Bengaluru among India's 'top 11 cycling pioneers', to get aid from Centre to scale up projects

As per the India Cycles4Challenge report, Bengaluru built on the success of its pop-up cycle lanes and launched a platform, the Sustainability Mobility Accord, to create cycling neighbourhoods

Published: 28th July 2021 07:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2021 07:36 PM   |  A+A-

File image of Bengalureans cycling on city roads

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Bengaluru is among the cities to which the Centre has awarded the title of 'India's top 11 cycling pioneers'. From the top 25 shortlisted earlier this year, a jury of renowned national and international transport experts selected the top 11 to receive an award of Rs 1 crore each to scale up their cycling initiatives.

In 2020, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoUHA) launched the India Cycles4Change Challenge along with the non-profit Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), as the challenge co-host and co-ordinator, to inspire cities to take immediate steps towards making streets safer for cyclists by working with their citizens and experts.

As per the India Cycles4Challenge report, 'The Dawn of India's Cycling Revolution', Bengaluru built on the success of its pop-up cycle lanes and launched a platform, the Sustainability Mobility Accord, to create cycling neighbourhoods.

"The accord provided an opportunity for citizens and local organisations to work with the city to identify and redesign different neighbourhoods. It started with a bang right at the city centre, creating slow zones to make streets safer for cycling. Bengaluru plans to expand its initiatives across the city and make every neighbourhood a cycling neighbourhood," read an excerpt of the report.

Though not in the top 11, Davanagere in Karnataka was among the list of other cycling pioneers too. As per the report, Davanagere launched a local campaign to make cycling cool again — with exclusive cycling-themed merchandise at cycle rallies, campaigns with LED displays across the city and even cycling anthems spread through local radio shows.

"The rebranding campaign paid off! When the city launched its first pop-up cycle lane, citizens showed up in large numbers to support cycling in their city," the report stated.

As part of the challenge, perception surveys among citizens highlighting barriers to cycling were held, the government built to support and momentum through events and campaigns with political leaders, organized events, got women to cycle, lead cycle2work campaigns, implemented measures to make cycling safe, creating pop upcycle lanes, develop cycle-friendly neighbourhoods, etc.

This is not the end of the challenge. Stage two involves the top 25 cities advancing to the next stage, where they will embed the vision of a cycling-friendly city by adopting policies, setting up dedicated departments and creating city-wide plans. In season two of the challenge, the remaining 82 cities, not part of state two, along with other cities that register for the next season will be brought up to speed.

“2020 ignited India’s cycling revolution. Cities and citizens joined hands for the first time, to test, learn, and scale up ideas to become cycling havens. The results have been resounding: more people are cycling, city officials and public representatives are leading by example—cycling to work—and we are backing the city’s efforts with investments. I encourage more cities to join the cycling revolution and work towards a cycling-friendly future," said Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA.

The long term vision of the challenge is to transform over 100 cities, with over 10,000 kilometres of cycling-friendly streets and get 100 million cycles on the ground.


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