Pedestrian-friendly makeover for bustling Andheri junction

Mumbai: 5 Dec, 2019 (Times of India)

The junction below C D Barfiwala flyover in Andheri, which sees over 8,000 vehicles passing through it every hour, has undergone an overnight transformation to make it safer for pedestrians, especially students from the three schools in the vicinity.

The junction provides east-west connectivity for Andheri, is a short walk from railway station and provides access towards Juhu from S V Road. Nine deaths-—seven of them pedestrians—were reported within 500m distance of the junction in the past three years, which prompted BMC to rope in road safety experts. On Monday, barricades were placed and zebra crossing markings painted at the junction under the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety. The BMC will seek feedback from local residents before making the transformation permanent.

“The junction, spread over 6,000 sq m, sees traffic flowing in multiple directions,” said Vishwas Mote, officer, K-West ward. “One of the highlights of the project was converting the area under C D Barfiwala flyover, earlier utilised for parking, into a public activity space. There is a garden next to this space and we intend to merge the two...On Wednesday, for instance, civic schoolkids had a streetplay here,” Mote said. The divider on SV Road has been extended to bring vehicle stop-lines ahead and reduce traffic clearance time.

A traffic study by non-profit World Resources Institute (WRI India) showed very high pedestrian volume, close to 600 children crossing the junction before and after school hours. Akhila Suri, senior project associate with WRI India, said: “We found a lot of unused spaces in the carriageway and reclaimed them for creating traffic islands with holding areas for pedestrians. This helped channelise traffic movement, especially the turning from SV Road.”

Welcoming the pedestrian-friendly transformation, senior citizen Girish Buch, who lives in the area, said: “Six months ago, a biker crashed into a friend at the junction, injuring him. The accident could have been averted if this infrastructure was in place then.”

Around 8,000 vehicles pass through the junction below C D Barfiwala flyover every hour. The junction provides east-west connectivity for Andheri