June 1, 2012
On the heels of a three-day national-level training on street design, ITDP India and non-motorized transport expert Michael King arrived in the city of Rajkot for a workshop on the design of complete streets with a group of senior city engineers, planners, and officials from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC).
Participants visited K. K. V. Circle, an intersection along Rajkot’s planned bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor. The intersection poses a number of challenges, including chaotic crossing movements, heavy vehicle volumes, unauthorized parking, and a need to provide comfortable pedestrian linkages to a future BRT station. Participants spent the afternoon observing, and then redesigning the intersection to improve connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists.
“In designing a street, it is important to understand the behaviour of the road user and modify the design accordingly,” said Mr. King. In prioritizing street design interventions, he suggested that city should go for politically protected areas like schools, parks, and hospitals because redesigning the areas around these uses arouses less conflict. In addition, Mr. King advised Rajkot to improve what is already good to take advantage of the potential latent demand for non-motorized transport facilities.
B. H. Rupani, Town Planning Officer at RMC, said, “this is a part of improving Rajkot’s streets for NMT facilities. We have signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with ITDP as they have done lot of projects worldwide for creating better streets. ITDP is a technical advisor to RMC for improving pedestrian and NMT facilities for the city.”
“This is ITDP’s first NMT training programme for RMC officials,” said Anuj Malhotra, Director of Transport, ITDP. “The main focus is to train municipal officials in creating good streets for vulnerable road users like pedestrians, cyclists, and differently abled people. The workshop helped make them aware of how better streets can improve the safety of pedestrians by minimizing conflict, regulating parking, and providing shaded and protected pedestrian and cycle paths.”