Mangalavanam-Jos Junction stretch in fray for India Cycle 4 Change contest

Much of the space on footpaths and road shoulders on Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road has been encroached upon or used for haphazard vehicle parking.   | Photo Credit: H. Vibhu

The approximately 5-km-long Mangalavanam-Chathiath Road-Jos Junction stretch will shortly become Kochi’s first road corridor having cycle tracks on either side, courtesy Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML).

It is thus slated to enter the nation-wide India Cycle 4 Change contest organised by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. The winning city will get ₹1 crore grant to further develop cycle tracks. A sustainable alternative to private vehicles, cycling increases the share of green and healthy mode of commute in cities, said Jafar Malik, chief executive officer, CSML.

Cycle tracks on either side of the Chathiath-High Court Junction-Shanmugham Road-Park Avenue Road-DH Road-Jos Junction stretch will most likely be highlighted using markings of unique shade, so that motorists will be able to know that cyclists have the right of way there. “Installing bollards to demarcate the lanes will affect the width of the tarred carriageway, and hence, we decided not to have them. Highlighting the tracks using easily discernible markings will enable safety of bicyclists, while other road users can use the space if absolutely needed,” Mr. Malik said.

The tracks will be ready for use by bicycle riders from January 20. The scope of the pilot project in the city will be readied by December 10. CSML is in the final stage of developing Abraham Madamakkal Road that links High Court Junction and the first Goshree Bridge as a smart road having, among other features, a dedicated duct to carry utility cables and pipelines.

The agency is being helped in rolling out the bicycling initiative by GIZ, a German agency which is spearheading the work to realise the road meant for pedestrians, bicyclists, and e-autos, which will link Ernakulam North and South railway stations.

All the five smart roads in Kochi (the four roads through which the 6-km cycle track has been proposed and Banerjee Road) and four in Fort Kochi will have cycle tracks. They will be commissioned by March 31, 2021. In the long run, CSML has identified Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road-Panampilly Nagar-Vyttila stretch and a few roads in the vicinity of the port to hew out cycle tracks, it is learnt.

The renewed emphasis on cycling is being viewed in the backdrop of a city like Paris engaged in creating 650 km of pop-up cycleways. Cycling for short distances is estimated to result in the Indian economy standing to benefit ₹1.8 trillion each year.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 5:55:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/mangalavanam-jos-junction-stretch-in-fray-for-india-cycle-4-change-contest/article33208296.ece

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