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Footpaths upgraded but width reduced

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InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

I live in Kumarapark (BBMP Ward No 77) and i was initially pleased to see the footpaths getting a face lift. Yes Serpentine road is having spanking new machine finished granite slabs to cover the drain and make for the footpath.

We are talking 5' X 2', 3'' thick slabs! Wow, isn't that sort of expensive? bout 100 Rs per sq foot. (i was told so by the contractor) 
So why this report? I am sad to tell you that these footpaths are now 2 ft narrower and the way its being constructed looks like its not going to be usable.

Check out some pictures:

New Footpath narrower than the old one

Note the height difference that one has to step across
Check The height of the kerb in the next picture, and to accommodate for the entrances to the houses, we have a step of 1.5 ft to 1 foot every 20 feet, this makes the new footpath unusable.

Note the height difference

This picture tells you that the kerb height is almost knee height! Cars parked close to the footpath, the door may not open which means people will have to park towards the center of the road making the road appear narrower too.

Neighbors asking the contractor why this is such a bad job - while he smokes the problem away (next pic)

Neighbors explaining to the contractor

 

Contractor smokes the problem away

Existing Footpath being removed - opposite side of the road - this footpath is about 8-9 ft. I only hope this too is not going to be reduced to 5 ft.
Existing Foot path being removed

When I contacted the President of the Kumarapark resident welfare association, Mr Ramakanth he gave me the reason that we residents park our cars on the footpath which is why this high kerbs are being put up. Though there may be some truth in that, I find that terribly lame.

I was asked to contact concerned BBMP engineer No 9880580712 (Asst Engineer Ibrahim) , how ever when i called this number there was no response.  More so this solution not only makes the cars not use the footpath now the cars are going to be parked away from the footpath making the road too unusable.

I hope the concerned authorities look into this before more damage is done.

I also request other members who are more knowledgeable in this matter to throw some light on the specification for kerb sizes in residential areas if any thing like that exists.

I am happy that my locality is getting this face lift, on the other hand It also occured to me why not take up footpath works in dense pedistrian areas such as Gandhinagar or mejestic etc where the footpaths are in worse conditions.

For more pictures visit http://flickr.com/photos/...

--
Praveen Sundaram
Aka
PhotoYogi

Comments

Naveen's picture

Footpaths Too High !

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Photoyogi Yavare,

Nice pictures. I'm not sure if there are heights specified anywhere, but I think if the kerbside sidewalk is 8" higher than street level , it should be enough to discourage vehicles from trying to mount their wheels over the footpath, whilst at the same time, enable old people & children to step on to it.

One other thing is that this height must be maintained evenly across, even in way of entries /exits to gates. The rise from street level & also to gate could be made gradual /slanted. This will not interrupt the pedestrian walkway, & at the same time, permit a vehicle to rise on to the sidewalk height & then descend to the gate.

However, such designing (as is common overseas) can be misused as cars will use the gate approaches to "mount" their cars, one side up on to the footpaths.

srkulhalli's picture

Footpath height IRC guidelines

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No dimensions given but I reproduce verbatim Footpath (Side-walks) 4.1 : In order to be effective, side-walks should be provided on both sides of the road and above the level of the carriageway seperated by non-mountable kerbs. Height of the kerb at the edge should, however, not exceed the height of non-mountable kerbs, as this might otherwise detract pedestrians from getting on to the side-walks In a totally different doc, there were 3 kerb examples, of heights 325, 275 & 200, I beleve the dimensions are mm. If you figure this out, let me know. It does appear there is no mandated height.

Suhas

Suhas

asj's picture

Down right sick

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Day after day I keep seeing more bad news. Why on earth narrow the width?
And when you start talking of IRC norms, they treat these documents with the same attitude that one has to a paper napkin when blowing noses (worse still - they would rather use these as toilet tissue).

