Govt gives push for pedals
Excessive honking, plumes of smoke, bustling traffic and relatively forever wait while on our wheels is not always a happy way to get to work or shop.
Having the pleasure of mobility by the rhythm of our energy is a wonderful way to go about. Simply put, pedaling is a rare phenomenon in Namma Bengaluru when compared to other green cities around the world. But, the time for change is at our doorstep.
The Urban Development Department has asked members of the public to suggest popular cycling routes to mark bicycle lanes in the city. The BMTC has also done its bit by experimenting with cycle carriers where upto two cycles can be hung in the front of the bus on the ORR bus lane.
“Government policies need a change and only a collective voice of citizens can bring about such a change for a sustainable mode of transport. The absence of safe cycling lanes make us think twice before choosing a bicycle as a mode of regular transport. One of the prime roads which needs a cycle lane is Hebbal to KIA, as many cyclists ride below the flyover to avoid fast moving traffic”, says Anshul Goswami, a cycling enthusiast and North Bangalore resident.
While Nirmal, a techie who works at Manyata Tech Park says, “Cycling early morning is a very good exercise and a brilliant start to my day. I usually do not prefer riding a bicycle at night as there is heavy truck traffic on ORR and around it. Many of the corners are not lit by streetlights, which makes it unsafe for cyclists.”
Cycles tend to surpass the traffic on congested routes and by implementing cycle lanes, travel can get quicker compared to other modes of mobility. A research by Leeds University shows that, cyclists are least exposed to air pollution on daily commutes in a congested city, as people in cars and buses spend longer duration in toxic air. It also found that air pollution is relatively higher inside cars, and are being called as the ‘boxes collecting toxic gases.”
“Bicycles are six times more efficient when compared to one car, in terms of space. There is a lot of space saved in parking, of course, much of pollution is reduced, less accidents occur, fuel import is saved in terms of the economy and a lot of other environmental and health perks are achieved. Certainly, one needs to change their mindset and behavior about bicycles and bicycling,” says Sathya Sankaran, Bicycle Mayor of Bengaluru.
When quizzed about the lack of bicycling lanes in Bengaluru, Sathya said that more people need to opt for bicycles, more people need to get on to the roads riding bicycles, and that is when the demand for cycling infrastructure comes into picture, and more methods and developments take place.