FAQs on NMT Planning

Why do we need to provide NMT facilities?

Conventional traffic/transport studies focused on vehicular movement rather than NMT. While large investment was made to improve vehicular traffic flow, except in a few cities, minimal budget has been allocated to improve the convenience/safety of NMT. The importance of pedestrians and NMVs in Indian cities has largely been neglected in planning for mobility improvement. Mechanized trips, however, also involve walking as feeder or transfer. A high percentage of trips below 3 to 4 kilometers in urban areas are performed solely by walking or NMVs, such as bicycles and rickshaws and there is an acute need to improve NMT facilities and safety considerations.

Do we need to remove NMVs to become a modern city?

Pedestrians and NMVs should not be considered as a ‘nuisance’ to motor vehicles. A number of modern cities in developed countries such as the Netherlands, Germany and Japan are pioneers in facility improvements for pedestrians and NMVs. Most of the remaining modern cities are designed also in an NMT-friendly manner.

What types of NMV facilities do we have to consider?

Types of NMV facility to be considered include footpaths (sidewalks), pedestrian crossings, pedestrian signals, pedestrian overbridges and subways, NMV lanes, NMV signals, NMV parking, NMV standing areas, and relevant signs and marking. This module provides options and examples for such facilities.

What should we do when pedestrians do not use pedestrian facilities?

Some city officials complain that they cannot force the use of pedestrian facilities such as pedestrian crossings. Pedestrians are vulnerable and therefore should be protected. Cities must re-examine the possibility of improving the design and location of pedestrian facilities. Pedestrians do not use crossings if they have to make long detours. Pedestrian signals can be provided at crossings with busy traffic. Driving manners and regulations (if necessary) must be improved to give priority to pedestrians. Pedestrians will use improved facilities and if they feel respected.

How can we introduce NMV lanes on narrow streets?

If traffic speed is low, NMT can mix with other vehicles. Provision of dedicated lanes is preferable, but clear marking alone also functions as ‘NMT priority’ facilities. There are a number of cases in developed countries where narrow streets are closed to vehicular traffic and dedicated as NMT-only streets. In encouraging increased use of NMT, it is particularly important to provide safe and comfortable facilities which form a continuous network.

Where in the city are NMV parking facilities most required?

Bicycle parking facilities are required at almost all major destinations such as schools, offices, railway stations, shops and markets. Rickshaw stands are necessary particularly around railway stations, shops and markets. If adequate parking space and waiting areas are provided, traffic disturbance caused by uncontrolled NMV parking will be minimized.

What types of bicycle parking are available? What types of new technology are available for bicycle parking?

Technologies for bicycle parking are advanced in some countries. There are multi-story bicycle parks and some fully computerized ones, with some privatized facilities. However, these facilities may not be suited for medium cities in India, as the hi-tech facilities are capital intensive and costly to operate. Space for bicycle parking may be easily found in cities where land use densities are relatively low. In such situations, however, ‘bicycle racks’ may be used to make efficient use of space, or for security reasons (i.e., prevention of theft).

Can we charge parking fees for bicycles, or should we provide free parking?

In principle, bicycle parking should be provided free of charge, but a minimal charge can be levied to make the facilities operationally sustainable. Provision of secure parking space with a minimum charge is preferable to not providing facilities.

Would the Ministry support NMT projects?

Yes. As stated in the NUTP, the Ministry would support: (i) construction of bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths; (ii) the construction of pedestrian crossings at busy intersections and road sections with busy traffic; and (iii) formulation and implementation of pilot projects for NMT improvement. Bicycle parking facilities are relatively less costly and may not be proposed as a stand-alone project. They can be included as part of other projects, such as BRT, terminal improvements, and traffic management packages.

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