ASJ
asj's picture

IRC norms

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I did point out the deficits of the IRC norms. They are long overdue for an update. But it should not become an excuse for providing a platform for doing step aerobics. 200mm is ~ 8 inches. Plus there is no mention of dipped curbs and gradients
ASJ
idontspam's picture

IRC and BBMP

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Forget IRC they dont adhere to even common sense. ACP Praveen Sood also admitted to similar sentiments when we met him. IRC overhauling was where we started the whole traffic engineering story on this site. Then I discovered apart from just being a reference book it is not enforced anywhere. BBMP doesnt get it. They probably dont even have a copy to use it as Toilet paper. I dont know how we should get it across to them. Its a different matter all the material in IRC needs overhauling.
Photoyogi's picture

IRC copies please

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Dear ajs-sir,Naveen,IDS,Suhas thanks for the quick response. Is there a electronic (pdf) copy of the IRC available i would like to take a print-out of the pages that refer to side-walks / footpath. I have been at this the whole day, I have been promised that some engineer will come tomorrow. Hopefully i will be able to stick it where he can read it. -- Praveen Sundaram AkA PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

Save the trees!

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What next? Expansion of once quite Serpentine Road? God, i so even dread that horror of seeing trees go on Serpentine Road! It is such as calm place and i still have fresh memories of my college life in Seshadripuram and pigging out at Gullu's chat and enjoying my hero cycle on Serpentine road!
asj's picture

IRC details

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Praveen

I have done a summary here:

http://www.praja.in/en/bl...

I can send you the IRC - for more check your private message

ASJ

Photoyogi's picture

Reg IRC details

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Dear Ajs, thank you so much! i will go thru the same and hope it helps us. -- Praveen Sundaram AkA PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

Photoyogi's picture

IRC Regulation on height of Kerb

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Dear ASJ, I have gone thru the document that you sent, it clearly mentions the following:
Footpath (side walk)
"In order to be effective the side-walks should be provided on both sides of the road and above the level of the carriageway separated by non-mountable kerbs. The height os the kerb at the edge should not however exceed the height of the non-mountable kerbs as this might otherwise detract the pedestrians from getting on the side-walks"

Now this is exactly what has happened, with the kerb height from the road is about 13" to 16" in some places
pedestrians would not be encouraged to mount the sidewalks.
This part of the document essentially deals with the "design principles"
Is there any other document or regulation that would mention on the height of the kerbs that should be maintained?
--
Praveen Sundaram
AkA
PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

asj's picture

Fight to get back the width

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Hi! Its subject to interpretation and its unhelpful (the guidance on height).

I suggest -
  1. You fight hard to get back the original width as there should have been good grounds for reducing the width, there ought to have been public consultation and the IRC does say very clearly about the width 1.5m and more depending on other factors.
  2. The height - you and others locally (more the better) should put up a strong argument against the lame duck reason provided thus far. Footpaths are for people of all abilities, abuse of footpaths is a matter of policing/law enforcement and can't be a reason for use of methods which will detract pedestrians from using the footpaths.
  3. Demand there are dropped kerbs with non-slip tiles and appropriate gradients 
  4. Opposite driveways / side lanes - get them to enhahnce the footpath (see images below).  

Here is another good link worth looking at http://www.cleanairnet.org/caiasia/1412/articles-72580_resource_1.pdf



Above are two options, I prefer the bottom one - its perfect for pedestrians, it doubles up as a gentle speed hump at points where vehicles ought to give way to those on main road.

Height in UK is no more than 6 inches. Lots of advantages of this - walkable as well as when buses angle in to stop parallel and close to the footpaths their left front corner routinely needs passing over the footpath to do this manoeuvre with success - a height any greater will stop them from doing this and either their buses will get damaged or they end up stopping away from footpaths.

ASJ
murali772's picture

many questions!

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As Cadambi has pointed out, next they are going to say is that the trees have come onto the roads, and need to be removed.

Further, where is the money for all this coming from? One would have thought that with their not having collected the property taxes (because of the SAS/ CVS muddle), and not being eligible for JNNURM funding because there is no elected body, the BBMP would be starved of funds.

