Gurugram, Oct 2 (IANS) In an attempt to bring down the pollution level in an already congested city, the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) inaugurated the state’s first dedicated colour-coded lane for cyclists on Friday on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
The track stretches for 10 km between Huda City Centre and Subhash Chowk.
After the launch of this dedicated cycle lane, the authority is planning to create similar cycling tracks across the city in a phased manner. The development authority has identified multiple routes for developing cycle tracks from MG Road Metro station to Civil Hospital, Sheetla Mata Mandir to Huda City Centre metro station, Huda City Centre to Pratiksha Hospital, Golf Course Road, Old Delhi Road, Shankar Chowk and galleria market road.
Besides cycle lanes, GMDA also plans to set up cycle and rickshaw stands at designated places and encourage bike rentals and sharing.
“The inauguration of the State’s first dedicated cycle lane should also be considered a breakthrough in solutions for acute traffic congestion in Gurugram. The development of dedicated bicycle lanes is a good move from the local administration for promoting the use of bicycles as an alternative transportation mode,” GMDA Chief VS Kundu said, adding that this plan would encourage more motorists to shift to using bicycles to work, the city’s chronic traffic woes could be eventually reduced.
Meanwhile, GMDA officials said that the first dedicated cycle lane in the city is only a small step in developing Gurugram as a cycle-friendly city. There are many challenges for the city to become bicycle-friendly.
The estimated cost of the track, which GMDA is building is nearly Rs 2 crore which includes track repairing work, signboards and others.
“The city administration needs to have a strong commitment to build more dedicated cycle lanes and integrate them with the city transportation network system. These lanes should be part of the city transportation network system and designed to accommodate the needs of residents’ mobility in the city,” Kundu said.
However, the city based cyclists have some different views about the dedicated lanes and said that, “A big challenge for cycle lanes in Gurugram is the lack of law enforcement. The local administration should strictly enforce the dedicated cycle lanes for cyclists,” said Aman, a cyclist, adding that cycle lanes cannot be used as parking spots and a lane for motorcyclists.
“Without strict law enforcement, the dedicated cycle lane will not be an effective way to reduce the city’s traffic woes and will only be a failed initiative,” said Aman.
Despite the challenges for cycle lanes in the city, the inauguration of the Gurugram’s first cycle lane should be seen as a promising way of curbing the acute traffic problems in Gurugram.
“I hope that the inauguration of the city’s first cycle lane could be the milestone for the district administration in changing the mindset of how to address the chronic traffic problems in Gurugram. It will reduce the use of cars through encouraging more motorists to shift to cyclists or mass transportation riders,” cyclist Sarika Panda, who is also involved with the project, said.
The track would have entry and exit points at regular intervals to allow cyclists to get onto the main road if needed.
“The stretch under consideration has traffic signals on all major intersections. So, crossing the road will not be an issue for the cyclists anymore,” she added.
“Covid-19 has changed the view towards travel. Nowadays the people are preferring personal transport these days and what better option than a cycle,” said a cyclist.