ISLAMABAD  – Most of the residents living on both sides of the Islamabad Expressway seemed to have no interest in using the overhead bridges, built on various points to facilitate them. Despite warnings by the police and traffic instructions, the pedestrians hardly take that extra effort to climb the bridges. Instead, they just walk across the road.

Pedestrian are generally reluctant to use the nearby overhead bridges. An old man said: “I’m in a hurry, I don’t care. I have to reach office.” An official of Islamabad traffic police said that they were doing their best to educate the road users. Different signboards have been installed to guide them.

“I agree that most of the pedestrians prefer short-cuts, avoid using these overhead bridges and face road accidents,” he said. Several fatal and non-fatal road accidents have occurred on the Islamabad Expressway due to the negligence of pedestrians who jump on the road out of nowhere, the official added. He said that police would continue their efforts to educate the road users.

He requested the people to use overhead bridges as they were erected for their safety.

The expressway is one of the busiest roads in the city as most of the traffic coming from Lahore uses it to enter Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Ali Furqan, a car owner while talking to this agency said, “The government has spent millions of rupees to facilitate the people living on both sides of the expressway for their safety.” But most of the pedestrians are not using that facility, he regretted. Muhammad Arshad, a public transport driver, said, “Mostly people do not use the [overhead] bridge for crossing the road and disturb the flow of the traffic.”

Naeem Asghar, a government employee, said the he always uses overhead bridges as these have been installed to facilitate the public. Talking to this news agency, a spokesman of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) said that a proposal was being considered to construct a six-foot high safety wall along the Islamabad Expressway to discourage the pedestrians from crossing it other than from the designated places.

“But due to financial crunch, the plan has been dropped,” he revealed. To a question, he said overhead bridges would be installed at Zero Point Interchange soon.