The need for a greener and a pollution-free environment may seem far-fetched in current times, but is it impossible? Perhaps, it will take a fair share of time to achieve the imperative, but surely the effort of working towards a healthier world restores some solace.
Church Street First is a pilot project of Clean Air Street which is an initiative of the Directorate of Urban and Land Transport (DULT). From November 7th 2020 to February 28th 2021, Church Street has opened its streets to pedestrians and cyclists for a pedestrian-friendly experience. The street has been closed for motor vehicles on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to 10PM giving locals an opportunity to enjoy the comfort of walking freely without being bothered by a passing vehicle.
The move has been appreciated by locals who spend their weekends in Church Street cycling, walking and being entertained by artists and musicians, another opportunity which has been well received by creators. One Page Spotlight found the perfect chance to meet artists and creators to explore several new stories.
As the pandemic has plagued the world, certain streets and restaurants in Bangalore have seen a reduction in footfall. The idea behind the initiative was to assure locals that a pollution-free, healthy and a rather free space is achievable. Keeping stringent measures in place, the two ends of the street have health screeners that scan passerbys for potential risks. Pedestrians are expected to maintain a safe social distance with masks being worn at all times.
The street saw a plethora of talent like hula hoopers, sound healers, street musicians, folk artists and we found stories that were awe-inspiring. A sight as this is extremely new to many people but some do recall this experience from years ago. “The last time I walked this way on Church Street was in 2007 when World Space played pop music on large speakers. That put everyone in a festive and joyful mood and for a minute I felt I was in another country”, said Sandra Patrao, a client servicing executive. The street reflects an European flavour with restaurants serving tables by the cobblestone pavement, adding a dash of charisma to the scene. Kids can be seen running without hesitation, pets are seen happy to receive the attention and walkers are happy to find a space like this.
So if you live in Bangalore and you weren’t aware of Church Street First, now you know of it. From dining outdoors, meeting new creators to shopping, Church Street First’s walking street is temporarily closed in light of the second wave of Covid-19.