Police have drawn up a list of 13 big intersections that pedestrians find it difficult to walk across at one go, resulting in accidents.
“These intersections have been identified considering the pedestrian crossover load and how big they are compared with others,” Arijit Sinha, deputy commissioner of police, traffic, told The Telegraph.
“A better way to manage pedestrian movement (across such intersections) is to create small islands where people can take refuge. These islands will help pedestrians cross intersections without being impatient and that will minimise chances of road accidents.”
A ‘refuge island’, a globally recognised concept in urban traffic management, is a small section of a pavement where pedestrians can stop before resuming their walk across the intersection.
On the list of 13 are the intersection of Mahatma Gandhi Road and Chittaranjan Avenue, Exide crossing, junction of CIT Road and Maniktala Main Road, Dorina crossing, Ruby intersection on EM Bypass and the crossings in front of the main gates of Tollygunge Club and Calcutta International School on the Bypass.
Officers managing rush-hour traffic at these intersections have observed that haphazard pedestrian movements — with some trying to run across when the signal turns green for vehicles — impede traffic and increase chances of accidents.
The intersections are too big for most pedestrians to walk across in one cycle of traffic signal, a survey by the police has revealed.
Experts of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, a grouping of 89 major North American cities and transit agencies formed to exchange transportation ideas, have said refuge islands help reduce the overall crossing length for pedestrians and cyclists and limit their exposure to vehicles.
Since all the intersections on the list are on roads maintained by Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), the police have urged the civic body to consider building the refuge islands.
On Wednesday, deputy commissioner Sinha sent a letter to the municipal commissioner listing the intersections where traffic refuge islands can be built.
“There are at least four intersections on the Bypass — Patuli, Ruby, Tagore Park and Calcutta International School — which are very large and have adequate space for building refugee islands,” said an officer.
KMC officials said engineers of the roads department would go through the police proposal and estimate the cost of building the islands before taking a decision.