Saturday, August 20, 2011

Doing it old school

“`Tis about bicycles, no horsing around!”, claims the website of Bums on the Saddle, a Bangalore-based organization that sells high end bikes. The cycling bug is fast making its presence known in the city and with good reason. Doctors recommend cycling for a healthier heart and as an effective stress reliever. It is not just a great way to reduce your carbon footprint; it also helps trim away the extra kilos and develop calf muscles to die for. Of course, not getting caught in Bangalore’s legendary traffic jams is incentive enough to popularize cycling in the city. 

Several Bangaloreans have been switching to bicycles and have prodded the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to convert the city into a cyclist’s paradise by building separate cycling paths around the city.

The implementation of the project has begun with 45 kms in Jayanagar dedicated to cycling paths. Authorities are in the process of putting up route maps and signage with the paths becoming operational within two months time. Authorities intend to include other areas like Madiwala Lake, MG Road, Indiranagar, RT Nagar, Koramangala, RMV Extension and Malleshwaram in the ambit of the project.

According to GoGreenGoCycling’s Prabhakar Rao, “Most people cite lack of space as the reason for not taking up cycling. We welcome this initiative as it will encourage more people to pedal. When the project is complete it will set a good example for other cities.” 

As per a feasibility survey done by DULT, 12 per cent of the population is using cycles to commute and over 50 per cent of the population has shown eagerness to cycle if their safety is ensured. Although these paths will not be segregated from normal traffic using barricades, cyclists can expect patched lanes, say officials. Cycling enthusiast Vivek Misra says, “I’m excited to hear about these cycling paths. However, most motorists in Bangalore are not very sensitive towards cyclists. The only thing I worry about is the safety factor. I don’t know how safe these cycling paths will be. But its great news for people like me who love to cycle.”

Imagine wind-tousled hair and wispy patches of greenery hurtling by as you pedal your way through the by lanes of this bustling city. Even better, Imagine making it to work on time even as you smile at the sight of motorists stuck in choc-a-bloc traffic. 

-Raintree Media Features 


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