Cars & Bikes

Smart city: Cars, bikes take over pedestrian plaza in Chennai

Even before work on the pedestrian plaza is fully complete at T Nagar, residents, shoppers and employees and owners of nearby shops have proceeded to park their cars and bikes on the platform meant for pedestrians.

On a weekday, the stretch in Pondy Bazaar is lined with several cars and bikes. A car was even seen being raised onto the platform with a wooden plank. With work on the Rs 33.8 crore pedestrian-plaza nearing
completion, all but pedestrians get a taste of the plaza.

“The pavement looked very inviting to me but I find that I have to make my way around so many cars and bikes parked here that I might as well be walking on any other pavement or road,” said Rama S, who had
come to shop at Pondy Bazaar with her daughter.

While civil work in the pedestrian plaza is almost complete, only aesthetic arrangements like installation of street furniture and colourful planters are left to be done.

“People here need to take responsibility. Anyone can see that it is meant for pedestrians but it does not stop them from parking their hefty cars on a platform designed to carry pedestrians,” said Sathyaprakash P, a resident of Mylapore who was there to shop.

Corporation officials believe that the situation is set to change in a few days. “The issue will be solved soon. Parking management cameras are already installed and testing, bollards are being placed and the
Sivagnanam parking lot is being prepared,” said a Corporation official.

“In addition, the side roads will be cleaned up and parking will be pushed to them,” he added.

On whether this will succeed in keeping bikes off the plaza, the official said,”Yes, many bikes there belong to employees (of Pondy Bazaar shops). All that are to go to Sivagnanam lot and other places. Plus the cameras will monitor,” he said.

Corporation officials have also taken up a feasibility study of implementing a similar project in Anna Nagar, Todiarpet and Velachery.