BENGALURU: Fed up with bikers and other two-wheeler riders using sidewalks as a convenient shortcut to beat traffic, senior citizens held a unique demonstration in Banashankari III Stage on Thursday. They stood on a pavement along Ittamadu-Katriguppe Road and appealed to the scofflaws to stay off spaces meant for pedestrians. When the requests failed, they blocked their way, refusing to budge. A video of the protest generated a lot of interest on social media, highlighting a serious safety issue that pedestrians face day in, day out. The senior citizens held placards with the message “Two-wheelers pls use the road no footpath (sic)”.According to Bengaluru traffic police’s records, 16,069 two-wheeler riders were booked for attempting a quick escape from traffic through footpaths in 2016. The number rose to 18,889 in 2017 and to 26,324 last year. That’s a spike of over 10,200 in just two years. There are 80.49 lakh vehicles in the city. Of these 55.88 lakh are two-wheelers, the second highest after Delhi. “The biggest problem is bikers don’t understand that footpaths are for pedestrians, and not vehicles. Last week, an elderly man was hit by a two-wheeler, and the rider refused to stop,” said Usha Srikanta, 75, who was a part of the protesting group on Thursday. Sidewalks have also been shrinking as hawkers illegally take over spots and workers dump construction debris. “Where should we walk? The city doesn’t have enough footpaths; the ones that can be used are being encroached on. We want to create awareness on the issue and stop two-wheeler riders from using footpaths,” Srikanta said. Traffic police officials said offenders were being booked for dangerous driving and slapped with a fine of Rs 300. But residents complain that the rules are not being enforced strictly, especially during peak hours.