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Why is being a pedestrian so painful?

3217 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  siruknown
A country where the majority of people are pedestrians and yet, life is made so difficult for us. We can't walk in peace without having to dodge traffic. We can't cross roads in peace without avoiding being run over.

The govt needs to come out with minimum requirements for all roads and get builders to adhere to them. They should include footpaths with minimum width requirement, clear markings of lanes and ped crossings, a lane for hawkers to set up etc. It's one of the reasons why India looks so backward in comparison to other countries like China - the standards of the pedestrian and general road infrastructure. And footpaths are also good for business as people can spend their time window-shopping and browsing shops instead of dodging traffic. And traffic will flow more freely in the absence of pedestrians in the middle. Need some standards to be defined instead of the random construction of roads by builders.
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I would have agreed with everything in the article a few years ago. In fact, I posted many of the same complaints of this author on this discussion forum a long time ago.

Today I still agree with many of the things he is saying; however, I don't think that India should have the same footpaths that you see in the West. Those concrete footpaths reflect light to some degree and it is my belief that they actually increase the temperature of cities. This may not be that important in colder countries, but in a hot country like India you need a different solution.

Footpaths should somehow absorb or capture heat as natural ground would, rather than reflect it back. They should be intelligently designed. Or course, this will require money.

Ask some smart engineer to design a smart footpath that contributes to cooling the city rather than increasing heat.

My idea would be to leave dirt paths on the side of the road - you don't need actual concrete footpaths. You can landscape the area around it in a natural way to make it look nice. Most of the time this will work.

In case of monsoon, add a temporary footpath made of sustainable material.

Or perhaps, come up with retractable footpaths that can be added when heavy rains are expected.
Till India can build a footpath, it will remain a third-world nation

Good article pointing out why footpaths are critical not just to improving the lives of people, but also boosting the economy as well as the appearance and impression of India's cities as third-world
vs first-world.
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