PMC planning to bring cycling back on track

On Wednesday, standing committee chairman, Ashwini Kadam, said, “We have passed the proposal to create a CBP and boost cycling. The plan will be created by Delhi-based Innovative Transport Solutions (iTrans) Private Limited, an urban transport consultancy. The project will cost Rs 1.15 crore and the blueprint is to be submitted within six months.“

Despite efforts to encourage cycling such as the Non-Motorised Transportation cell in 2008 and the bicycle-onrent scheme in 2011, the initiative has been slow to take off. PMC had spent nearly Rs 1 crore on the scheme.

Shankar Shevate, junior engineer of PMC’s road department, said, “We have 90 km of cycle track, mostly along the BRTS corridor.’ The track is not in good condition now and consultants will be making notes on its working condition, connectivity, etc.

On the other hand, according to a survey conducted by NGO Parishar in 2012-13, 37 km of the track is missing and the 80 per cent remaining is barely fit to be seen. According to the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP), there should be 100 per cent cycling tracks along roads. Also, according to the environmental status report 2012-13, PMC has achieved a mere 4.8 per cent of the track required in the city.

Currently, tracks are missing in spots and those that exist are made up of paver blocks, though Urban Street Guidelines recommend asphalt and concrete. Cyclists in the city had a mixed response to PMC’s renewed enthusiasm.Said professional cyclist Chaitanya Velhal, “The existing tracks either have hawkers or are difficult to access. PMC should consult a professional cyclist who knows the practical problems.“

Divya Tate of the Pune Randonneurs, said, “Reviving cycle tracks is a waste of public funds. PMC should look at who and how they are issuing driving licences and reprimand offenders.More importantly, people should know how to drive with cyclists on the road and not the other way round.“

Agreed Jugal Rathi, founder of Pune Cycle Pratishthan, “The existing cycle tracks are in a state of disarray and there is no maintenance. The plan will only succeed if PMC takes proper accountability.“
Source : Pune Mirror

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