Draft Delhi Master Plan 2041 Envisions Cyclist, Pedestrian-Friendly City

The draft MPD 2041 has been made available on the website of the Delhi Development Authority and public suggestions and objections have been invited, a senior DDA official said on Wednesday.

Draft Delhi Master Plan 2041 Envisions Cyclist, Pedestrian-Friendly City

Draft Delhi Master Plan 2041 Envisions Cyclist, Pedestrian-Friendly City. (Representational)

New Delhi:

From minimising points of conflict between motorised vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists to making subways and foot over bridges safe, the draft Delhi Master Plan (MPD) 2041 envisions a city that will promote cycling and walking.

The draft MPD 2041 has been made available on the website of the Delhi Development Authority and public suggestions and objections have been invited, a senior DDA official said on Wednesday.

The draft said, "Delhi's high active travel potential needs to be leveraged and enhanced for people to choose active travel not only as an affordable mobility option but also as one that is comfortable, safe and accrues health and environmental benefits to the individual and the city."

The document delineated that the implementation of strategies for promoting active travel (walking and cycling) shall facilitate increased access to green and safe mobility.

According to the draft, the provision of barrier-free and continuous non-motorised transport network infrastructure such as footpaths, cycling tracks, etc., for providing shorter and comfortable routes, should be included as part of the design of all new road infrastructure and for the improvement of the existing roads.

"Points of conflict of pedestrians or cyclists with motorised vehicles shall be minimised through infrastructure provisions as per the patterns of active travel characteristics. Pedestrian and bicycle crossings shall be at grade as far as possible. Carriageways shall incorporate traffic calming elements," the draft said.

Subways or foot over bridges should be cross-programmed through commercial activity, public art, street performances etc., to ensure a safe and vibrant environment, it added.

The draft also said active travel shall be promoted by designing an urban environment where more people choose it as a preferred means for both destination travel i.e., to work, school, place of worship, stores, theatres, public transit etc., as well as recreational travel.

"Streets shall be designed to ensure equitable distribution of road space and safe mobility for users of all ages and abilities, prioritise barrier-free movement for pedestrians and cyclists, and provision of enabling infrastructure to create an ecosystem for active travel," it said.

Existing streets shall be incrementally retrofitted to serve pedestrians and cyclists better. Pedestrian walkways or footpaths shall be provided mandatorily in new development areas, according to the draft.

Installation of pedestrian signals shall be preferred over grade-separated crossings to ensure ease of use for pedestrians, wheelchair users, and cyclists. Pelican crossing system shall be installed near schools and other major pedestrian crossings, especially for children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

Provision of street furniture i.e. benches and other seating, garbage bins, signage, public utilities, e.g. restrooms, child care rooms, changing rooms and drinking water spouts at regular intervals, etc, should be there, the draft stated.

Improved shading during the day and illumination during the night for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists should also be provided.

Active travel areas shall be identified by the concerned agencies around high activity nodes in the city and "Walk Plans" prepared and implemented in these areas to improve pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, the draft said.

"Walk Plans" shall be made for at least an area within a radius of 400-500 metres (5-10 minutes walking distance) around any specific destination node, such as a heritage precinct, a market, existing residential colonies etc., it said.

Certain corridors shall be identified and developed as cycling highways facilitating long-distance active travel across the city, it added.

The master plan also proposes green mobility corridors, exclusive pedestrian and cycling pathways along natural drains and river Yamuna as city-level dedicated corridors.

Battery-operated e-bikes and other green mobility options may be encouraged, it said.

Energy generating tiles may be used for footpaths and paved areas. The energy, coupled with solar energy, can be used to power street lights as well as provide charging points for mobiles and other electronic gadgets near seating or resting spots, it added.

State-of-the-art surveillance technology can be employed to ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, adherence to traffic rules and prevention of vandalism of street furniture, the draft said.

Also, consistent with the Delhi Maintenance and Management of Parking Places Rules, 2019, a comprehensive area-based approach shall be adopted for the management of parking in an area or locality, it said.

Parking charges for public parking will be "dynamic" and variable rates shall apply across the city at different times to spatially distribute the parking demand.

"Parking charges can be temporarily increased for air pollution control during periods of severe pollution as per the Graded Response Action Plan for Delhi - Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change," the draft said.

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