Odisha: Tactical interventions at Rupali Square to ensure pedestrian safety, better traffic sense

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Bhubaneswar: The design interventions being undertaken at Rupali Square would be done in a phase-wise manner with different solutions put to use on progressive basis. For example, after the barricades marking the Traffic Bulb Outs or islands for pedestrians, now the pedestrians’ ways or line markings have been done. The pedestrians’ ways will later have attractive marks like footprints or other marks to attract pedestrians to use their path to cross the roads from one Traffic Bulb Out to the other.
In the design for Rupali Square there are four island like structures, marked and barricaded on Friday night are planned to be painted with artistic designs at four corners in the coming weeks. Two of these islands, called as Traffic Bulb Outs were painted on an experimental basis on Friday night. These four Traffic Bulb Outs will not only increase the aesthetics of the square from a distance or from top of a building nearby, they would serve/help the people in following manner:
Utilities of Traffic Bulb Outs
These will provide safe walking space for pedestrians, as before they come into existence, speeding vehicles were occupying the space with overtaking by motorists near the junction not caring much for the walkers.
These will provide safe waiting space/island for the pedestrians, who want to use the zebra crossing to cross the junction. The new zebra crossing or pedestrian paths marked in this new plan are several metres away from the existing ones as the old ones were either discontinuous or not disabled friendly. But the new zebra crossing/pedestrian ways, connected to four Traffic Bulb Outs are disabled friendly besides providing safe passage to pedestrains.
The Traffic Bulb Outs will act as traffic calming elements as the usually faster traffic movement even near the traffic junction would be coming down so that the pedestrians would have more space and especially kids, elderly, women and the sick could benefit much as roads belong to all and not only for cars
While the major roads are having four lanes (one side of the one way road) the sense of maintaining lanes among the drivers/commuters is abysmally low, but by making these Traffic Bulb Outs near major junctions the laning sense would developed as these will address the issues caused due to wider road mouth at junctions.
Other benefits from the interventions
Pedestrian crossing has now become shorter and nearer to the centre of the square, people have to walk less, but reach the other side of the road easily and safely. If one takes a walk along the new applications at Rupali Square, he/she can realise it quickly.
Improvement in View/Sight
Earlier, drivers coming from one side with an intention to turn to their left near the traffic junction were finding it difficult to look beyond a certain point as the vehicles were blocking the view. However, with the Traffic Bulb Out, the open space for the pedestrians have allowed the drivers to have a clear view of the road at the corner so that they can have a safer turn along the curved area of the Traffic Bulb Out. In a way, the new intervention will help in reducing the Blind Spots as the later were causing more and more accidents.
Better View of the Square
As the paintings on the four corners of the Rupali Square (Traffic Bulb Outs) are going to don a new, modern graffiti design with vibrant colours, the city will have a better view matching the beautification drive taken up across its breadth. Pedestrians can sit, walk, rest and wait inside the area as it would be barricaded to ensure a continuous safe environment. In future the various traffic junctions could be painted differently to give them an attractive look so that visitors coming to the City of Temples would feel better.
Awareness for Public/Cops
As the new improvements at Rupali Square aim to facilitate better and safer pedestrian movement, increased awareness among public will make it more effective and result-oriented. It has been planned to have awareness briefing sessions for traffic volunteers and cops along with clearly identifiable road markings and graffiti for the benefit of the pedestrians.

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