Tracks in a shambles big downer for cycling
Even as interest around cycling goes up, owing to the awareness and visits to other global centres, and as cycling is being accepted as the best non-polluting mode of transport, the city has fewer intra city trips and increasing vehicular chaos on its roads.
IT professional A Singh took up cycling to work for a better health, but quickly felt demotivated after two months.
One has to battle pollution, dodge trucks and buses and get off the cycle tracks again and again .
There is a dire need for all departments, regional transport office (RTO), the transport utility body, Pune Police, traffic police as well as the civic body to work together and dwell on how lives of cyclists can be better."
The mandal has been pushing for steps to be taken to promote cycling, in view of making Aundh-Baner-Balewadi model districts under the Smart Cities Mission.
While cyclists unanimously feel that other citizens on the roads lack sensitivity towards them, infrastructure experts call for a serious relook on focus towards widening pathways to accommodate a larger number of motorized vehicles.
Despite Pune's long history of loving the bicycle, investments that made using a car or a two-wheeler easier always seemed to take precedence.
Widening of roads and flyovers are unsustainable solutions to traffic problems.
There have to be segregated cycle tracks. Some roads may need retrofitting to be safe for cyclists.
Just like BRTS corridors, wardens can be appointed to ensure only cyclists are there on the cycle tracks.
Safe parking also becomes important as almost 30% cyclists have faced theft issues."
Signal boxes for cyclists or a few seconds of lag in red light can be accommodated for them.
"There can be cycle-friendly workplaces, and more events to make cycling attractive," she added.
Traffic and blatant rule breaking is the biggest obstacle towards cycling.
"Rash and illegal driving by motorized vehicles must be punished as it puts others constantly at risk.
Priority should be to sensitize all civic departments towards cyclists.
There should be a right of way on the roads for cyclists too.
Bus drivers are not trained, while two-wheelers regularly keep encroaching on cycle tracks without being fined.
- Continuous cycle tracks with a good network around the city, without disruptions, steel poles, boulevards and bus stops in the middle
- Maintenance of cycle tracks. Separate footpaths
- Separate marked parking spaces in schools, colleges, especially at big shopping complexes and multiplexes. Docking stations in parking spaces for safety of cycles
- Strictness with riders riding on footpaths or cycle tracks
- Planting trees at regular intervals along cycle paths
- Proper and good amount of signanges
- Public outreach programmes
- Educating the public to be sensitive towards cyclists and give right of way