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Town planners who act first, think later

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) does things seemingly without extensive planning and regrets them later – having made what is a marvellous 7th Avenue, it has now realised that pedestrians have been ignored.

With people crossing this new road regularly, especially between sectors G-6 and G-7, town planners, perhaps in order to conceal their own folly, have put up notices warning pedestrians that the CDA would not be responsible in case of an accident.

For the poor people of these low-scale sectors, there is no choice but to run the risk of crossing the high-speed road, which neither provides for a pedestrian bridge nor a pavement for those living alongside.

Schoolchildren are particularly at risk, especially during the afternoon rush hours and this being the capital’s first signal-free road motorists often tend to over speed, thereby endangering not only their own lives but also those of others.

Many people have urged the CDA to provide some kind of passages for them to cross over safely while several others want pavements to be built on either sides of the road.

Fortunately, there have been no accidents involving pedestrians since the avenue, built at a cost of Rs 900 million, was inaugurated by Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao.

Interestingly the problem of people crossing the road is common only in the vicinity of the sectors G-6 and G-7, while it is non-existent along the stretch bordering sectors F-6 and F-7.

“This perhaps is the difference between posh sectors where the high and mighty live and those that house low-paid employees,” said Tahir Shafi Chaudhry, a computer engineer living in Islamabad.

He said the children of well-to-do families of course did not have to cross roads for they had shiny new cars and chauffeurs to drop them off to school and bring them back. “The poor though have no such facility and, therefore, it is important that their needs are immediately addressed by the CDA,” he said.

The CDA, it is understood, plans to widen some of the entry points leading to the 7th Avenue and is also reportedly considering building pedestrian bridges to facilitate the people of G-6 and G-7 sectors. A CDA official said there were plans to make pavements along some portions of the road to make it safe for pedestrians.

But it is clearly a question of acting in haste and doing the planning later. “I wonder why it never occurred to the authorities that there were thousands of people living in adjacent sectors who would have to cross over regularly,” asked Aurangzeb Awan, a businessman.

The portion of the 7th Avenue alongside the sectors in question has virtually become a park for the residents who spend their evenings sitting on the newly developed green stretches.

But while people sit and watch traffic go by, it is the speeding motorists and the pedestrians casually crossing the road who pose a serious danger. It is an accident waiting to happen.
Source: Daily Times

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