Or, is it part of the mega road widening scheme, coming under the CTTP? It would be interesting to check out as to what head this expense is being accounted.

The important question, as far as citizens are concerned, is even if funds are available, why waste it this way? After all, we are the ones who are going to be bearing the burden in some form or the other.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
asj's picture

More info on height

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Hope this helps -

http://infrastructure.gov.in/pdf/four_lane.pdf See page 169 where this documents says 200mm (8 inches)

This is almost half of 31-16 inches theya are putting up now.

ASJ
Photoyogi's picture

Meeting BBMP chief Engineer (east)

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I have been able to contact the office of the chief engineer (east) Mr Ananth Swamy - Utility Building MG Road. Hopefully we will get to meet him. I am going along with the Kumarapark residents welfare association (RWA) Again thanks to ajs for the links and images. I will be presenting the documents to the department. We will be pressing to get back the lost sidewalk width, am told the issue is more complex and i need to get the info. -- Praveen Sundaram AkA PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

Naveen's picture

Sidewalk designs

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Photoyogi,

Those pictures may look extremely good, however, remember that we have to use it only as reference information to come up with solutions suitable for our needs, & not copy them since they may be the norms elsewhere that might have proven successful.

With current levels of galloping motorization, poor public transport & widespread indiscipline by people of all types, we need to find methods by which rampant misuse by vehicles is under strict control & clearly, the traffic police cannot monitor each part of the city's side roads & secondary roads when monitoring the main thoroughfares itself is a formidable task.

Outdated IRC norms & recommendations on one side & international practices on another - we have to strike a balance somehow.

Under the circumstances, what I have seen in some parts of the city may work well - I have seen this off Lavelle road or Cubbon rd, where one finds a lot of small roads that have been made exclusive with barricades & a security guard posted at the barricade, who will only permit legitimate & bonafide traffic, after due verification. Thus, stray motor vehicle access to residential enclaves, purely for parking is controlled by the RWA & they become, in a way responsible for security within the area as well.

If sidewalks are planned with easy access to motor vehicle parking over them, such as the designs in those pictures, it will end up being an almost impossible task to chase away parked vehicles each day & each passing minute, though some may argue that it is being practiced in the west, so why not in India.

So, based on all this information, I think you should present your case to the Ch.Engr.

Photoyogi's picture

Practical Reasons

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Hi Captain,
Sir, Agree somewhat with what you have said that we cannot have an idealistic result.
I am clawing on a few points which i thought is important.
a) There is good money being spent let the result be usable atleast by the residents & pedestrians.
b) If there is reason to widen serpentine road i would like to know *now* and not when the heavy traffic spoils my sleep.
c) If there has been any prior study that has been done and a DR (detailed report) on the same exists.
Your logic may be true in gated communities where the "entropy" is possibly much less? and suggestions that you have made might make sense.
In this case, the RWA i dont think can barricade the locality that easily
Update on the meeting, I was able to speak on phone to the Ch Engr himself, and he has promised me that he would conduct an onsite inspection.
/me has Fingers crossed

--
Praveen Sundaram
AkA
PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

Arun's picture

city-wide pheno

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The whole of Basavanagudi, Hanumanthnagar, NR Colny have endured this narrowing of pavement. This has been happening since 2005. And at many locations, the concrete between two slabs have given way. Especially on DVG Road, things are even worse where lot of people walk. Sadly, even on GB Main Road, pavements have been narrowed. Interlocks and old (very thick) granite slabs were removed to accommodate these skimpy granites (another scam). Malleshwaram too is facing the same problems.   
 
During all these happenings, Jayanagar constituency also undertook road widening where pavements were narrowed, but still wide enough. You can see concrete used in place of interlocks or dressed granites. And trees too have been tended to here.  
 
Guess a big movement to have proper ped facilities is round the corner. 
idontspam's picture

Reason for higher pavements

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One of the reasons for higher pavements is that the road laying is not as per international practice of scrapping of the surface and relaying it. Road is laid directly on top of the current road hence increasing the height of the road.

