Located in the busiest area of Chennai, the Pondy Bazaar is a shoppers delight, with the most famous traditional shops – a must-visit destination for all. Festive shopping, wedding shopping, tourist shopping, this place remains vibrant and crowded throughout the year. Unfortunately, most of the road space today is chaotic, with people jostling for space between parked cars, and unending traffic jams on the road, spoiling the entire experience.
A bold new plan of pedestrianizing the busy shopping section of the street, initiated by ITDP and now being funded by World Bank, also forms the city’s new vision under its Smart City Plan – this scheme shall convert the first section of the street into a car-free pedestrian plaza, with only provisions of a bus-lane. The second section shall start allowing few cars, but completely ban parking on the road – to reclaim space from the road for the pedestrians. This new road-diet and reclaiming space for creating a world-class pedestrian prioritized street shall help Chennai become the first city to have tried this in India.
The landscape design for this iconic street is based on creating a new pedestrian plaza feel, with dedicated cycle tracks, bus-stops in addition to a slew of pedestrian facilities like public conveniences, sit-outs, food-courts, vendors’ areas, etc. The entire space shall be a barrier-free plaza with a focus on creating a new vibrant car-free public realm for the city.