The BMC plans to take up works on about 1,000 major roads, to provide better facilities for pedestrian by focusing on design elements. A primary objective is to ensure that these facilities help particularly the disabled.
Work has begun on Dinshaw Wacha Road in Churchgate. Mahapalika Road, the road connecting Churchgate and Nariman Point and Pedder Road will be next.
One of the major features will be to link the footpaths so they are a continuous stretch. "The footpaths break at the gates of buildings, so it is difficult for people, especially the disabled, to climb up and down. As a result, many people walk on the road, risking an accident," said SVR Srinivas, additional municipal commissioner (eastern suburbs).
Srinivas explained that besides general repairs, a special quality of tiles (sandblasted tiles) would be used to level the footpaths.
The work will also involve moving various external utilities such as post boxes and electrical poles to one side so that the footpath is free of such obstacles.
Bollards are to be put up at regular intervals to prevent parking of vehicles on footpaths.
Srinivas said the plan was appreciated at at recent meeting of the recently-set up traffic think tank, comprising representatives of citizen groups and experts.
"This is a welcome move. The initiative should be extended to other public spaces like bus stops, parks, and include approach roads to public institutions like schools, colleges, hospitals and banks," said Neenu Kewlani, who has campaigned for the rights of the disabled.
Civic officials said the work on Mahapalika Road and the Churchgate-Nariman Point Road would be started after a month, when the roads will be less crowded as a result of the summer vacation.
"We have to carry out the work in phases to ensure that traffic is not disrupted," Srinivasan said.
Funds amounting to Rs3,000 crore have been sanctioned for the road works. This will cover the carriageway, the median and the footpaths.
Already, the civic body has started pre-monsoon work on some of the severely damaged roads. One example is the P D'Mello Road.