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Commercial St. survey report
Commercial St. survey report
Commercial St. survey report
Commercial St. survey report
Commercial St. survey report
Commercial St. survey report
Commercial St. survey report
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Commercial St. survey report

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Report 'Should Commercial St. be pedestrian-only?', a survey of shoppers on the street conducted by students of Poorna Learning Centre.

Report 'Should Commercial St. be pedestrian-only?', a survey of shoppers on the street conducted by students of Poorna Learning Centre.

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  • Interesting findings. Nice graphs. Were you and the students able to share the survey results with the traffic police and others who manage traffic in B'lore? Would be great if it could lead to a pedestrian zone. An excellent student project in any case.
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  • 1. Should Commercial Street be off limits for motor vehicles? A project by high school students of Poorna Learning Centre, Bangalore Commercial Street, shoppers' paradise. Standing on the street on a Sunday in January, the cacophony of deafening horns and zooming vehicles hits us. A sea of people is walking on two narrow footpaths on either side, or dodging past moving vehicles trying to cross the road. We decided that the shoppers did not look at all as if they were having a fun time. Since shoppers appeared to be far more numerous than vehicles, we wondered why they were not given far more space. This inspired us to meet up on a few weekends and study the problem through surveys. A group of us students from Poorna Learning Centre spent 2 hours on Commercial Street on a Sunday evening. We gathered near a saree shop off the middle of the street, and discussed how to divide ourselves and distribute the survey tasks. We eventually divided the self formed groups into 3 task forces to cover the beginning, middle and end of the street. We surveyed shoppers at these 3 locations. The questions we asked were whether they wanted this street to made pedestrian-only or kept open for motor vehicles. We also found out by what means of transport they had come there. We spoke to 900 shoppers. One group went around the street counting the number of parked cars, another group survyed the vehicles coming in through Kamaraj Road. After 2 hours, we gathered at our starting point for a quick review, and then went on to our homes, satisfied with an evening's work done most sincerely. We were glad about our own wisdom in keeping our survey questions very concise, as shoppers did not mind wasting just two minutes of their time on us. People had no problems in signing their names on our survey sheets, to help us prove that we had really talked to them. We did have a couple of peculiar problems though, like when one surveyor group even had to contend with police constables, who thought they were street hawkers selling books! In general, people were very happy that someone was doing such a survey. Some of them informed us that such a survey was done 15 years ago and again 5 years ago. We explained that Bangalore's traffic was doubling every 5 years, and that people's thinking on the issue would also obviously have changed since the last survey. We did other parts of the survey on a couple of other days. This is what we found • Of the total number of shoppers, 70 % prefer a pedestrian-only street. • Of the people walking into the street, 92 % prefer a pedestrian-only street. • 76 % of shoppers come on foot, 14 % in cars, 10 % on 2-wheelers. • Of the people coming on foot, 12 % come by bus, 31 % by auto, and 57 % by their own vehicle (and park it on Kamaraj Rd., opposite Safina Plaza, or in Shivajinagar bus stand). • 81 cars are parked on the street at any given time, corresponding to 218 people. Most of these cars park for 2 hours. They belong to shopppers, not shop owners. Some heartening statistics • 11 % of the people come to the street by bus. • 30 % of the people arriving at the Jumma Masjid entrance come by bus (since this entrance is close to Shivajinagar bus stand). • People who arrived at the street on foot said they did not mind parking their car elsewhere and walking down at all. Some serious anomalies • Commercial Street is not a thoroughfare - people come here only to shop, not to travel from one place to another. It should primarily cater to pedestrians, not vehicles. However, only 32 % of the road space is available to pedestrians. Automobiles carry only 24 % of the people coming in, but hog 68 % of the road space.
  • 2. • 42 % of the road space is used for parking, by just 2 % of the people. It costs these people just a measly Rs. 20 for 2 hours to inconvenience the rest of the 98 %. Half of this 42 % is used by slow moving cars that drop off shoppers and crawl along waiting for parking space to open up. • Although cars are supposed to be parked on only one side, they were illegally parked on the other side too. Other statistics • 9200 people enter the street between 5 and 7 PM on a Sunday, by foot or automobiles. • People entering the street on foot – what percentage of them come by auto, own vehicle and bus respectively. • Kamaraj Rd. entrance : 30% - auto, 62 % -own vehicle and 8 % - bus • Dispensary Rd. entrance : 29%- auto, 64 % - own vehicle and 7 % - bus • Jumma Masjid Rd. entrance : 36%- auto, 34 % - own vehicle and 30 % - bus. • The average number of passengers per car and per 2-wheeler coming into the street is 2.7 and 1.75 respectively. In conclusion, we strongly recommend that Commercial Street should be reserved only for pedestrians. This would make a majority of the shoppers who frequent it happy. It would also make it safer for them. Probably the shops would do better business too as more shoppers might converge on Commercial Street, knowing that they could enjoy a leisurely shopping experience there. If doing this at one shot is too unpalatable, we suggest that it is done in 3 phases: 1. For 1 month, make the street pedestrian-only on Saturdays and Sunday evenings after 4 PM. 2. In the second month, disallow parking on the street and use the parking space for walking. 3. After the second month, don't allow any vehicles into the street after 9 AM. This would cause problems for physically challenged or elderly people who cannot walk. For them, we suggest that the Commercial St. Association has an electric golf-cart shuttle service from the parking areas to the street. We estimate that it can be done if each shop contributes just Rs. 150 a month towards this. The pedestrian-only idea is not so radical, by the way. On weekends Pune's MG Road, which is the city's main shopping area, becomes what they call a 'walking plaza' with entertainment like street theatre and musicians. It is attacting a lot of the crowd that used to go to malls before.
  • 3. Parking in 2 lanes - occupies 42 % of the road space
  • 4. Illegal parking on both sides of the street. Pedestrians forced to walk on the road.
  • 5. Illegal parking on both sides of the street. Pedestrians forced to walk on the road.

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