World Bicycle Day: Paving a path for pedallers in Chennai

Cyclists share their views on measures that the state government can implement to ensure Chennai is cycle-friendly.

Published: 02nd June 2022 04:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2022 04:23 AM   |  A+A-

A cycle rally by the Rashtriya Military School in Chennai to mark its 75th year

A cycle rally by the Rashtriya Military School in Chennai to mark its 75th year. (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Ahead of World Bicycle Day on June 3, cyclists share their views with Vaishali Vijaykumar on measures that the state government can implement to ensure Chennai is cycle-friendly and make it the cycling capital of the world.

R Sundararajan

We need roads without any hindrance from manhole covers and barks. The biggest threat is wrong-side driving. These drivers must be penalised and vehicles must be confiscated. Behind every bus stop, a two-foot cycle lane must be created so that the cyclist does not have to overtake a bus.

Create more free parking spaces in public places. In Marina, we tie the cycle to the barricade pipes to avoid theft. Government officials could take up cycling at least once a week to set an example to the public.

Bharatwaj SM

With decent infrastructure, the metro can truly become the cycling hub of India. Recent  introductions like dedicated cycling lanes during select days on the East Coast Road have helped, but the safety of cyclists can be improved, especially during early mornings as there have been instances of theft/assault. Other road users, not following road safety/discipline lead to accidents. Cops should look into this.

Deepa Chaithanyan

To ensure safety, the government must enforce frequent patrolling, reflective visible signages, strict penalties for traffic violations, long-term awareness campaigns, a better redressal system to address wrong-side driving complaints, intelligent traffic management systems, better infrastructure, recurring messages on road etiquette to drivers through RTO and education through RTO/ driving schools.

Divagaran Thiyagarajan

While the temporary cycling lanes on ECR (on weekends) and Veedhi Vizha rides by GCC are steps in the right direction, there is so much more to be done. Cyclists are facing ever-growing challenges including wrong-side driving, lack of respect among road users etc. A coordinated effort by the government authorities and the cycling community will sustain any initiative in the long term. 

Ramanujar Moulana

Chennai has a rich cycling history, from the first indigenously assembled bicycle in India to the ECR bicycle lane. Bicycle tourism has huge growth potential. The government must encourage this. Making efficient use of the available infrastructure is required. The public transport system should be made bicycle-friendly. Metro, MRTS and suburban trains must have bicycle enclosures.

Ramalingam Rajupillai

Special laws must be brought to discourage motorised vehicles from coming from the wrong side. Subsidies must be given while purchasing cycles. Cycle bays must be set up inside trains. The rent-a-cycle scheme can be made further effective. Specific shopping streets, tourist spots, and beaches can be restricted for bicycle users and walkers to explore.

Shanthoshi Sona

Due to wrong-side driving and signal-jumping, cyclists face a tough time. We need to take measures for road safety. Traffic police duty or patrolling is needed during early morning hours. This will help avoid uncertainties, and regulate the road rules.

Priya

Every arterial road in the city must have a de facto lane for cycling. A cyclist has an equal right on the road. Deliberate intimidation by larger vehicles, mostly, the state-run buses treat cyclists with absolute disdain.

The government has to devise a penal code for such impertinent behaviour. Promote safe parking spots and step up surveillance. Commuting to schools and colleges by cycle should be encouraged, with traffic police patrolling for safety. The scheme of providing bicycles to children from marginalised families must be revived.

Finally, the government should put a cap on the number of motorised vehicles that will be sold in any given time period and impose higher levies, to push people to examine alternative options -for transportation.

Felix John

Slowly but surely people are adopting the bicycle as a preferred mode of transport. This will help us mitigate the climate emergency and achieve the UN sustainable development goals. In order to ensure more adoption, the Central and state governments should emphasise the use of bicycles for shorter trips.

They should form policies and build infrastructure for bicycles for their safety. Make temporary interventions through tactical urbanism, build pop-up lanes, encourage the adoption through incentives from corporates and special programmes from the state, and conduct awareness campaigns.

All these will have a large socio-economic impact. The roads have to be safe for children to use.



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