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December 1, 2019

Rawalpindi does not prioritise pedestrians


December 1, 2019

Some parts of the city have been bearing a disproportionate amount of the danger. The number of pedestrians’ injuries and deaths on old airport road has risen ever since Dhok Hafiz traffic signal was removed to facilitate VVIPs. Public anxiety is growing but the city authorities’ response continues to fall short.

“The absence of traffic signal is taking its toll. The cherry to this pudding are the over speeding vehicles that have been adding to the misery of those trying to cross over to the other side of the road,” says Aadila Batool.

“Increasingly urgent public safety measures are needed. Almost every day, a pedestrian is hit. Several people have been hit by cars and bikes, yet it generates not even a small fraction of the concerned authority’s concern. Given the scale of the injuries, the issue should receive serious attention,” says Ali Asghar.

“The problem is getting worse. Over the past years, the number of deaths has leaped. Especially women crossing this road daily are worried about the upward trend, making pedestrian safety one of the key public issues facing the neighborhood residents,” says Jaffar Hasan.

“These are the accidents the city authorities should prevent. A critical part of city-building is about keeping people safe. The victims are generally senior citizens, school kids hit by the speeding vehicles. Why the traffic signal on this road is not being restored,” questions Nokare Zahra.

“City authorities must prepare a road-safety plan, with a greater emphasis on vulnerable road users. But protecting pedestrians will require a fundamental shift in mindset, one that challenges the car culture and the unspoken attitude that traffic fatalities are an unavoidable reality of urban living,” says Ammar Abbas.

“The city transportation system should protect pedestrians, so that the inevitable mistakes or recklessness do not hurt or cause a death. This usually includes traffic signals. There is no broad-based reduction in speeds, despite Zebra crossing and a notice board warning drivers to slow down near Shah Khalid Colony,” says Salman Hussain.

“The city authorities must focus its efforts on the old airport road that has proved dangerous. The pedestrians will continue to die or be seriously injured as drivers are not being made to slow down and this is impossible without a traffic signal,” says Nabeel Rizvi.

“You have to raise the needs of the unprotected road users. You have to put them higher up on your priority list and in the discussion about how you want to plan pedestrians’ safety,” says Karrar Hussain.

Noor-ul-Huda Kazmi says: “Unless you mutter a prayer and plunge into the traffic packed road to cross, you may never get the chance to reach the other side.”

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