Shoppers turn new footpath into parking lot

They prefer to park on the pavement to avoid paying parking fees charged by the mall for designated spots

Weeks after a new footpath was laid in front of MetroZone, a shopping mall near Tirumangalam flyover on Jawaharlal Nehru (J.N) Main Road, shoppers to the mall park their vehicles on the footpath, forcing pedestrians to walk on the carriageway.

Motorcyclists prefer to park on the pavement outside the mall to avoid paying parking fees charged by the mall for designated parking spots. The mall charges ₹40 per hour for two-wheeler parking. Unauthorised parking on the pavement is rampant in the evening hours and during weekends when the visitor footfall is high.

During holidays and weekends, vehicles can be seen lined up till the flyover’s ramp, blocking free movement of vehicles on the service lane under the flyover towards Tirumangalam. “As the stretch towards Tirumangalam flyover is narrow, the footpath provides us a safe space to walk. But with the bikes usurping the pavement space, we have to risk our lives by walking on the vroad ,” says S. Prema, a resident of Mogappair.

With a school located inside a government quarters near the ramp, many students too use the pavement. Further, residents of Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board quarters along the service lane of Tirumangalam flyover use the footpath to reach Koyambedu wholesale market. This stretch does not have a pedestrian-crossing.

On an average, more than two lakh vehicles, including MTC buses, cars, water tankers, goods-laden lorries use the flyover to reach southern districts via Tambaram. As a result, walking on the narrow carriageway poses a threat to the safety of pedestrians.

At present, traffic police personnel attached to Tirumangalam police are deployed at Tirumangalam junction to regulate traffic movement. The Koyambedu junction, about half-a-kilometre away from this junction, too has a team of traffic police deployed. However, between these two spots where the footpath is located, no policemen are deployed to prevent unauthorised parking. “Steps will be taken soon to prevent unauthorised parking,” say police sources.

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