Pune: Lack Of Safety Measures At University Chowk Put Pedestrians In Danger

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Pune, September 19, 2020: A survey by STEP (Steps Toward Empowering Pedestrians) shows a lack of basic amenities like zebra crossings, pedestrian refuge and signals in violation of the Pune pedestrian policy. STEP is a forum for pedestrians working on the rights and issues of pedestrians in the city.

On behalf of this forum, a written complaint has been lodged with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Chatushrungi Traffic Police division and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) regarding the lack of pedestrian safety measures at University Chowk.


According to STEP, the flyover at University Chowk was demolished in August but pedestrians and cyclists were not taken into consideration. All the signals at the intersection were removed. Some measures were taken to facilitate the flow of vehicles on this road. But it does not seem to have made any arrangements for the pedestrians who are most vulnerable in the transportation system.


The road from Aundh to Shivajinagar at University Chowk, and from Ganeshkhind Road to Baner, Pashan and Aundh are used for vehicular movement, on all five sides and these roads are heavily congested. Pedestrians have to work hard to cross the road due to the removal of the signal at University Chowk. Vehicles are moving fast. Pedestrian refuge (midblock crossing) is not available for crossing as the road is too wide.

For an elderly person, a person with a disability, or any other person, crossing the road in such a situation is life-threatening. Pedestrians have to wait 15 to 20 minutes to cross the road. There is a zebra crossing in front of the university gates, but vehicles do not stop there because there is no signal. And there is a need to have zebra crossings, speed breakers to control traffic in other places in the chowk but they are not available.

Because of this, pedestrians cannot cross the road safely. After the demolition of the flyover, some of the remaining material fell on the footpath, as well as portable toilets, metro site office built on the footpath, the footpath is completely blocked, because of this, pedestrians are walking on the main road (motor vehicle carriageway) and risking their own lives. In all these situations any pedestrian can have an accident at this place. If any pedestrian was killed in this, who would be responsible for it?”

“STEP has lodged a complaint to the Corporation regarding the above issue. STEP members also visited the Chaturshrungi Traffic divisioN, PMRDA office, PMC and asked the concerned officials about it. Responsibility seems to be shifting to each other everywhere. The city’s Pedestrian Safety and Facilities Policy states that it is the responsibility of the Corporation to inform and coordinate with the service agencies regarding the rules of construction of anything on the side of the footpath as a precaution to ensure that a certain width of the footpath is available for pedestrians without any obstructions.”

STEP forum has made some demands to draw attention to the situation and for pedestrian safety, to put up a signal at University Chowk so that pedestrians can cross the road safely. “Also, put up midblock crossing, pedestrians should be able to stop in the middle of the road while crossing a wide road and then cross. First of all, remove the debris and other obstacles on the footpath and clear the footpath for pedestrians to walk properly. Install speed breakers and zebra crossings to control traffic. Our demands are to take strict action against those who do not follow the speed limit or do not follow the rules of the signal”, a press release from STEP stated.

Pune university chowk footpath