Known for bumper-to-bumper traffic and as an accident hotspot in the city, Trichy Road, Coimbatore is all set to undergo a revamp under the smart city mission project of the city corporation.
Pedestrian-friendly pathways and bicycle tracks, WiFi zones, parking spots, gyms and green spaces will be set up along the 4km stretch that will connect Valankulam with Singanallur Lake and become a non-motorised corridor.
Oasis Designs Inc, the consultant for the lake rejuvenation project, conducted traffic analysis studies and discussed the project in detail with city traffic planners before mooting the plan. “The entire junction will be reorganised so that the roads and paths become clearer. Pedestrian pathways will allow people to cross the road safely,” said urban designer Gayathri Muthuramakrishnan.
Though the road is wide, there are a lot of encroachments that makes it congested. It does not have separate pathways for pedestrians despite norms mandating them. The centre median has been set up in such a way that it does not divide the road evenly. “That makes one side of the road narrow and results in congestion. We will even it out and ensure there is equal space for all types of commuters,” Gayathri told TOI.
Principal architect of Oasis Designs Inc Akash Hingorani, who presented the design to city corporation commissioner K Vijayakarthikeyan, said that as the road lies inside the corporation limits, it should be designed to meet the demands of city residents. “Though it is a highway, since it is inside the city limits, speed limit and other such norms need to be updated. There are various schools, hospitals, bus stops and shops along the road,” he said.
In the new design, the road will have four plazas surrounded by green space where people can sit. “Apart from that, we will also set up WiFi zones, open air gym, parking spaces and play area for kids. We will also set up space for vendors wherever possible,” said Akash.
As per the Indian Road Congress guidelines, the ideal width of a pathway should be 5m. But, wherever the road is narrow, a minimum of 2.5-3m will be provided as pedestrian walkway. “In some locations, the pedestrian pathway and the bicycle track will be combined as the width of the road is not even at all locations,” said Gayathri.
Vijayakarthikeyan said that the civic body has finalised the design. “We have sent it to the National Highway Authority of India for approval and will start the work once we get it,” he said.