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The World Is Looking at Bengaluru’s Pedestrian-Centric Street Design to Improve Its Roads. Here’s Why!

A New York-based advocacy group is using the case study of St Marks Road in Bengaluru, which has implemented the road improvement project TenderSURE, in a global guidebook of best practices.

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A street design implemented across a number of Bengaluru’s streets is being used as a new standard of road model for cities across the globe.

TenderSure, a pedestrian-centric design, has been included in a guidebook drafted by New York-based advocacy group NACTO (The Global Designing Cities Initiative of the National Association of City Transportation Officials.)

A TenderSURE design road. Photo Source: Jana Urban Space Foundation

The guidebook includes best practices selected from around the world in pedestrian safety, transit and sustainable mobility, and has been endorsed by 15 organisations across 29 global cities including London, Sydney and Addis Ababa, according to Times of India.

A number of Bengaluru’s streets have already implemented the design under the project’s Phase 1 including St Marks Road, Cunningham Road, Richmond Road, Residency Road and Museum Road. The guidebook uses the case study of St Marks Road as an example of how the project has been a success and should therefore be used to help improve the streets in international cities.

So what exactly is it that has made the world look to the India-based design?

 

Many of India’s roads are in desperate need of improvement. Photo Source: Jana Urban Space Foundation

 

Well the project aims to address the major problems afflicting India’s roads; potholes, broken footpaths, overflowing drains, poorly placed power lines and hanging electrical wiring, with solutions that move away from temporary, ‘jugaad’ fixes, to ones that are more sustainable and enduring. Furthermore the project doesn’t just aim to fix India’s streets, it also attempts to tackle road users behaviour towards streets and, ideally, address the two simultaneously, although there are doubts over whether this has been done thus far. In the words of the project itself, ‘it’s about finally taking steps towards addressing the relationship between the quality condition of our streets, and the quality of our lives.’

The design of TenderSURE roads prioritises the comfort and safety of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as recognises the needs of street vendors and hawkers. TenderSURE also combines street landscape and hardscape aesthetics with practical considerations for pedestrians and citizens using the roads.


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All civic agencies are involved throughout the duration of the project, from discussions in the planning stage, execution, to the ongoing maintenance once the implementation has been finalised. This aims for, as much as possible, a seamless and timely execution of the project.

According to the guidebook, data analysis conducted by NACTO on the example of St Marks Road found a 250% increase in the volume of pedestrians on the street and a drastic 3-minute drop in the average wait time of pedestrians at crossings, which is approximately 12 seconds.

St Marks Road was one of the first roads to implement the TenderSURE design under the project’s Phase 1. Photo Source: Jana Urban Space Foundation

In addition to receiving international acclaim, TenderSURE has also been branded as best practice by Niti Aayog and a recommendation has been made to emulate the design in cities and towns across India.

Once the guidebook, Global Urban Streets Guide, is ready, it will be available as a globally accessible, free-to-download document that urban planners, designers and transportation practitioners in cities around the world can implement, from here.

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Written by Lucy Plummer

Born in London, UK, Lucy has traveled the world before falling in love with India during a 9-month backpacking trip in 2016. She's passionate about humanity, culture, food and mountains.