To Bikers Flouting Traffic Rules, the Footpath is Ours, Road Yours
Usha Srikantan and Subramanyam have started a ‘don’t ride on the footpath’ campaign in Bengaluru.
Usha Srikantan and Subramanyam have started a ‘don’t ride on the footpath’ campaign in Bengaluru. (Photo: Arun Dev/Altered by The Quint)

To Bikers Flouting Traffic Rules, the Footpath is Ours, Road Yours

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam
Arun Dev

I am Usha Srikantan, from Sterling Terraces in Banashankari 3rd stage in Bengaluru. I, along with Subramanyam from Shankari Apartments have started a ‘don’t ride on the footpath’ campaign. Over some time now, we have been hearing of bitter experiences our children and older people in our locality have had on the road.

We have seen that many are really afraid because of this menace. So many bikes are driving on the footpath and coming so close that we get worried as to when we are going to get hit.

In 2018, the Bengaluru traffic police booked 26,324 cases but even this failed to be a deterrent.

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Therefore we both thought that the best thing is not to rely on the authorities, because I don’t see anyone taking any initiatives. We thought the best thing was to stand on the footpath ourselves and prevent them from coming on to the footpath.

Thankfully, for us, many have appreciated our efforts.

As Subramanyam says,

“I think 85 percent of the people are disciplined people. Out of the that, around 50 percent have appreciated us, and told us we are doing a fantastic job. Even if there is no appreciation, there have been good smiles. We are only worried about that 15 percent who are breaking the laws and are indisciplined.”

For me, the inspiration behind the campaign has been my grandson. Couple of months back, when I was walking my grandson from the bus stop to the house, there was a lot of building material in front of a building. He he said, “Paati (grand ma), you always insist that we follow rules and you say I can’t walk on the road, but how do you expect me to walk on the footpath when it is full of building material?”

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Later, he asked, “and what about the two-wheelers that almost run over us?” That sort of inspired me.

A few days later, a senior citizen was almost hit by two wheeler. Subramanyam also said he had met with a similar incident. We thought it was time we took this seriously.

Every other day, we two, and a couple of likeminded others (including children) volunteer to stand on the footpath with placards and divert the bikers on the footpath to the road.

Subramanyam and I want a solution to this. We don’t want to be standing here everyday. These people are just coming on the footpath, not mindful of pedestrians. We are really disturbed, we want the police or the corporation to take some action. And I do hope that these two wheelers realise that footpath is for us and the road is for them.

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