Encroachment of Footpaths by Vehicles & Shops!
I have found yet another apparent and significant topic to share my thoughts about and also want to have your views on the same. We all know, the road infrastructure pan-India is pretty questionable and above that we have the issue of rising vehicular traffic to fight out. In today’s time the vehicular traffic has grown manifolds and it has become totally impossible for the vehicles to be driven on the roads. So the easiest way out is to use the space of footpaths. Be it a 4-wheeler being parked, shops encroachment or a 2 wheeler, upon slightest of the opportunity and without any second thoughts at any given point we jump to use the footpath for our benefit either to park our cars or ride ahead on our bikes to avoid the traffic jams. But what we forget often is the fact that footpaths are not meant for riding bikes or parking cars rather they are meant for the pedestrians. Often it happens, especially here in Delhi-NCR that if a parking is not available we make our vehicle climb a half-feet or a few inch broad footpath to park it. We are happy that our vehicle is safely parked but what we forget is that we are risking the safety of pedestrians by not giving them the space to move/walk around safely.
If we occupy the footpaths for our vested interests then who is responsible to ensure that the pedestrians do not meet an unfortunate accident because of our occupying their walking space? Majority of us do not pay attention to this thought and if by chance due to our negligence we hit a pedestrian on the footpath then either we lecture him or her or many would try and escape without slightest of remorse towards hurting a poor soul for no fault of his or her. I have observed this scenario ample number of times and feel sorry for the pedestrians. Just like when we curse the people for crossing the roads amidst traffic even after having foot over bridge similarly even the pedestrians would be cursing many of the people who break the rule just to save a few minutes.
Today, when I was on the road sitting in my car and listening to a program on the radio, there was a FM channel who has started with a slogan “Walk The Haq”
along with the authorities here. Under this program the people of Delhi-NCR would be enlightened about not using the footpaths for their vested interests rather leave the same for the pedestrians to walk. I think it is a good initiative and we as a respected automotive community having educated and intelligent enthusiasts with us, we all should make it a point not to indulge into such practices and cause distress for the pedestrians. Apart from the usage of footpaths by vehicles, encroachment of them by shops for putting up sign boards and throwing litter is also a reason of concern. Not just it gives a bad impression on cleanliness rather it also shows how disrespectful we are being to our fellow road users.
It is a small yet really significant principle to be understood that each one of us might at some or the other time may have to walk as pedestrians on the road so I believe we also would not like to see such ignorance towards us by the motorists. It is to be kept in mind at all times that as much as we have the right to use the roads, so do the pedestrians have it. So friends by following this small rule of not using the footpaths for illegal usage and keeping them empty, we all can contribute towards the safety of the pedestrians of our city and can help in a small way to curb the mishap rate on the roads.
I hope from the very next journey of our on the roads we all shall keep this small thing in mind and do our bit to ensure that no pedestrian shall face a issue because of us. This way, we will be safe and others will be safe too.