The New Chennai Streetscape

Chennai footpaths

With technical assistance from ITDP India, the Corporation of Chennai has implemented the first kilometer of a planned 30 kms of new, pedestrian-friendly footpaths. The footpaths are part of the larger vision established through Our Cities Ourselves (OCO) Chennai, a collaborative visioning program to imagine and achieve a more livable, equitable, and sustainable future. The new footpaths, primarily in the Egmore area of Chennai, formalize and expand sidewalks and areas for pedestrian traffic, making them safer and more accessible. The projects were implemented along heavily trafficked streets, including Police Commissioner Office Road, Pantheon Road, and Halls Road. By reclaiming space for pedestrians, the footpaths are an important step in making Chennai a place that prioritizes people over cars. The footpath design was guided by ITDP’s principles for street design, Better Streets, Better Cities.

Chennai’s new footpaths are just the beginning. ITDP India is working with the city to implement good pedestrian footpaths along all of the city’s bus routes, as well as build bikeways, protected bus lanes, and pedestrian plazas throughout the city. Using street design guidelines developed by ITDP for India, programs like OCO are creating a strong vision for the future, and giving us the tools to make it happen.

Before Construction After Construction
70 feet scheme road - Before

A view of a narrow, obstructed, pre-existing footpath. Scheme Road.

70 feet scheme road - After

The new, reconstructed footpath today. Scheme Road.

PCR 1 - Before

Before the improvements, illegal parking and storm-water infrastructure would force pedestrians to walk on the carriageways alongside fast moving vehicles. Police Commissioner Road.

PCR 1 - After

Unobstructed footpaths after the redesign. Police Commissioner Road.

PCR 2 - Before

Before the redesign, pedestrians often had little to no protection from the roadways. Police Commissioner Office Road.

PCR 2 - After

Newly constructed granite footpaths on Police Commissioner Office Road gives ample room to pedestrians. Police Commissioner Office Road.

PCR 3 - Before

Pre-existing footpaths were often used as vehicle parking. Police Commissioner Office Road.

PCR 3 - After

The new footpaths transform the street into a vibrant public space. Police Commissioner Office Road.

PCR 4 - Before

Narrow footpaths with obstructions meant that pedestrians were forced to walk in the street. Police Commissioner Office Road.

PCR 4 - After

Footpaths of adequate width ensure that pedestrians are unaffected by vehicular traffic. Police Commissioner Office Road.

PCR 5 - Before

A narrow footpath on Police Commissioner Office Road. Police Commissioner Office Road.

PCR 5 - After

View of a new Bus ‘Bulb Out’, providing safer boarding access. Police Commissioner Office Road.