Skywalk mooted between transit hubs

A skywalk integrating the transit stations between Thampanoor and East Fort has been mooted to ensure free movement of pedestrians and enable seamless travel and quick dispersal of commuters.

The proposed skywalk will link major transit hubs — the proposed Light Metro Station, KSRTC Bus Station, Central Railway Station at Thampanoor, and City Bus Station at East Fort.

Besides, it can interconnect places with heavy pedestrian flow such as Pazhavangady Sree Maha Ganapathy temple, KSRTC commercial complex at Thampanoor, Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple, Chalai Bazar and commercial areas in Attakulangara and Fort area.

The proposed alignment of the skywalk starts from the KSRTC Central Bus Station. It will connect the proposed Light Metro Station, crossing over the railway station and Southern Entry at Power House Road, and pass by the side of Amayezhanjan canal to reach Putharikandam Maidan.

Mooted as a steel or alloy structure supported on RCC or steel columns, the skywalk will have a vertical clearance of 5.5 m. Steps, escalators and elevators at the entry and dispersal points have been proposed to make it user-friendly.

The skywalk has been conceived by Laxmi Rajasekharan and Rupa Mathew, students of Master of Planning, College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram, under the guidance of T. Elangovan, Former Director, NATPAC.

A traffic survey by the team found traffic of between 3,000-4,400 passenger car units (PCU) per hour from Overbridge to East Fort in each direction. The cross-walk and lateral movement of the pedestrians were found to be very high at Overbridge, Thampanoor, Pazhavangadi and East Fort. Lateral movement of pedestrians was found to be of the order of 1,200 for every 15 minutes during peak hours.

Almost 80% of the pedestrians in the East Fort and Thampanoor area are regular commuters who need safe and hazard-free travel. As much as 84 % of the pedestrians used public transport either before or after walk.

Heavy volume of traffic and inadequate pedestrian facilities put the pedestrians at greater risk, according to Mr. Elangovan. Of the total accidents reported in the busy area, 69% were passengers travelling in different vehicles and 31% were pedestrians. The number of crash victims including pedestrians has been increasing since 2010.

The study found that the number of people travelling by bus from Thampanoor to East Fort and vice versa per hour was 658, walking through Powerhouse Road, 296, travel by autorickshaw, 144 and by other modes, 318. Thus, the number of people going from Thampanoor to East Fort and vice-versa is estimated as 1458 persons per hour.

Planter boxes on either side, adequate lighting at the access points and along skywalk to ensure safety and security, resting places and seating at every 100 m, toilets and drinking water facility, garbage bins and signages have been mooted.