Tewari told IANS.

"At Rajghat alone, six studies were conducted including pedestrian volume counts, traffic volume counts, conflicts study, geospatial studies whose entire idea was to understand what was fundamentally wrong with this current design and when we do the impact study, we will map the evaluation study on to the initial study just to see what changes have taken place," he added.

--IANS
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