What a way to end the year! Pune observed 11th December as Pedestrians’ Day (India’s first), and we believe this paves the way for really significant improvements in making pedestrians safer. Not just in Pune, but all over India!
SPTM is a part of SUM Net India - a network of like minded NGOs, promoting Sustainable Urban Mobility. Our fellow SUM Net members are pushing for declaring 11th January as a Pedestrian Day - not just in their cities and states, but also nationally. Let's hope we soon observe it all over the country..
Why a Pedestrians’ Day?
“Days” like the Environment Day, Women’s Day have helped bring their respective issues to the forefront, so that improvements can be made. Since pedestrians are the most important yet unfortunately the most neglected road user, we thought a Pedestrians’ Day would help improve their safety and convenience.
When SPTM proposed this idea, it was enthusiastically supported by the ‘Sustrans’ community of Pune. Hon Mayor Shri Murlidhar Mohol too liked it and convened a meeting of concerned Govt organizations and NGOs. In that meeting, it was decided to observe 11th December as the Pedestrians’ Day in Pune every year.
We present a few glimpses of how India’s first Pedestrians’ Day was observed in Pune.
A footpath is a good footpath only when people with all capabilities and needs can use it! Adv Madhukar Musale and PMC Corporator Smt Ashwini Musale, in association with PVP College of Architecture and CEE, organized an event "सुगम्य औंध" to demonstrate how walkable the footpaths in Aundh are. Let us hope that all footpaths in Pune are as easily walkable!
Shastri Road sports this new 'Mid Block Crossing (MBC)'. Now people can cross half of the road and safely wait on the divider before crossing the other half. Since they don't need to step up-down, this MBC is friendly to seniors and kids too!.
Makeover of chowks and roads
PMC had chosen 7 roads and intersections for quick interventions to make them safer for pedestrians. See what difference simple zebra stripes made to the Prabhat-Karve Rd junction! In the upcoming year, we will be after PMC to make this a habit and not just an initiative.
Lakshmi Road Open Street Shopping Plaza
When walking is safe, people shop till they drop! This little kid shows how safe the experimental Lakshmi Road Open Street Shopping Plaza was on the Pedestrians' Day. We wish it stays that way and attracts even more shoppers!
The city has since long talked about improving access to Lakshmi Road by "walk-bus-cycle", so that shoppers can shop without worrying about getting hit by vehicles. The Pedestrians' Day brought this plan back in discussion.
Pedestrians and cycle friendly streets
Pashan-Sus Road is undergoing a makeover under the Streets4People Challenge by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, in association with ITDP India. A well designed 500 m stretch was opened to people on the Pedestrians' Day. It is a happy city where the seniors and kids can walk and cycle safely!
Sensitizing children - and their parents!
Guided by SPTM, children from Balranjan Kendra in Erandvan, run by PMC Corporator Smt Madhuritai Sahasrabuddhe, inspected a few footpaths in the neighbourhood. This exercise sensitized them (and their parents too, we hope!) towards what makes a good footpath.
Residents demand good footpaths
SPTM and Smt Jayashri Talesara conducted a Footpath Study Walk in Kothrud, with some residents and Corporators Smt Madhuritai Sahasrabuddhe and Smt Manjushreetai Khardekar. The residents observed good features of some footpaths and demanded that all footpaths had those.
Yeah! Pune’s Pedestrians’ Day. India’s first.
Paving the way for a better tomorrow.