To make city commuter-friendly, BMC panel looks at traffic, pedestrian issues

To address the traffic woes of citizens and make the city more commuter-friendly, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has set up a committee comprising transport experts, citizen groups and government officials. While the committee was set up late last month, it held its first meeting earlier this week.

The committee , which includes citizen representatives, transport expert Ashok Datar and Sudhir Badami, Pankaj Joshi from Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), urban planner and engineer Shirish Patel, Karmayog founder Vinay Somani, Indrani Malkani, trustee of the V Citizens' Action Network, additional commissioner of police (traffic) Brijesh Singh and officials from the BEST, MMRDA and civic officials from roads and development plan departments will work on crucial issues of pedestrian movement, traffic planning and bottlenecks and enhancing urban mobility through public transport, among other things.

"While the existing bottlenecks and traffic congestion issues will be the main focus, the committee is also planning to encourage more non-motorised transport such as cycling in the city," said a senior civic official.

Pankaj Joshi of UDRI said, "The think tank will deliberate on issues of traffic in the city. At present, the committee is also focusing on pedestrian issues," he said.

Meanwhile, the BMC has also planned to study the traffic density of roads before taking up road concretisation and asphalting projects. While it plans to spend about Rs 7,000 crore on road construction projects in the next five years, the BMC will now study traffic intensity and the potential and significance associated with each road, even if it is a minor road, before undertaking its construction.

Of the total road length of 1,812.39 km in the city, over 500 km has been concretised. The city has almost 1,100 km of minor roads and over 712 km of major roads.

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