More cycling tracks on NDMC agenda

In order to encourage and boost cycling in Lutyens’ Delhi, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has sought the help of Delhi Integrated Multi Modal System (DIMTS) for finding out area specific routes so as to make the capital a cyclist-friendly state.

The primary agenda behind this initiative is to promote non-motorised transport without disrupting traffic mechanism. Though there have been attempts to make Delhi a cyclist-friendly state before, it coul­dn’t elicit the expected resp­­­o­nse. However, recent steps taken by NDMC have been welcomed. 

In addition to the already existing cycle tracks at Lodhi Road, Lodhi Garden, Mandir Marg and Tilak Marg along with the dedicated tracks at BRT corridor, NDMC has been planning to introduce more tracks as part of their plans of making it a smarter capital. 

Speaking to Metrolife, OP Mishra, director (projects), ND­MC said, “We have sought the help of DIMTS in identifying areas where continuous tracks can’t be provided and finding a way for crossing over to the other side. We have already identified seven more tracks which will cross over and be linked with cycle tracks”.

Several experts and planners have been pushing for this initiative for a long time. “We have been propagating this for a long time, even writing letters to various chief ministers. It is a welcome initiative from their side as it would not only encourage cyclists but integrated cycling tracks will be a sign of a healthy state,” said Onkar Singh, secretary general, Cycling Federation of India.

Nalin Sinha, founder and convener of Delhi Cycling Club believes that more than 100 cyclists get killed every year in the Capital. “I think this initiative by NDMC was much needed and long overdue. The safety of cyclists is paramount which should be complemented with a comprehensive and holistic approach for cyclists,” he said.

Commenting on the claims that the Commonwealth cycling tracks have not been properly utilised, Sinha said, “Those tracks were made in a hurry. They were not designed as an integrated system for bicyclists. It should have covered the entire Capital as it is not that expensive to make it.” he added.

According to him, cyclists face chiefly four pro­­­b­­lems: lack of adequa­te infrastructure, safety issues due to high-speed motorised vehicles, lack of par­­king facilities and the mindset of people towards cyclists. 

“Thus, Government sho­uld develop a proper infrastructure for cyclists. This should be followed with an awareness campaign regarding cyclists’ safety, along with traffic police to give people what is rightfully theirs,” he believes.

“Efforts like Raahgiri, a car-free citizen initiative, is a good beginning towar­ds a long term sustainability purpose and should be expanded,” he says. However, Sinha echoed his concerns regarding space constraints for the cycling enthusiasts and demanded a master plan to facilitate the process.

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