Why we should ask for Better Streets and not Wider Roads…
We, the citizens of Aurangabad have been perpetually grumbling and demanding for wider and pot-hole free roads. But I believe, what we have been asking for is not what we need. We need better streets. Streets for everyone.
Streets occupy approximately 20 percent of the total land area in a typical city, and they are the most important and ubiquitous form of public space. But recently, streets have been reduced to a more restricted role of serving as conduits for the movement of automobiles
Every city is facing traffic congestion. And road widening obviously seems like a quick-fix. Even if a road widening or flyover reduces congestion, the improvement is usually short-lived. The reason is simple: expanding the available road space initially increases speed and comfort and thereby encourages more people to travel in private motor vehicles. More and more users take to the route until the wider road returns to its original level of congestion—but with significantly more vehicles stuck in traffic.
Cities all over the world are changing the way they look at Transport Planning. Transport Planning has become people centric rather than motor-car centric, and for all the right reasons!
“Streets in our cities should be representative of our lifestyle and culture. Their designs need to respond to the multitude of activities and functions that streets perform. Modern streets also carry a number of infrastructure services such as water, sewer, storm water, electrical, and telephone lines. The design of underground utilities needs to be coordinated with the surface layout and functioning of a street. Therefore, it is critical that streets are designed properly and in adequate detail” – Bimal Patel
This seems to be the best time for Aurangabad to take its Streets seriously. This will not only improve the quality of Life of its citizens, but also help in improving our city’s Identity. We know that streets become a parameter for outsiders to form an opinion about our city. Streets not only ensure residents’ mobility, allowing them to travel from one place to another, but also are a place for people to meet, interact, do business, and have fun. They foster social and economic bonds, bringing people together. Decisions about how to allocate and design street space have a tremendous impact on quality of life.
Inputs: Pallavi Deore