Cyclists urge Karnataka CM to pass mobility Bill in winter session

The Bill’s passage will be a foundational step as Karnataka will be the first state to initiate an Act on ensuring mobility of pedestrians and cyclists.
Cyclists spread awareness on the Active Mobility Bill in Bengaluru on Saturday
Cyclists spread awareness on the Active Mobility Bill in Bengaluru on Saturday

BENGALURU: Cycle enthusiasts of Bengaluru took out an awareness ride around the central business district on Saturday to garner support for the Active Mobility Bill, drafted by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), that aims to provide safe and accessible infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.

They urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to pass the Bill in the upcoming winter session in Belagavi. The Bill’s passage will be a foundational step as Karnataka will be the first state to initiate an Act on ensuring mobility of pedestrians and cyclists.

“The transport system has changed drastically in the past 20 years. Even the number of people cycling on Bengaluru streets has drastically reduced as it is considered dangerous these days to ride a bicycle in the city,” said Shreya Gadepalli, an urban mobility expert and founder of Urban Works.

“The reach of public transport has declined as more people prefer using private vehicles these days. If the Bill is passed, it will ensure last-mile connectivity. It will motivate more people to use public transport which will reduce the load of private vehicles on the streets,” he explained.

Sathya Sankaran, founder, Council for Active Mobility, said the Bill drafted in 2021 is not being given priority. “From the mobility perspective or climate change, this Bill is extremely important and must be passed now. The quality of infrastructure will also improve in the state with the Bill,” he added.

Currently, the situation of bicycle lanes and footpaths is horrible. People are willing to switch to walking and cycling only if good quality footpaths and cycle lanes are present. A city with a high density like Bengaluru must rely on public transport and to provide this, it is important to provide last-mile connectivity in terms of walking and cycling, Sankaran explained.

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