The Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has recommended holistic planning for pedestrian-friendly market spaces in various cities and municipal areas in the country in consultation with stake holders.
The advisory issued by Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs to all states/cities/municipal corporations has also suggested the million plus cities to select at least three market places for pedestrianisation & non-million plus cities to select at least one market area for pedestrianisation in market places.
Guideline from MoHUA, Govt of India
-Selection of Market Location- Million Plus Cities may select at least 3 market places and Non-Million plus cities may select at least one market area for pedestrianisation
-holistic Planning of the Area in consultation with the stake holders
-two Phase Implementation (Short term and Long term)
-On street parking space/carriageway lanes to provide more walking and waiting space.
-providing improved access through additional streets.
-dedicated Cycling Pathways
-access to motor vehicles for residents of the area
-increase the width of foot paths of the streets leading to the market.
-provision of high frequency public transit-design of the vending spaces
The advisory also stated that “This will require proper survey of space used in the present scenario by various stakeholders. A movement/direction plan has to be prepared to see that there are designated walking paths where visitors are able to follow social distancing,”
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation in the month of February 2020 launched Happy Street, earlier known as Khau Gully. The street is for pedestrians only and allows vehicles for a limited time period, It also public bike share stations and well design footpaths.
The advisory stated that even before #COVID hit the world, few Indian cities like Chennai, Pune & Bangalore started transforming into people-friendly cities. Chennai has implemented more than 100km of pedestrian-friendly streets.
Recently, Institute for Transporation Development Policy ( @itdpindia ) won the prestigious ASHDEN AWARD in the area of Sustainable Mobility for 2020 for their project ‘The #Chennai Streets for All Programme.’.
Chennai has taken some giant step in making pedestrian friendly roads. One of the major intervention was the pedestrian plaza in the heart of T Nagar in Chennai.
Cities in India goes for cycling
Pune became the first Indian city to develop a Comprehensive Cycling Plan that proposes a 400 km of cycle-friendly streets and with the enthusiastic push for Bicycles in various Indian cities, this moment could be the golden opportunity for cities to embrace this model. Multiple Indian cities have rolled out cycle-sharing systems which include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mysore, Bhopal, Indore, Pune, Ranchi, Bhubneshawar among other cities.
As cities look to ease the lockdown and provide safe, affordable and equitable modes of transport while ensuring physical social distancing, the need for pedestrianisation of market spaces through walking and cycling friendly cities is of utmost importance.
The pandemic COVID-19 presents us with an opportunity to reimagine streets for people. To make market areas COVID-19 safe and people-friendly. The need of the hour is for Indian cities to consider pedestrianizing the streets and create quality and well-designed public spaces.