18.5 crores has been sanctioned for the cycle track.

Bengaluru cyclists rejoice BBMP to build 275 km long lane only for cycles
news Traffic Saturday, May 06, 2017 - 12:47

Think Bengaluru and apart from its shopping areas, breweries and IT parks, the traffic is something that will leap to your mind. Long traffic jams in every part of the city, coupled with reckless driving by four- and two-wheelers give the city’s people unpleasant road experiences.

A small yet significant change to people’s traffic woes has now been made by the BBMP. A 27.5 km long cycle lane is to be built in and around the HSR Layout. 

Earlier initiatives of the BBMP to create cycle lanes in Basavangudi and Jayanagar failed miserably. 

Now, 18.5 crores has been sanctioned for this cycle track by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), according to a report by the Bangalore Mirror.

Bicycle enthusiasts around the city have cheered the move.

Manjesh Chandrasekharan, Managing Director of ICYCLE Solutions Pvt. Ltd, wholeheartedly welcomes the news. “The benefit of adding cycle lanes in a city like Bengaluru are many. It will add to the physical and personal fitness of the cyclist, and also improve the overall environmental fitness of the city by reducing pollution and congestion. I think the city’s fitness on a broader scale will significantly get better,” he says.

HSR Layout has great commercial value due to the influx of IT companies and universities in the past few years. However, it hasn’t completely developed yet, making it perfect for starting a lane solely for cyclists, adds Manjesh.

Roshan Shetty, dealership head at Procycle, says, “This move should be slowly implemented all around the city. The government should evaluate the situation and implement the use of cycle lanes in the main parts of the city. Unfortunately, we had something like auto lanes earlier, but people on the road don’t follow it."

The question of the cyclist’s safety instantly arises in the minds of people. 

“Everyone has this thought that a cyclist is always prone to accidents. But, that’s not true, they are actually one of the safest on the road. Cyclists take up the least amount of space on the road as they stick to the side. They don’t get involved in the route of a two- or four-wheeler motor vehicle, which makes them safe,” explains Manjesh.

According to a study conducted by The Energy and Resources Institute, fast moving vehicles on the road have increased from 70% to 80%, because of which, there has been a decline in the use of bicycles in cities like Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. 

As of 2011, the number of bicycle users is just 23% in Bengaluru.

Ultimately, it’s up to the cyclists and motor vehicle users to maintain civic sense. Roshan says, “The traffic police can’t really do much. The cyclists should follow lane discipline and be fined if they break rules. Right now, traffic rules are steadily applied only to motor vehicles, they should be equally enforced on cyclists as well."

“Traffic problem cannot be solved with just constructing another flyover. Vehicle overflow will take place with multiple flyovers as well. What the city needs is a proper management and monitoring system for cycle lanes, particularly in prime traffic areas. It is crucial that cycles be made available to people, particularly for running regular household errands, commuting to work or travelling on the weekends," adds Manjesh.

The BBMP’s plan includes a barrier that will separate the cycle lane from motor vehicles’ lane, and various warning signboards will be put up for the safety of cyclists, drivers and pedestrians.

How should the government encourage citizens to commute using bicycles?

“I think that the BBMP, along with the traffic police should start multiple awareness campaigns and put up hoardings and advertisements that highlight the various advantages of cycling," concludes Manjesh. 

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