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September 26, 2020

Another exercise in futility!

Islamabad

September 26, 2020

My, oh my! Just look at this pedestrian bridge. Aesthetically painted in the colours of the national flag – so much so, all of it is green with a white strip on top that is part of the roof - the fancy grills and railings, it is certainly not an eyesore like most pedestrian bridges that are dotted over the city are inclined to be. This one is on Peshawar Road and is supposed to help pedestrians in crossing the wide expanse between the two sides, which sees heavy vehicular traffic most of the day.

These bridges are erected so that pedestrians can cross safely from one side to the other on busy roads but alas! It seems the civic authorities have not bothered to notice that the public is not disciplined enough to use pedestrian bridges but would rather run/walk from one side to the other, risking their own life and that of others, just to take a short cut. (Come to think of it, taking short cuts on everything is becoming a national habit!)

Unless there is sustained action against those who cross the road – a fine or a few hours in a lockup – any deterrent that would stop this careless and thoughtless habit – pedestrian bridges will remain unused by pedestrians. Awareness campaigns are useful but a majority of the public is not inclined to follow advice – not wearing masks to stop the spread of the COVID-19 being a prime example! So, the only persons who make use of these bridges, if they can access them, are those on motorcycles!

Putting up more pedestrian bridges is just an exercise in futility - they cost a lot of money and it is a waste of much needed funds that could be utilized elsewhere - for instance paving smaller roads and lanes that are full of cracks and potholes that damage vehicles; fixing faulty traffic signals and street lights; building public toilets and parking plazas where possible; acquiring more vehicles for garbage collection; putting water filtration plants that do not function in order and so on.