The BBMP is making one engineering mistake to cover for the other engineering mistake they know they are going to make.
asj's picture

Time to stop running away

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The images are great BUT.........

I have said this elsewhere, say it again -

Was there ever a good time for people like Jyotiba Phule to fight for women's education?
Was there ever a perfect time for fight against untouchability that Gandhi started?
Did our freedom fighters find a Muhurat for their struggle?
Can we fight HIV by keeping hush about sexual practices?
Is it possible to stop teenage pregnancies by not offering sex education in schools?

As a psychiatrist I deal with stigma with mental illness. Its prevailing even in West, patients say can you take the words Mental Health Unit out of the Banner on your building - we say NO. You can't fight stigma by shying away from it.

Can we fight terrorism by staying at home?

Can we stop anti-sociality on our streets by not providing the right facilities to pedestrians because we are scared they will be abused even more?

Ignoring best practice - is a formula of wait and watch for the right time.........I am afraid that time will never come. Its like saying driver habits will change over tme - but how much more time? When will we see the signage and road markings, when will we see the reforms in licensing? Who is working on it? What is the budget for these things?

What will work better is to provide the right facilities and for local communities to protect them. Why is there not a public out-cry over the action of narrowing footpaths?

What will work better is to implement the correct infrastructure and ask the Police to do their job. Ask them to entertain every image of a violator that common people can send to them (a phenomenon called citizens arrest). Why are people driving on wrong side of the road allowed to drive at all? Why are their licenses not being revoked?

Ask these questions, fight for the right things and for goodness sake let us stop running away from the fear of antisocials in our society - they have had a free run for a long time. 

ASJ
idontspam's picture

Shortening the pavements

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I have noticed in all the areas in bangalore where the pavements have been shortened, apparantely in an attempt to widen the road, the trees jut outside the pavement.

In the area where I live I have noticed a good way of using the area between the trees for parking.

You can click the below image to zoom and get a perspective of how all of the following practices we are talking have been implemented.
1. Pavement with trees not obstructing walking space.
2. Street parking with space for trees
2. Slopes for wheelchair and Stroller access at Ped Xing
3. Cycle tracks
4. Tram lines sharing street and relatd signalling system
5. Varying pavement height near Ped Xing vs normal street without majors ups and downs

asj's picture

Raise the stakes

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IDS,
I agree. Its time to raise the stakes and NOT accept lame duck excuses that people will park on footpath hence height has to be 16 inches.

I have a picture of a guy on a motorbike on wrong side of the road, on a footpath with rails and though height of footpath is not fully appreciated it was very similar to what we are seeing above.

Did it stop this guy from breaking the rules?

Only one thing will stop this anti-sociality - law enforcement. Period.

ASJ
Photoyogi's picture

Update on the Footpath issue at Kumarapark,

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I have made photocopies of documents on sidewalk design principles and distributed them to the neighbours.
The same was given to the BBMP Engineer Mr Siddhe Gowda who did the inspection yesterday evening.
After showing the documents and practically explaining the issues for the pedestrians We have been able to convince him on the reduction of the kerb height and also to retain footpath width at least for the further work. :-)
Its a sigh of relief to me and others here However as they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating!
I hope the contractor will take up the rework and not mess it up.

I would like to thank PRAJA FOLK who have helped me with the necessary details!

I will put up the photos once its complete

--
Praveen Sundaram
AkA
PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

Photoyogi's picture

AJS : Agree with you

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AJS, I would agree with your point of view on law enforcement. I would back it up by saying something that i have said many times on this forum Social problems are seldom resolved with Technical Solutions -- Praveen Sundaram AkA PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

silkboard's picture

wow! good going photoyogi

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Its like you have set an example for all the readers here. Reaching out to authorities (BBMP, their engineers in this example) can work, esp if you are approaching them constructively, as in with not just criticism, but with alternatives as well as reasons for why you are being critical.

