Bengaluru among ‘top 11 cycling pioneers’

A cycle lane set up under the Smart City project on a section of Race Course Road, which is part of a larger cycling circuit, in Bengaluru.   | Photo Credit: K. MURALI KUMAR

Bengaluru is among the cities that was awarded the title, ‘India’s top 11 cycling pioneers’, by the Centre as part of the India Cycles4Change Challenge. The selected cities will receive ₹1 crore each to scale up their cycling initiatives.

In 2020, with public transport hamstrung by the spread of COVID-19, the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry had invited cities to come up with quick solutions to promote cycling. As many as 107 cities came together to test, learn, and scale up different cycling-friendly initiatives, kickstarting India’s cycling revolution, said the MoHUA in a release.

Twenty-five cities had been shortlisted earlier this year, following which a jury comprising national and international transport experts selected the 11 cities. Other metros to make it to the list include Bhuvaneshwar, Chandigarh, Nagpur and Pimpri Chinchwad in Maharashtra, and three cities from Gujarat--Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot.

Bengaluru is the only large city to be selected in the top 11. “That’s because we have agencies like the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), which have prioritised sustainable mobility and public transport for years. It is one of the few cities where permanent infrastructure has been put in place. That was a plus which worked to our benefit, and Bengaluru Smart City Limited stepped up,” said Bengaluru’s Bicycle Mayor, Sathya Sankaran.

As part of the plan for the challenge, Bengaluru built on the idea of pop-up cycle lanes and launched a platform, the Sustainability Mobility Accord, to crowd-source and create cycling neighbourhoods. “When we met last August to discuss the challenge, we had started the pop-up bicycle lane. Smart City decided to extend the pop-up bicycle lanes.”

Second phase

So what’s next? In the second phase, all cities will be encouraged to expand their initiatives. Mr. Sankaran pointed out that Bengaluru has a long way to go before it is cycle friendly.

“We can’t rest on our laurels. We need to push for more infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. We should target cycle lanes on at least 2,000 km of roads within BBMP limits. Funding, from the Centre and the State, will go a long way in making this a reality. The Comprehensive Mobility Plan accounts for 600 km of cycle tracks; let’s begin with that,” said Mr. Sankaran.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 11:56:59 PM |

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