Pune Takes A Relook At Urban Roads; Redesigns To Decongest Them
In a bid to redesign and decongest streets, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) launched the Urban Street Design Guidelines for areas falling under city limits in 2016. These set ground rules were formed to ensure appropriate street types and street designs. Two years into the project, Pune has won accolades from the experts as well as the Central government for executing the project. So far, work on the JM Road, Bhonde Colony and the Tilak Road has been finished while the congested stretches of the Laxmi Road, the Bajirao Road and the Kumthekar Road are next in the queue.
About the project
The road redesigning and street makeover is being done as per the guidelines of the Urban Street Design. These guidelines give priority to walking, cycling and public transport. The manual simply illustrates how good design can transform Pune’s streets into safer and more livable public spaces. The idea is to transform all streets into ‘complete streets’ with wide and continuous footpaths, safe crossings, separate cycle tracks, organised on-street parking, uniform carriageway, people-friendly public spaces that can encourage walking, cycling and public transport. The plan also includes laying of tactile tiles as a surface indicator, on the footpaths for visually-impaired pedestrians.
The JM Road is one of the first to be redesigned as per the guidelines. According to PMC officials, there is a lot of scope to provide facilities on this stretch such as benches, cycle tracks and landscaped areas, as the road was wide. Now, the PMC is all set to give complete makeovers to other roads at an expense of Rs 6 crore.
While the street repairing is a time-taking exercise, the residents are often troubled due to never-ending woes of damaged streets. The lack of coordination between the agencies results in a further agonising situation for the residents. In a recent incident, the Bhonde Colony road was dug just after 12 hours after the street was concretised by Maharashtra Natural Gas Limited. At the same time, at Tilak Road, the footpath in their area, which was newly built just a year ago, is being renovated again for the pipeline work. The residents are concerned as the inconvenience is unavoidable.