Bengaluru roads could soon have space for cyclists. This, after the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) drew up a detailed plan to construct cycle lanes on roads stretching over 100 km of roads in the city.
The first phase of the project which runs up to 46 km is set to be completed in a year's time and includes roads connecting metro stations from Baiyappanahalli to MG Road, areas in Whitefield and a portion of Outer Ring Road.
The BBMP has floated bids for the construction of these lanes and has informed contractors to complete it in 11 months’ time. The agency that takes up the work will also maintain the lanes for a period of two years called the Defect and Liability Period (DLP) and then hand over the lanes to the BBMP for maintenance.
"The lanes or tracks will be 1.5 metres wide and it is being introduced to encourage the public to take to cycling. We have tried to ensure that the cycle tracks are connected to the metro stations and people can also walk along these areas to the metro as well", says Srinivas Murthy, executive engineer (road infrastructure) at BBMP,
The roads which will have a dedicated cycling track include the roads leading to metro stations between Baiyappanahalli and MG Road on the purple line. Cycling tracks will also come up in parts of Outer Ring Road and in areas like Whitefield during the first phase of the project.
Selected roads where the cycling track is set to be built:
Outer Ring Road between KR Puram and Bellandur
Marathahalli to Hoodi via Brookefield
Ulsoor Lake to Swami Vivekananda Metro Station
100 feet road, Indiranagar
Double Road, Indiranagar
The BBMP has also earmarked areas like Rajajinagar, Banashankari, Jayanagar, Magadi Road, Tumakuru Road and Mysuru Road to expand the project in the future.
The BBMP is planning to construct the tracks using paver blocks. However, cycling activists in the city are not enthused by the decision and are lobbying for pigmented bitumen to be used instead of paver blocks, as is the norm in other countries. "Paver blocks could dislodge and cause problems for cyclists. Moreover, we need clarity on what provisions will be made for cyclists at junctions," said Subbaiah, a cycle activist in the city.
Murali Krishna, Directorate of Urban Land Transport Special Officer (DULT) told TNM that the BBMP should create awareness about the project by holding public discussions on the issue. "Before starting the project, they should make the community aware of the project and tell the public that these are the roads where a cycle track is being developed. They have not done this while constructing the cycle and pedestrian tracks near Cubbon Park," he said.
The activists further added that the BBMP should ensure that the cycling track is not encroached by other riders. “Some of the cycle lanes will be at the level of footpaths, while others could be at the road level. The tracks will be 1.5 metres wide and will not come in the way of pedestrians,” a senior BBMP official told Economic Times.
If implemented, the cycle tracks will contribute towards solving the first and last mile of connectivity to and from metro stations.