No respite for cyclists
Saving the planet seems to be the new trend these days. Cycling has become quite popular among many and it’s a great way to cut down on those infamous carbon emissions.
In late 2011, the Ride A Cycle Foundation (RAC-F) with the BBMP proposed to create dedicated cycling lanes in Bangalore, the first being in Jayanagar. Six months down the line, however, there is still no glimpse of any such lanes. Cycling is good exercise and is a great way to help the environment but it can be very unsafe.
With the dangerously high traffic levels in the City, even car drivers aren’t safe during rush hour, let alone cyclists.
Anubhav Vanamallai, a student of Christ University and a cycling enthusiast, says that most of the City’s cyclists don’t have high expectations about the cycling lanes.
“Since we’ve never had cycling lanes before, we have no expectations. And even if there were dedicated lanes, they would be occupied by motor bikes and autorickshaws rather than cyclists, which defies the point,” he says.
He adds, “Places like Jayanagar are residential areas and there is no real need for cycling lanes there. On the other hand, they’re needed on main roads where there are problems for cyclists.”
Ronit Manawat, a student at CMS Jain, says, “We were told that Jayanagar would get dedicated lanes for cyclists, and that it would make cycling safe in Bangalore. But nothing has happened so far — so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if anybody really cares.”
Why the hold up? Some feel that the project, which is estimated to cost around Rs 2.59 crore, may be delayed because of the current Metro construction going on in and around the City.
The lanes were supposed to be ready in February but there are no updates
regarding their status. Cyclists find it difficult to manoeuvre through traffic and this can cause accidents. Sudha, a cycling buff, says, “It gets very uncomfortable for cyclists as cars get very close while on the roads.”
“Motorists are very insensitive to cyclists and they feel that they have the right of way. If these lanes are sanctioned, then anyone other than cyclists who use them should be heavily fined. This measure will ensure proper and safe use of these lanes,” she adds.