CfB demands pedestrian safety commissioners


The Citizens for Bengaluru (CfB) has demanded that the civic body appoint pedestrian safety commissioners at the zonal and city levels, who should be tasked with monthly coordination meetings with all parastatals and traffic police.

The organisation, which had recently launched a campaign for better footpaths in the city, held a walkathon in Seshadripuram and Malleswaram on Saturday to highlight the problems pedestrians face. Both areas have been ravaged by several road and drain works making walking on footpaths a hazard.

Differently abled sports person Venkatesh Ethiraj and actor Sruthi Hariharan also participated in the event.

“Footpaths have multiple stakeholders but no ownership. Footpaths become dumping grounds during all road works taken up by several agencies in the city, while it is also prone to illegal encroachments including parking, posing a threat to life and limb of pedestrians,” CfB said in a statement.

With 279 fatalities in 2019, Bengaluru recorded the highest number of pedestrian deaths in accidents in the country. Lack of coordination between agencies leading to chaos on streets and footpaths has been a long-standing problem in the city, said activists.

“Appointing pedestrian safety commissioners would certainly mitigate the coordination issues and improve the quality of footpaths. While coordination between agencies won’t solve all footpath problems overnight, we can be certain that lack of coordination is only costing our lives and limbs. Moreover, this structure would also provide a platform for local citizen inputs from ward committees to be rolled up to the zonal and city levels,” said Tara Krishnaswamy of CfB.

Actor Shruthi Hariharan who participated in the event said she used to walk to school entirely on the footpath, and now it was impossible. “I joined this campaign to ask the government to take responsibility for pedestrian safety and ensure coordination and ownership among agencies”, she said.

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Sagar Biswas

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