Prashant Inamdar, convenor of Pedestrians First, said the final version of the CMP has been recently posted on the PMC’s website. “We are not aware of the exact ‘Terms of reference’ for the preparation of CMP. We have studied the final CMP and have recently submitting our comments and suggestions to PMC chief and the mayor,” he said.
Inamdar said the CMP has recommended flyovers at certain locations but has made various stipulations of vital importance.
He said among the suggestions include: while providing flyover, it is very important that it doesn’t result in traffic levels going up; any effort at building a flyover must be simultaneously accompanied by vastly improved public transport and NMT infrastructure; if flyovers are to be taken up at any intersection, they must be preceded by a thorough evaluation of alternative options; In addition, the IRC warrants for provisioning of flyovers also need to be checked ; It would be necessary to prepare feasibility studies for each of the flyover taking into account the discussions above and a full perspective of the flyover’s impact on the mobility corridor that it lies on.
He said, however, that despite recommending flyovers, the CMP states – “The general experience is that while flyovers / grade-separated cross-over may help to relieve congestion at intersections temporarily, they also allow a lot of the suppressed transit demand to come on to the roads. This generally leads to congestion coming back - at a higher level of traffic. Flyovers also tend to merely shift the point of congestion from one location to another. As a result, the real utility of flyovers, beyond providing a temporarily relief from congestion, has been questioned by many experts.”
Inamdar said apart from the utility factor, flyovers are also inconvenient for bus commuters and cause serious safety problems for pedestrians. It is also observed that the roads adjacent to the flyover witness severe traffic congestion. “For example, this scenario can be seen at the flyovers on University road. The expensive flyovers cannot be a useful long term solution for traffic congestion and should be considered only in exceptional cases with due adherence to the above stipulations in the CMP,” he sad.
The CMP suggests densifying the proposed public transport corridors and vicinity to improve the ridership with increase in FSI which can be sold at market value.
“We are not in favour of this proposal as most of the public transport corridors are already densely populated and further densification would be illogical. Moreover it may not be possible to provide necessary utility service infrastructure and public amenities for the additional built-up areas as per standards and norms.
Such densification would have adverse impact on traffic congestion, vehicle parking requirements, pollution, public health,” he said.
“Moreover, potential rise in land values along transport corridors would cause displacement of the low income group and the poor further away from the city increasing their transport needs and causing more hardships to them. No corridor densification plan should be adopted at least in already developed city areas. If at all necessary, such densification plans can be considered for areas which have not yet developed subject to statutory town planning norms and best practices of urban planning without compromising quality of life,” the organisation said in the letter to Pune mayor and municipal commissioner.