In a quest to improve the overall mobility of the city, the Thane Smart City (TSCL), a special purpose vehicle, is developing a mobility improvement plant as a part of its area-based development plan. The project proposes station area improvement to benefit the daily commuter footfall of 6.5 lakh passengers at Thane station through promotion of Non-Motorized Transport (NMT), organization of station-related activities, and use of technology to organize vehicular movement.
The project involves infrastructural development along 23 streets around the station area. These streets have been categorized into following four themes and would be developed thematically:
The project responds to the mobility and safety needs of pedestrians by the following proposed components: Construction of roads and wider footpaths with urban design components such as: ramps, tactile pavement road markings, bollards, interlocking pavers; landscaping, and street furniture; variable message signage and interactive message boards. What’s more, the project willadopt smart traffic management technologies such as sensor based traffic lights along with the Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC)
The project is proposed around Thane station, which is one of the most heavily used stations in region and hence, will have huge impact for the daily commuter footfall of 6.5 lakh passengers. The project addresses outstanding issues of the station area such as, heavy vehicular and pedestrian traffic, narrow footpath force pedestrians to walk on the road, haphazard parking spaces, encroachment by hawkers and vendors, conflict of multi-modal traffic at intersections. The city has experience in implementing projects for streetscape design, Non-Motorized Transport and multi-modal integration and is seeking expertise for aesthetics and traffic calming.
The project acknowledges the need to include physically challenged, seniors and children in designing infrastructure around the train station. The street signage with Braille and place route maps for easy understanding have been proposed. The security will be ensured in station precinct by installing CCTV cameras and the vendor stalls will be functional the entire day. The project also proposes arrangement for ground water recharge at permeable areas, sufficient planting, installation of solar-powered lights and use of locally sourced building materials.
The project borrows from the principles of train station design in Japan, where train stations have historically been public places. The project is focused on the pedestrians and passengers using the train station and nearby area. The project is replicable at all railway stations in Mumbai and largely India since principles of station area design and development are universally applicable.