Good Pitch Local (Karnataka)

EQUITY ON STREETS

Urban agglomerations in India are getting larger and its streets increasingly inhospitable for cyclists/pedestrian. This has distorted the usage of a public good like road and induced an asymmetry biased towards the motor vehicle. Most of the users of these motor vehicles are upwardly mobile and have a newly found disregard towards the vulnerable user like the cyclist/pedestrian. This disregard manifests itself on the roads in the form of honking and aggressive manoeuvres towards the cyclist/pedestrian. This can induce accidents and pose a threat of serious injury to the cyclist/pedestrian.

There is a large number of forced users of cycling/walking. They are the blue-collar workers like security guards, the cooks, the cleaners, maids, construction workers and the like. These people brush wheels with the white-collar worker who takes to the cycle or walks to public transport to do his bit for the environment. Both these sections face the same harassment from the vehicle user.

Equity on the roads involves sharing the road. The motor user has a responsibility and obligation to share the road with the cyclist/pedestrian who saves on congestion and pollution on his behalf. The sharing can take many forms like giving up carriageway space for segregating the walkers and cyclists. Where not possible it involves slowing down and giving way to the cyclist and pedestrian in the carriageway. This give-and-take involves creating an empathy in the motor vehicle user towards the cyclist/pedestrian.

The pitch calls for a mechanism to emphatically depict the hassles of the cyclist/pedestrian on the roads and highlight his/her contributions to the liveability of the city. We should be able to convey the action of the “give” from the motor vehicle driver to the cyclist/pedestrian as an obligatory contribution towards the same.

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