Letters to the Editor

Benefits of walkability

Friday, 24 September 2021

In the good cities of the world, walkability is a major advantage. In Dhaka, it is almost absent. Footpaths and pavements are mostly occupied by makeshift vendors and street hawkers. In some places, footpaths are broken. Footpaths also become parking spots for motorcycles. Obstructions such as garbage dumps and potholes are also there. Motorcycle riders taking short-cuts on footpaths is also common. No government bodies are there to ensure walkability on footpaths in Dhaka. So, it becomes impossible for pedestrians to walk freely. Sometimes, they have to walk on roads, which is quite risky.
Shoring up walking spaces does not cost a lot. It requires some basic brickwork and keeps free for the pedestrians. It is one of the most basic civil construction works. But some stretches in Dhaka are built either too high or too narrow. Thus pedestrians are compelled to walk on the roads. Over the years, the government has focussed on construction of high-cost roads, flyovers and bridges to facilitate faster movement of motor vehicles. But the majority of pedestrians are ignored who have a simple demand for smooth walkability.

Russel Ahmed
Kalabagan, Dhaka