Bengaluru gets its first ‘Bicycle Mayor’

Consulate General, embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Jaap Werner presenting the trophy of Bicycle Mayor to Satya Shankaran in Bengaluru on Monday.   | Photo Credit: G_P_Sampath Kumar

Bengaluru got its first ‘Bicycle Mayor’ on Monday as 42-year-old civic activist Satya Shankaran was announced the winner from among 19 applicants, six of who were shortlisted for the post.

The selection panel included civic activists Ashwin Mahesh, V. Ravichander and Srinivas Alavalli, and urban transport experts Pawan Mulukutla and Prof. Ashish Verma.

The city is the third in India to have a Bicycle Mayor after Vadodara in Gujarat and Guwahati in Assam.

The Bicycle Mayor is an honorary two-year position, part of a global programme envisioned by Amsterdam-based NGO ByCS, which aims to ensure that 50% of the transport in cities is made up of bicycles by 2030.

In India, the project is being implemented in coordination with the NGO Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF).

Mr. Shankaran is the co-founder of the NGO Prajaa, which has been focusing on civic interventions in Bengaluru, and the founder of Citizens for Sustainability (Cifos), focusing on technology and infrastructure. He has been actively involved in projects concerning non-motorised transport.

He plans to focus on bringing together experts and cycling enthusiasts. To begin with, he would reach out to all the contestants and encourage their participation in the movement. That apart, he would focus on creating awareness among school students. The idea is to approach schools and teach students subjects such as physics, health and civics through cycling, he said.

Parking hubs

On the occasion, the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT) announced that the city will soon get 400 parking hubs for bicycles and 125 km of cycle lanes under a project executed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.

N. Murali Krishna, Special Officer, DULT said of the 125 km cycling lanes, about 50 km will be developed in sub-arterial routes. “This is likely to be ready within the next six months. For the rest, planning has to be done,” he added.

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Printable version | Jul 22, 2021 4:02:34 PM |

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