Residents and habitués of ECR are on a drive for creation of this facility, says Vipasha Sinha
After he moved to Padur, Pramath Sastry’s jogging schedule went haywire. “I tried jogging on the East Coast Road during the weekends but I gave it up due to the heavy traffic. The rash driving makes it unsafe for joggers and cyclists,” says Sastry, once a long distance runner.
There are however groups that go on long jogs and cycling expeditions down ECR, but, in the absence of a dedicated track for cyclists and joggers, their safety is clearly compromised.
Prem Palanivel, a resident of ECR, has taken up the issue: he has initiated an online petition for creation of a segregated jogging / cycling track on this road..“It is a great experience to jog or cycle down this scenic stretch. A separate track will attract cyclists and joggers from the other parts of the city. It will provide an opportunity to promote cycle tourism,” he says.
The petition is also supported by members of the Chennai Trekking Club (CTC). Peter Van Geit, founder of CTC, says more and more people now take part in marathons and other fitness activities.
A safe space for practice would encourage greater participation.
“Chennai hosts five big marathons. The recent Chennai Pink Run — a marathon to raise awareness about breast cancer — saw good participation. The Wipro Chennai Marathon is getting bigger every year. Also, CTC members regularly go on long runs to lesser known places. People want to indulge in outdoor activities but there is not enough space.”
More than five hundred people have already singed the plea. “Once we have enough support, we will submit the online petition,” says Prem.
ECR’s charm will be enhanced by such a track, he adds.
For details, log on to http://www.change.org/petitions/segregated-jogging-cycling-track-on-ecr-chennai