For three hours on Sunday, pedestrians of T Nagar got a taste of reclaiming some of their space on the otherwise frenzied streets of T Nagar as the city Corporation organised a test run of the proposed pedestrian plaza, a project under the Smart City Mission.
Traffic policemen and signage boards diverted private vehicles, except two-wheelers, out of a 700m stretch between Panagal Park and Thanikachalam road junction on Theagaraya Road from 9am until 12.30pm.
There was palpable excitement in the air, evident more so on the faces of civic body officials.
According to a Corporation official, the initiative was intended to analyse the possibility of pedestrians walking without fear of accidents in the space provided today and to check if the roads to which the traffic was diverted were able to accommodate the volume of motorists without turning into traffic choke points.
Commissioner and special officer D Karthikeyan arrived around 11 am and led a team of officials on a walk down the avenue, before settling for a coffee break at Hotel Saravana Bhavan, one of the few establishments which was ready to welcome the local body’s staff.
Alternative parking arrangements for cars from Bashyam Road to Thyagaraya Road were made at the car park before Panagal Park and cars from Anna Salai to Thyagaraya Road were allowed to be parked on either side of the road up to the Anna Salai and Thanigachalam Road junction.