Image Source: Sonali Pimputkar
Image Source: Sonali Pimputkar

Mumbai: Come Friday, commuters will witness sea change at the intersection of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). This iconic spot is all set for a pedestrian-friendly make-over, inspired by the New York City's Times Square. Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) and Mumbai Traffic Police have initiated the transformation at the intersection on Tuesday. This initiative aims to eventually enhance pedestrian safety while ensuring the traffic is more efficient around this CSMT intersection.

BIGRS was initiated in 2015, after a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Maharashtra and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Since then, there has been a 22 per cent reduction in road crash deaths. The aesthetics of the redesign of the CSMT intersection have been aligned with the goals of the Heritage Committee, respecting the historic value of this site. This redesign process culminated with a re-visualization of the intersection that capitalizes on unused spaces to make the streetscape safer for all road users.

The transformation of the CSMT junction was announced in November 2018, after achieving impressive results from renovation of Mith Chowki junction at Malad (W). Abhimanyu Prakash, programme manager of Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI) said, "We have aligned the lanes to improve traffic flow and create public spaces around CSMT junction. This design has been drawn based on vehicular movement and pedestrian traffic data. This project will also benefit street vendors.”

According to the Mumbai Road Safety Report for the year 2018, pedestrians were most affected, comprising 51 per cent of the total deaths. The redesign of CSMT intersection will shorten pedestrian crossings, there will be refuge islands and dedicated parking spots. They will add benches, planters and pavers to make sidewalks more accessible and attractive to pedestrians. The travel lanes will be aligned for systematic traffic movement. Interestingly, all materials used in this transformation is temporary and moveable, which can be adjusted over the course of the project, added Prakash.

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