Cycling lanes to come up in CBD
The community of cyclists in the core city area will soon have reason to cheer. Around 30 km of roads in the Central Business District, which have been taken up for upgradation under the Smart Cities Mission, will have dedicated cycle lanes by the year-end. In addition, several stretches in and around Cubbon Park – totalling 15 km – will have also cycle lanes.
The width of the cycle lanes in the CBD will be around two metres. They will be part of Cycling District 2.
The Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), in collaboration with WRI India, has prepared a detailed design drawing for the 5-km stretch from Minsk Square and Raj Bhavan Road to Chalukya Circle. Bengaluru Smart City Limited has already begun the work, which will be completed by November 1, said officials.
Cycling District 1 – work on which is under way – is spread across 25 wards in and around the Outer Ring Road (ORR) stretch between Silk Board Junction and Lowry Memorial College junction near K.R. Puram, Old Madras Road. It is being undertaken by the BBMP in collaboration with DULT.
Hephsiba Rani Korlapati, Managing Director, Bengaluru Smart City Limited, said that most of the stretches in the CBD that had been taken up for redevelopment had now been integrated with the cycling infrastructure. “Along with cycling lanes, proper lighting facilities, footpaths and resting spots are being executed keeping in mind optimal utilisation of space,” she said.
She added that inputs from cycling enthusiasts and the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) personnel have been taken while identifying ‘pain points’. “Pain points include huge junctions, long and wide crossings, discontinuation of stretches,” she said.
This year has seen important developments that will give a much-needed boost to the city’s cycling community. On June 24, the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) announced that the Kempegowda International Airport will be open for cyclists every Sunday from 6 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. Work on the cycle lane along the bus priority lane on Outer Ring Road (ORR) is set to begin next week.
“This is just the beginning,” said Bengaluru’s bicycle mayor Sathya Sankaran. The cycling community is planning more initiatives to increase its presence in the city. Sankaran and his team are awaiting applicants for its Bicycle Councillor program, which was launched in March. The program intends to have a ‘bicycle councillor’ for each of the 198 wards in the city.
“We had to put it on hold due to the pandemic, but will be accepting the first round of the applications till the end of October,” said Mr. Sankaran.
“Each ward has a different socio-economic setup. The plan is to work with people from these wards on setting up cycling clubs and identifying unsafe junctions, among other things” he added.
To apply for the Bicycle Councillor program, citizens can visit https://bit.ly/33pjIMa.
Rally against road rage
Under the India Cycles4Change Challenge, Smart Cities Limited has initiated #RideforSafety campaign against road violence. As part of the campaign, cyclists from different parts of the city will participate in a rally ‘Ride for Peace’ on October 2. They will ride from East Gate of Vidhana Soudha via Cubbon Park to M.G. Road.
The latest Road Accidents in India report, published by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in 2019, shows a 3.2% increase (3,559 to 3,673) in death of cyclists.