Planning for the Utilization of Pedestrian Underpasses: A Case Study of Delhi, India

Source: Transportion Research Board

"A majority of pedestrian underpasses constructed recently in Delhi are not being used for their intended purpose. General observation and a pilot survey of some underpasses in Delhi indicate that pedestrians find an alternative surface route to cross the road. The objectives of this study are to identify and analyze the reasons for underutilization of underpasses and to recommend possible modifications in their planning and design criteria. Since an underpass is planned for pedestrians, the reasons for its underutilization can be ascertained by examining the planning and design factors, which affect its utilization, and also by studying the perception of pedestrians. The study involved opinion survey, visual survey and volume counts of pedestrians at some selected underpasses for assessing the extent of utilization and the perceived level of inadequacies. The analysis revealed that there are no specific guidelines for planning and design of underpasses. Underpasses have varying levels of utilization depending on their location and intensity of pedestrian traffic in adjoining areas. Traffic regulatory measures, transport system options, availability of alternative routes, shifting of bus-stops and routes, provision of railing barriers, etc. usually affect the pattern of pedestrian movements in an area. In other words, effective utilization of pedestrian underpasses largely depends on the effectiveness of local traffic regulatory and management measures. Finally, this study proposes recommendations, as suggested by pedestrians, and broad planning and design guidelines for ensuring more effective planning of such facilities and proper utilization."

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