Civic body to revamp JM, FC roads

Jangli Maharaj Road and Fergusson College Road are set for a complete makeover as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) plans to develop them on the lines of Singapore’s 2.2km Orchard Road.

The highlight of the project is the city bosses’ desire to make the two arterial roads safer for road users by designating spaces for all stakeholders ­ hawkers, pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and private vehicles.

The trial run could begin as early as September while the final execution is planned for early 2017.

Wide `pedestrian-friendly’ plazas, designated spots for street vendors and open spaces for pedestrians to mingle and browse through the wares of hawkers, smalltime shops and food outlets are part of the plan being developed to make the twin roads a `model’ for further development.

The plan is inspired by Singapore’s Orchard Road (see box), a boulevard developed as a retail and entertainment hub.

Reducing conflicts between different road users is one of the larger objectives and the required measures will be incorporated in the final design of the two roads through designated pedestrian crossings and limited parking bays. While private vehicles will be channelized through pre-defined lanes, PMPML buses too will have their own exclusive space, said an official associated with the redesigning work.

The proposal is being developed by a team of architects and designers of a Del hi-based company and will be whetted by senior PMC officials and those empanneled on its Pune Street Programme Committee (including representatives of the traffic police, PMPML and traffic planners of ITDP). Meetings of different stakeholders are on now, to not leave any aspect to chance or bereft of discussion.

Yuvaraj Deshmukh, superintendent engineer (roads) in PMC, is confident of a successful transition for the roads into safer and more lively spaces. “With its young and intellectual citizens, Pune as a city is highly receptive to change. We are not taking away anybody’s space, but only redesigning it for greater use and more efficiency,“ he said.

Moving people and not vehicles is the guiding princi ple for the designers, said Pranjali Deshpande-Agashe, programme manager (Maharashtra) of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy , which is on the PMC plan for final approval of draft proposals.

“The design will incorpo rate critical aspects, including the character of Pune city, the prevailing conditions on the two roads and ensuring pedestrian safety among other factors. The final plan will be in accordance with the Urban Street Design Guidelines,“ she said.

Source : TOI