Cycle lane encroachment: Cyclists and People with Disabilities at risk in Chennai

The dedicated cycle lanes are mainly available on Kamarajar Salai (Beach Road), Anna Salai,  Adyar and Santhome.

Published: 02nd December 2019 06:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd December 2019 06:06 AM   |  A+A-

Buses parked in cycle lane near Anna Square on Rajaji Salai. This causes inconvenience to the cyclists and PwD.

Buses parked in cycle lane near Anna Square on Rajaji Salai. This causes inconvenience to the cyclists and PwD. (Photo | Omjasvin MD, EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Unauthorised parking of vehicles in cycle lanes has put cyclists and People with Disabilities (PwD) at risk. Vehicles such as autos, cars and lorries are parked on cycle lanes near the Army HeadQuarters on Anna Salai and at one end of Taluk Office Road.

On arterial Kamarajar Salai, even buses are parked on the cycle lane near Anna Square. This comes even when the civic body has clearly painted ‘lane for cyclists’ on the road and set up boards such as ‘make way for cyclists’ or ‘0% emission, 100% emotion’ to promote cycling.

When Express spoke to cyclists, many said roads are not safe. “On the one hand, corporation is promoting cycling through its ‘Smart Bikes’ project. On the other, it is negligent in giving us a safe space,’’ said V Ramanathan (32).

The dedicated cycle lanes are mainly available on Kamarajar Salai (Beach Road), Anna Salai,  Adyar and Santhome. "The purpose of this lane is that we do not mix with heavy traffic. Unauthorised vehicles parked in cycle lanes beats the whole purpose," he said.

Recently, a  person with disability was seen manoeuvring heavy traffic on Anna Salai as the dedicated cycle was full of parked vehicles.

Shwetha S, another cyclist, said that vehicles go over speed limit on Kamarajar Salai, especially near War Memorial. “It is a harrowing time while riding a cycle as I have to be doubly careful. Encroachments on cycle lanes are a daily problem,’’ she said.

Apart from lanes getting encroached, the size of lanes are uneven too. On Anna Salai and Kamarajar Salai, cycle lanes are broader while at Santhome, the lanes are narrow for even cycles, forcing cyclists to mix with the traffic.

Corporation officials said they removed all vehicles parked on cycle lanes on Sivananda Salai only last month. ‘’We cannot monitor round-the-clock. So, traffic police too have to keep a strict vigil,’’ said a corporation official.

The official admitted that trust on cycles, especially smart bikes, will develop only if lanes are safely used by the cyclists. ‘’We have put up many boards promoting cycles. We will ensure that the cyclists safety becomes the priority and they remain safe,’’ the official concluded.

What’s happening?

Unauthorised parking of vehicles in cycle lanes has put cyclists and People with Disabilities (PwD) at risk. Mostly autos, buses, lorries and cars are parked.

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