A Plea for Pedestrians in Pakistan

In this editorial, Ibne Ahmad of Rawalpindi, Pakistan claims that cars are significantly impacting the quality of life there, and that pedestrians and public space need to be reclaimed for the sake of equality.
October 6, 2008, 12pm PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Kids are detained at home after school hours, in dread of speeding vehicles, and are not allowed to get outside alone. Often there are no sidewalks. Even when there are, parking bays are carved out of them, or cars simply park on them in a symbolic ritual that illustrates class distinction between members of the car-owning minority as first-class citizens, and the rest.

If car use is not restricted it demands unlimited investments in road infrastructure, which would consume limited public funds that should instead go to water and sewage supply, schools, parks and meeting the other basic needs of the poor. As traffic worsens, decisions are made to make more roads than taking road space away from private vehicles for quality bus systems to transport people to work. It further complicates the problems of the poor."

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Published on Sunday, October 5, 2008 in The News International
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