FOBs on 3 busy roads in lake Thane on the cards

20th July, 2018

THANE: The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) wants to construct foot overbridges (FOBs) on three busy highways of the city to provide safe and easy access for pedestrians from the dense traffic movement.

According to plans, the TMC plans to construct the FOBs, one at Atmaram Patil chowk near the upcoming Parsik chowpatty on the old Mumbai-Pune highway, another at Bhiwandi bypass road near Lodha Complex and the third on the busy Thane-Belapur Road at Vitawa. The collective cost of these bridges will be Rs 35 crore and will be executed using the civic funds.

Each of these bridges will have adequate two-metre-wide space for walking and will be connected to either side of the roads or highways with ramps and staircase. A provision for installing elevators will be made, which could be added at a later stage, said officials. A proposal to the effect has been readied and will be presented before the general body on Friday for approval. The Parsik FOB will also have an elevated promenade for visitors to enjoy the sunset once the creek beautification project is completed.

The projects have been prepared after long standing demands from residents from these areas, said officials. “Residents have been facing immense inconvenience while crossing the roads and often have to risk their lives as the stretches witness heavy traffic throughout the day.

The selected spots have seen many residential complexes coming up while the one at Parsik is likely to see more footfalls after the creekfront project is completed,” said an official.

Meanwhile, activists and town planners have questioned the need for such FOBs when the existing ones in the city are seeing reduced footfalls. There are seven such pedestrian bridges in the city, which barely attract footfalls except for the ones opposite malls.

Residents have been complaining of the winding ramps that take too long to cross the stretches and suggested use of escalators or lifts, which could be beneficial for the physically challenged and the elderly.

Town planning expert Sulakshana Mahajan said the first right of passage on any road is for the pedestrian and planning should always be done ensuring minimal inconvenience to him.

“It is surprising to note that the administration wants pedestrians to climb up and down the bridges. They should instead make provisions for subways at such stretches,” suggested transport activist Siddhesh Desai from Kalwa. Municipal officials said, the existing FOBs at Thane were well patronised and admitted that they were mulling the use of escalators at future projects, including that the Satis 2 project in Kopri. “We will consider the escalators for future bridge projects, which may attract more residents to it,” said an official from TMC.

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