Traffic, road works put brakes on cycling plans
The cycling tracks on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) were removed due to metro work.
BENGALURU: Cyclists complained that Bengaluru roads are unsafe for them and built for vehicles.
Activists and cyclists demanded that the government invest in bolstering cycling infrastructure. There are very few roads for bicycles, and most of them are incomplete. This forces cyclists to ride amid heavy vehicles facing the risk of accidents.
Sathya Sankaran, Bicycle Mayor of Bengaluru, told TNIE, “There is a lack of political will to make streets safe for cyclists. The government is hesitant to invest in road infrastructure to decongest roads and curb climate change.”
The new government should pass the Active Mobility Bill for Karnataka that promotes inclusive development, he said.
Bengaluru has 92,458 and 16,42,994 registered cars and two-wheelers respectively, that jam the roads for other modes of transport.
The cycling tracks on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) were removed due to metro work. The tracks near the airport were also removed for road construction work.
“Bengaluru is an innovation hub, and so many expats come here. Why are we unable to use our technology to build more sustainable transport options?” he said, adding that when the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) floats tenders for any road construction or repairs, “they need to have provisions for cycling tracks, pedestrian and footpath spaces.” He said the tracks are narrow and would not eat into the space. However, the government should give the required push.
Nihar Thakkar, co-founder, Urban Flow, had developed an artificial intelligence bicycle counter last year, one of its kind in India. The bicycle counter is fitted inside a digital signboard that counts the number of cyclists using the bicycle lane through the day. It resets at midnight and starts counting again. The counters were set on the ORR stretch, Whitefield and Yelahanka.
Thakkar, 19, said there has been a decline in the number of cycles post-pandemic. “It has become increasingly harder to ride cycles because of tremendous traffic and construction activities.”