Way to go. If we had 2-3 people like you in every locality, we can make our city better in the "grounds up" way - which many of us believe is the right way.

Cheers!

srkulhalli's picture

Good job

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Photoyogi,

Good job. Is it possible to give the contact detail of the BBMP engineer, Mr Gowda ?

I would like to talk to him to get his perspective on why the road designs are the way they are and how we can improve the process.

Suhas

Suhas

Photoyogi's picture

BBMP contact (east)

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Suhas, The person i was in touch with was the Chief Engineer BBMP Bangalore East Mr. Ananth Swamy, his office number is (080)22975808, Utility Buildings MG Road. When i spoke to him he was appreciative about the fact that some one is interested and was willing to help and sent across an engineer onsite for inspection. I should be meeting him in a day or two. I do intend to take things forward to arrange for a "Praja-style" meeting if he is open to it. -- Praveen Sundaram AkA PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

idontspam's picture

Congrats!

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Congrats on making an organization like BBMP listen and take notice. Hopefully you have found somebody who may start the change we want to see. Good luck!

Form Stakeholder Committee

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The Resident Welfare Association of Kumarapark can form a "Stakholder Committee" exclusively for civic infrastructure (foothpaths, sewerages, lighting etc).

In the state of New York, there are stakeholder committees for various bridges such as Tapan Zee Bridge, George Washington Bridge et al.

http://www.tzbsite.com/pu...
anjans's picture

One more thing

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All, One more thing we need to do in this battle is to have the chief engineers office send out a DO letter(department order letter) to all sub divisions to follow this example and not make the same mistake. I can bet, this is happening in many areas and it will be easier for people to approach local BBMP office if the chief engineer has a official order on this.. Regards Anjan
Photoyogi's picture

Report : Meeting BBMP chief Engineer (east)

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Yes friends, today we along with Kumarapark RWA President, met the Chief Engineer (East) Mr AnanthSwamy in his office and have presented him with some documents to reclaim the sidewalks and to build them as per standards that would help pedestrians use them. He has promised us that he will visit the area on Monday for further discussions. Its nice to see positive response and the willingness to bring change from the authorities. -- PhotoYogi

-- PhotoYogi

Properly mark road end

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If you observe Sampige Road in Malleswaram now, it has yellow road end lines on either side (i think). Serpentine Road should have similar simple infrastructure. Also parking spots have to marked on either side of the road since the road is not a main corridor.

Hapazard parking causes loss of valuable parking space. Properly marked parking will make parking better and easier.
asj's picture

Step at a time

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Photoyogi,

Sterling effort indeed. Proof that when citizens engage change for better is possible.

Suggest also looking up http://better.pune.googlepages.com/PreservingFootpathsIdentity.pdf  

Once you get the footpaths in place, I suugest the next step will be to look at optimal use of the road layout. You may however want to sow the seeds with the engineer when you meet next.  

You may want to start thinking with the residents association what type of layout may be suited -

Check out the Road Layouts compilation http://better.pune.googlepages.com/roadlayouts.html 

Also, here is a footpath-parking-hawking proposal which I had submitted to PMC a good while ago - http://better.pune.googlepages.com/pune-footpath-road-template.pdf

Suhas, this could be our road for the Road Ahead Project, what do you think?

ASJ
s_yajaman's picture

Great stuff Photoyogi

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PY,

Great going.  Goes to show the impact just 2 or 3 interested people can make.  A good RWA and some perseverance go a long way.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

srkulhalli's picture

We can check this road out

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Photoyogi,

Pls do follow up. In case you are planning a Praja style meeting, count me in. Else, I will call him up and meet him.

ASJ,

Yes, a potential candidate :) But important is also the perspective/feedback we can get from him.

Suhas

Suhas

fcsoares's picture

@Photoyogi I'm very

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@Photoyogi I'm very interested in knowing from you if you succeed in trying to revert the footpaths height (and width as well) back to what is documented and approved. I tried finding out on your blog but I ain't find anything related to it.

Thanks!

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