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IRC guidelines on pedestrian facilities - summary

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InfrastructurePedestrian Infrastructure

I will split this in to following parts -

  1. Summary of IRC on above topic
  2. What is missing
  3. What we should do to fill in gaps
  4. Action the above by getting local civic body to ratify document Praja creates after step 3
  5. Forward plan


General: 3 revisions (1980, 82, 87), finalised in 88

Introduction: Walking is an important mode of transport. Significant trips up to 2 km are on foot and every journey starts / ends with a walk. Requirements partly also covered in IRC:70-1977 Guideline on regulation and control of mixed traffic in urban areas and IRC 86-1983 Geometric design standards for urban roads in plains.

General Principles

  • Pedestrian facilities should be planned in an integrated manner to ensure continuous flow.
  • Reduce conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Convinience is paramount.

Footpath / sidewalk

  • Should be on both sides
  • Minimum width 1.5 meters
  • There are criteria based on pedestrians per hour and width of footpath may have to be as much as 4 meters
  • In shooping areas, width should be increased by 1 meter (to be treated as dead width)
  • When adjacent to building, fences - dead width has to be 0.5 meters

Gaurd rails: This is covered next, but I won't go in to it right now (the aim is to first get footpaths, rails come later). 

Pedestrian Crossings

  • Types - at grade and grade separated

At grade crossings (crosswalks): Covers both - crossings at intersections and mid-block, can be controlled / uncontrolled by signals. 

  • Zebra width - 2 to 4 meters
  • Not within 150 meters from each other
  • Median strip should be adequate width (this is the only reference to pedestrian refuges)
  • Mid-block crossings should be provided when distance between two consecutive intersections is more than 300 meters
  • Controlled crossings - warranted when one or more of following apply - peak pedestrian volume per hour (P) and vehicles are such that PV (V is squared) more or equal to 10 to the power of 8, approach speeds 65kph, wait times for pedestrians are too long (time not specified) and finally accidents records indicate 5 or more pedestrian injuries a year (not deaths, so threshold is low)
  • Control measure could be a push button pelican signal when pedestrians are fewer.

Grade separated: subways / foot over bridges - 2.5 meter width and height, but 4-6 meters width is advisable (there are criteria based  on capacity considerations)

What is missing:

  1. No mention of right of way for pedestrians at non signal controlled zebra crossings (though delhi police website says so).
  2. No mention on height of footpaths
  3. No mention on dipped kerbs and gradients
  4. No mention of slip free tiling (needed usually on dipped kerbs)
  5. No mention on pedestrian refuges and types.
  6. Signal phases are mentioned but no guideline on timings
  7. No mention with regards width around street furniture (bus stops, trees, benches, bins, electricity meter boxes, post boxes, signage poles, street lighting, telephone company boxes, etc).

What should we do to fill the gaps? Praja may recollect I had started to create a good practice resource page, many link within that page are relevant. We could (or a WG) study the international practice to enhance and complement IRC norms and then create a draft and get civic body to ratify it (that will be step four).



silkboard's picture

TOI talked IRC today!

283 users have liked.

Aha, can't tell you how good it felt to see TOI mention about IRC in its report about pedestrian facilities today. Report was a usual one, some pictures of horrible pavements (how hard is it to get them), and quotes from our dear ABIDe members. But what was different was quotes from IRC on pedestrian walkway standards!

Now, TOI, if you could audit one or two recently completed roadworks on IRC standards, we'd do a TOI day here on Praja :)

idontspam's picture

Here is more people chiming

320 users have liked.

Here is more people chiming in on (the lack of) sidewalks

On a recent trip to chennai I took the below snaps of a road in Adyar called LB road which was topped up. SIdewalks were retrofitted with tactile ramps at all junctions like below. This is disabled & old age friendly.

The below picture shows a traffic island across the road done up to international standards with ramps & low height with well marked zebra crossings aligned to the ramp. Even the recently done up Vittal Mallya road has zebra crossings which end on a linked bollard. Users are expected to jump over the fancy bollards

sanjayv's picture

Nice to see LB road

292 users have liked.

Thanks for the post IDS.  Glad to see this on two counts.  One, the points you bring out and two, fact that Lattice Bridge road can have improved pedestrian facilities to this extent, even though the foot path is as dirty as it always has been. 

Where exactly on this road were these pictures taken?  The worst section of this road from a pedestrian's perspective has always been a one kilometer strech from Adayar junction. There was a section on this road where the footpath was nearly non existent, narrow to the point of being useless.  Wonder if these measures resulted in fixing that area as well.  The photos above are probably closer to where the road turns off to Besant Nagar or Indira Nagar?

pathykv's picture

Chennai Lattice Bridge Road

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I used to walk along this road during my Guindy Engineering College days (1951-55).

I was very glad when Janaagraha with City Connect took up this project a few years back.

Tha City Connect-Chennai got bifurcated from its Bangalore H.O., but the Co-ordinator from Bangalore (Mr. Raj) moved to Chennai and was following up. It took much effort to convice the Corporation and other authorities there, but at least partially it has been done.

Hope it gets fully completed.


idontspam's picture

The photos above are probably

283 users have liked.

The photos above are probably closer to where the road turns off to Besant Nagar or Indira Nagar?

Yes its the first turnoff from the adyar side, wherever that goes, didnt get a chance to go all the way to the other end. 

sanjayv's picture

Right, near the telephone exchange

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Yep, this is the turning right before the telephone exchange then.  Click here for a "before" satellite view of the intersection.  Nice change! comment guidelines

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