Some are appreciative, others annoyed 

Road: Numerous additional zebra crossing were recently introduced in Phuentsholing.

However, while pedestrians are appreciative, complaints by drivers that the crossings are adding to traffic congestion are increasing.

The zebra crossings were introduced in the town about two weeks ago.

“It is good from one angle,” said Norbu Gyeltshen, a resident of the town. But he added that more than the required number of zebra crossings had been added, which is causing traffic congestion.

“The initiative is good but the timing is wrong,” said Sonam Penjore, a businessman who works in the core area of the town.

Sonam Penjore said that it is the wrong time to introduce the crossings as many people from across the country visit the town during the winter.

There are four zebra crossings encircling the roundabout in the core town area. While traffic police are monitoring the area, with increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic, confusion usually occurs.

During this time of the year many organisations from across the country choose Phuentsholing to conduct workshops, seminars and training. Students from across the country also spend their winter vacation in the town.

The agencies concerned are aware of the situation.

The superintendent of police said that the main purpose of the zebra crossings is to avoid pedestrians being hit by vehicles.

“When there are no zebra crossings, people walk on the road along with the vehicles,” the superintendent said. “People have to understand that zebra crossings are not only meant for them.”

The superintendent of police also said that the agencies concerned agree that the crossings have caused more congestion. But he pointed out that safety and security are more important.

The crossings were also introduced because there are not many pedestrian footpaths in the town.

However, the agencies concerned have agreed that following a trial period, zebra crossings that are not required will be removed.

While the zebra crossings may have led to more congestion, some say that the initiative has educated hundreds since it was introduced. A Phuentsholing resident, Bijay Chhetri, said that it is a pleasant sight to see pedestrians using the zebra crossings.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing