The Chennai city police have created a cycling lane on a 20-km stretch of the East Coast Road (ECR). This lane has been demarcated exclusively for cyclists for use on weekends. A trial was conducted on Thursday and Saturday.
The exclusive lane was proposed by City Police Commissioner Shankar Jiwal for the people to go on long jogs and cycling down ECR. He also instructed the police personnel to ensure safety of cyclists and joggers on the stretch and that they are free from hindrance from other vehicles. The first trial was conducted on a 12-km stretch from Akkarai Junction to Muttukadu on December 25. Many requested the Police Commissioner to extend the stretch since they felt comfortable without any hindrance from other vehicles or rash driving.
On Saturday morning, the Law and Order and Traffic Police personnel together regulated the traffic and ensured that the lane was used only by cyclists and joggers from Kottivakkam to Muttukadu.
A senior police officer said, "Initially, we decided to give a convenient track for cyclists between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. from Akkarai junction to Muttukadu. Following the response and request from the public, we extended the lane for a stretch of 20 km from Kottivakkam to Muttukadu boat house. The idea was to allow them on Saturdays and Sundays but it will not be possible on Sunday this time since it is a lockdown."
"We are identifying other places and exploring the possibility of creating a similar lane exclusively for cyclists. We are studying other possibilities. At least on Saturdays and Sundays, those who are willing to cycle will be allowed," the officer said.
It is also proposed to create a similar lane on Rajiv Gandhi Salai from Madhya Kailash Junction to Sholinganallur junction. A trial will be conducted soon on the stretch in association with the Tambaram Police Commissionerate, police officers said.