Research Background & Problem
Cities are the engine of growth. The rapid urbanization resulted to attract large workforce to the city. The environment becomes more complex and cities tend to be highly complicated. The complexity directed towards rapid motorization and it leads to traffic congestion. Meanwhile, this situation directed to have a conflict between pedestrians and vehicles.
Both types of groups have suffered due to this situation which arises a necessity of pedestrian infrastructure for the benefit of both pedestrians and vehicles.
Cities have focused on pedestrian infrastructure and increase the effort on rehabilitating the cities for pedestrians. Therefore the pedestrian infrastructure is proposed for the betterment of pedestrians. Underpass and overpass are considered as pedestrian structures and cornerstone among crossing facilities which facilitate safe in terms of vehicle-pedestrian collision. Those were built to feel secure of pedestrians when crossing congested streets. An Overpass is a bridge which is a vertical separation crossing facility used to separate vehicle and pedestrians and underpass looks like a tunnel built under the motorized traffic on road (Sharples, & Fletcher, 2001).
Pedestrians tend to choose the quickest way to reach the destination without considering their safety. A study of preference of pedestrians in using overpass, at-grade or underpass facility (Saha,Tishi, Islam, & Mitra, 2013) identified that overpass is highly preferable due to the safety and the security. Another study identifies that the insufficient security, time, poor entrance, presence of hawkers results to use underpass rather than using overpass (Pasha, Rifaat, Hasnat, & Rahman, 2015). Still, there is a lack of shifting the effectiveness of the underpass and overpass to a higher level which means that degree of success in terms of utilization and the factors directed towards the degree of success. Therefore the gaps need to be researched ( R?as?anen, Lajunen, Alticafarbay, & Aydin, 2007). The particular underpass or overpass has become effective or not with the users. If the overpass or underpass not effective, the pedestrians trying to cross the streets. Nowadays, the main attention is given to vehicular oriented traffic in transport planning by ignoring the human orientation. Many paid their concern over the vehicular traffic in congested urban areas.
Therefore the adequate provisions for the pedestrians ignored. One criticism is that the primary beneficiary of the implementation of overpasses and underpasses are the motorists. Considerably it’s greater than the pedestrians. Because, the automobiles received prime street-level space in roads (Robertson,1990).Therefore many city planners and designers have perceived drawbacks in overpasses and underpasses in terms of pedestrians’ point of view. The Florida Planning and designing handbook interpret that the pedestrian overpasses and underpasses not play an effective role.
In Sri Lankan context, Overpasses and underpasses have a great potential on reducing the pedestrian conflicts. It is usually appropriate as a traffic calming measure. In the existing situation, pedestrian overpasses and underpasses are not implemented at a level to provide optimum facilities for pedestrians. Overpasses are highly agglomerated in the city of Colombo due to high pedestrian and traffic flow. Underpasses can be seen in Borella Kandy, Kuliyapitiya, Kurunegala, and Bandarawela. However, pedestrians are reluctant and ignored the use of overpasses and underpasses. They ignore the danger and cross at grade-level crossing though the overpasses and underpasses located nearby. The responsible authorities provide these facilities to aid pedestrian mobility. However, do not achieve the desired function and is detrimental to the authorities who provide those facilities. So, what is the effectiveness of underpasses and overpasses in terms of utilization which directed towards the fulfillment of needs of the pedestrians is a blooming issue in Sri Lanka.
To compare and study to what extent the underpasses and overpasses are effective among pedestrians in different urban contexts in Sri Lanka?
What characteristics should be improved to increase the utilization of underpasses and overpasses among pedestrian different urban contexts?
To compare and assess how contributing factors influence to achieve the effectiveness of Overpasses and underpasses among pedestrians in different urban contexts in Sri Lanka.
- To understand the degree of effectiveness & satisfaction level of underpasses and overpasses in different urban contexts.
- To identify the relationship between the contributing factors for the effectiveness of overpasses and underpasses
- To provide recommendations based on the pedestrian satisfaction level & experts’ view for the future design of overpasses and underpasses to foster the effective utilization among pedestrians.
Scope of the study
Pedestrians (age group – 10-80 yrs.) including male, female, elderly, young, children and vulnerable users such as disabled persons incorporated into the study. The study is focused on the effectiveness of underpass and overpass in different urban contexts in Sri Lanka. It is carried out only in those selected urban contexts in Sri Lanka. The study is carried out as a comparative study that covers the aspects of considering the factors affect for the effectiveness of underpasses and overpasses by understanding the degree of effectiveness, what sort of relationship exists between the selected factors and the utilization of the overpasses and underpasses. The fulfillments of the requirement of the pedestrians were given the priority in this study while accessing the effectiveness. Pedestrian views are taken into consideration. Additionally, in terms of providing measures for the identified problems or the issues in the selected underpass and overpass in different urban contexts, the expert’s ideas and views were taken into consideration. These areas are to be covered by the study.
Limitations of the study
- Limited to selected urban contexts taken due to limited time
- Selected respondents were taken as a representative of all pedestrians in selected study areas.
- Accessibility to secondary data is limited due to poor documentation of data
- Limited availability of resources & equipment leads to neglect of some of the contributing factors taken into consideration.
Significance of the study and planning relevance
The study is significant because it provides a review of the effectiveness of utilization of underpass and overpass and forms a basis for policy formulation, adds knowledge on the effectiveness of underpass and overpass in cities in urban areas. It is beneficial for the planners, other professionals and community to understand the effectiveness and utilization of underpasses and overpasses to come up with a conclusion of whether they are effective adequately or not. This will helpful for the future decision making of provision and utilization of underpasses and overpasses to meet and fulfill the required needs of pedestrians. It provides information for the planners, designers as a base to formulate guidelines and criteria to foster an effective utilized underpass and overpasses as a crossing facility in Sri Lanka. City authorities and planners must pay attention to improve the effectiveness of in order to promote a walkable environment. Pedestrian infrastructures must meet the needs of pedestrians. Ultimately, the study will contribute to enhancing the local walking strategies by better reflecting the pedestrian needs.
Cite this essay
Underpasses And Overpasses. (2019, Dec 04). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/underpasses-and-overpasses-essay