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In order to facilitate pedestrian crossing on major busy roads in Dhaka, the Dhaka City Corporation has built some 25 Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) at different locations of the city. It has been observed that the FOBs are not sufficiently used. Meanwhile, there has been a proposal to build 10 more FOBs. DCC is constructing these bridges with support from the Dhaka Urban Transport Project (DUTP). In order to make effective utilization of these bridges, the Committee for the Development and Coordination of Dhaka City at the Prime Minister’s Office asked the Centre for Urban Studies to conduct a feasibility study of the existing FOBs as well as that of the proposed ones . The conditions at the signalized crossings were also to be studied. The study was formally commissioned by DUTP.
The objective of the Feasibility Study on Foot Over Bridges (FOBs) in Dhaka City was to get some practical recommendations in order to improve pedestrian crossing facilities and to improve pedestrian management capacity in the short run. In the long run, the study aims at providing feasible solutions for increasing the pedestrian facilities by designing user friendly FOBs, improving signalized intersections and suggesting other appropriate means for pedestrian crossing, which are safe, convenient, aesthetically attractive and user friendly. The study had 6 components, being complementary to each other.
A total of 2,31,091 pedestrians were counted at 16 FOB locations. Of these, less than half (46.81%) of the pedestrians were found to be using FOBs, while the larger half (53.19%) of the people did not use the crossing facilities.
A total of 800 pedestrians were interviewed in person at 25 FOB locations about use and non-use of FOBs. The 800 pedestrians interviewed represented various socio-economic and age groups and both genders. 78.5 percent were males and 21.5 percent were females, 50.6 percent belonged to young age group (15-29), another 30.4 percent belonged to 30-45 age groups. There were also aged and child age-groups. Few among the respondents were illiterate. Students, private service holders and business people were the major occupation groups. There was quite a good percentage (7.5%) of respondents who were housewives.
Proportion of Users and Non-users of FOBs
Of the 800 pedestrians interviewed, 45.4 percent were found to be using FOBs while 54.6 percent were not using.
Reasons for not Using FOBs
Table 1: Reasons for not using FOBs *
|Takes more time
|Occupied by hawkers
|Lack of security
|Takes a long walk
|Poor entry access
*Multiple Answers Possible Source: Pedestrians survey 2004
Those who did not use FOBs gave many reasons for it, (Table 1). The most common reason given was that pedestrians felt uneasy or (uncomfortable) in using FOBs. There are also other reasons as given in Table 1. Some explanatory notes on each reason are as follows:
Suggestions for Improvement of Intersections
Site specific suggestions are given in the main report. These may be summarized as follows:
The month long study revealed substantial opportunity to improve efficiency and safety of pedestrians crossing the busy roads thus allowing through traffic move freely. This requires a wide range of improvements in various social, physical and administrative fields such as pedestrian awareness, improvement of design of foot over bridges, traffic law enforcement etc.
It seems that breaking rules is the rule of the day. Most people are walking across the road ignoring the foot over bridge above. Even if there are designated crossing points on the road pedestrians are often found to cross the roads without any respect to traffic rules. Indiscriminate use of the limited footpath by bus ticket counters, hawkers, car parking etc. force pedestrians to abandon the footpaths and walk on the road. All these bring to notice the need for public education and awareness, as well as strong enforcement of traffic rules.