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birth of a footpath

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InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

I had the privilege of watching the construction of a footpath in Southern California recently and capture some images over the few days the construction was in progress. I had always wondered how these good quality footpaths were constructed.


Hope BBMP takes a lesson from the above photos and ensure that Bangalore has good quality footpaths free of encroachments.


silkboard's picture

Nice pics, but ...

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While such quality is hard to find in Bangalore, I don't think its about not knowing how to construct good footpaths. Look at recently done "continuously walkable footpaths" done on some whitefield roads recently for example.

The problem is more about "money". Footpath is mostly budgeted (and tendered out) along with the road. Tendering footpath work out separately, and keeping a separate budget for it may help. It seems to have helped already.

But yeah, such "smooth flowing" footpaths are rare in Bangalore.

bialterminal's picture

neither about money nor about knowing

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You are right. It is not about not knowing. Neither is is about money. I think it is more so about corruption and lack of enforcement of standards. 

In fact if we adopt a PPP model in footpaths like we did for airports we may actually have a lot of investment and perhaps a lot of good private players from the construction sector involved ;it is a goldmine of an opportunity if we look at it diifferently since there are literally thousands of kilometers of footpaths that can be constructed and maintained. Perhaps give companies advertising rights or something like that? We need to think out of the box. India is not a poor country anymore....and it is definitely not about money since we are actually spending more money relaying the same roads and footpath every year after digging them up again and again :-)


Let us not forget that most US states are nearly bankrupt and California is actually in dire financial trouble but still essential infrastructure is well maintained.


Last but not the least, since we are on the topic of footpaths i urge you folks to look at if you haven't already looked. In that post i have posted an eye opening video sometime back.

srinidhi's picture

some parts of south blr better..

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For some reason, probably cos of lagacy of corporator Chandrashekhar, south blr has some of the best footpaths..replete with dressed stones/antiskid tiles, but they are laid over again and agian for just one!

Two weeks ago the foot path on 50 ft rd hanumanthnagar was relaid..i asked a shop keeper there why are they relaying a perfectly good footpath(anti-skid tiles and all)..he knowingly nodded and said 'they must have run out of money'!

MaheshK's picture

Let's not compare apples and

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Let's not compare apples and oranges. Lot of footpaths are nothing but drain slabs. In Malleswaram, some of the footpaths are reduced in width to make way for parking. As they say, “if you build they will come”.  Cars will come to park on the road. This has created lot of hassles for walkers as footpaths are of stone slabs build in an unscientific way and encroached upon. I feel sorry for the people who want to walk, but cant use footpaths.  They have to manage on the road jostling with the traffic.

murali772's picture

how to keep contractors busy is the prime objective

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Tendering footpath work out separately, and keeping a separate budget for it may help. It seems to have helped already - - - - - Lot of footpaths are nothing but drain slabs.

This may provide some answers

cos of lagacy of corporator Chandrashekhar, south blr has some of the best footpaths..replete with dressed stones/antiskid tiles, but they are laid over again and agian for just one!

not too different in S T Bed layout, with the benevolence of Sri Ramalinga Reddy

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

what a contrast!

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Unlike the US, where the majority drive and the pavements reflect the special attention paid to the minority who walk, India's cities reflect the power and influence of the minority who drive, not of the multitudes who walk.

For the full text of the column by Samar Halarnkar in Hindustan Times, click here.

Muralidhar Rao
rs's picture

Shared spaces

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I came across this on a podcast I was listening to recently - its an interesting idea since it is basically the default in most of India.

The key idea here, which is what I sort of feel should be done in some parts of Bangalore - is to eliminate the footpath - as in any case NO one uses them as  they are uneven, cluttered and or have two wheelers parked on them.

If one could built the road til the end without a footpath then at least the  1-1.5 metres on either side is not wasted.

A case in point, 6th Main Malleswaram - the so called `walkers paradise' of Malleswaram. About a year ago, they put in stormwater drains and built a `footpath' No one can walk on the footpath as there are two many obstructions and too many levels. It involves steping up and down every twenty seconds. Further, there are trees, gates etc obstructing smooth movement.

But thanks to the footpath now the road ahs become substantially narrower. There is less space for people to walk and the cars and people share a narrower region.

The solution - build the road till the end. Cars will then park against the wall leaving more place in the middle for people to walk.  Further, make the road such that you cannot drive fast on it - by either making it out of cobblestones or bricks or putting in a lot of the small rubber speedbreakers.

This way, there will be a lot more space for people to walk. I think this woudl work on most of the narrower streets of bangalore as the so called footpaths are not useable.

On the wider roads perhaps footpahts are better. But they have to be made useable. The geniuses at BBMP seem to only think along the lines of narrowing footpaths nowadays - and NOT in terms of making the footpaths more walkable. There are far too many obstructions on most footpaths - and if they do become clear they get encroached by hawkers/shops.





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