September 22: World Car Free Day

Car-free day: Amritsar neither pedestrian nor cycle-friendly

Car-free day: Amritsar neither pedestrian nor cycle-friendly

Ironically, the road infrastructure is not designed as per the requirement of cyclists and pedestrians. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 21

World Car Free Day is observed on September 22 to encourage motorists to give up their personal vehicles for a day and opt for cycling, walking or public transport, but the holy city doesn’t have much to offer it seems.

The environment programme of the United Nations claims that giving up personal cars for a day will help the public in opting for public transport, cycling or walking.

Giving up cars is a good initiative. But the policies are being carved by the elite section of society. They plan infrastructure as per the requirement of car-driving people. The common man is fine with cycling and walking but need safe commuting as well. Gopala Dhawan, Traffic expert

Ironically, the city doesn’t have good infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. As per the data collected by the traffic experts, victims in 23 per cent accidents were pedestrians in the city. Though the BRTS is available on three major routes, it is also facing several issues and despite efforts, has not been much popular among residents. A number of roads leading to highly populated areas including Majithia Road, Fatehgarh Churian Road, Mehta Road, Airport Road, Chogawan Road and Taran Taran Road don’t have city bus facility. Auto-rickshaws are the only option there.

According to information, around 30 per cent commuters in the city commute on bicycles. However, the road infrastructure is not designed as per their requirement.

Cycle tracks are being developed for leisure activities and fitness at posh areas. However, cyclists from economically weaker sections are being ignored while planning the road infrastructure. It is risky to commute on a cycle or walk on roads. The city needs major reforms in road infrastructure to adopt car-free commuting. Harkrishan Singh, a resident

Traffic expert Gopala Dhawan, who studied traffic patterns and issues of the city at Guru Nanak Dev University, said: “Car free day is being observed to make the public aware about environment, traffic and health. Giving up cars is a good initiative. The car-free road stretches such as Heritage Street should be extended. The Hall Bazaar should be a car-free zone as it is the need of the hour. But the policies are being carved by the elite section of society. They plan infrastructure as per the requirement of car-driving people. The common man is fine with cycling and walking but need safe commuting as well.”

Ironically, the city roads are not fit for pedestrians. There is no road where footpaths are free for pedestrians. The BRTS lanes were planned for pedestrians and cyclists, but most of the BRTS footpaths are also encroached by vendors. Pedestrians are forced to walk on road, where they often meet with accidents.

Harkrishan Singh, a resident, said: “Cycle tracks are being developed for leisure activities and fitness at posh areas. However, cyclists from economically weaker sections are being ignored while planning the road infrastructure. It is extremely risky to commute on a cycle or walk on city roads. The city needs major reforms in road infrastructure to adopt car-free commuting.”

Tribune Shorts

Top Stories

Aryan Khan gets bail in cruise drugs case

Aryan Khan gets bail in cruise drugs case

Co-accused Arbaaz Merchant and Munmun Dhamecha also granted ...

NCB witness in drugs-on-cruise case Kiran Gosavi arrested by Pune police in cheating case

NCB witness in drugs-on-cruise case Kiran Gosavi arrested by Pune police in cheating case

Gosavi, whose photos and videos with Aryan Khan went viral o...

New land border law will not affect existing boundary treaties: China on India’s concerns

New land border law will not affect existing boundary treaties: China on India’s concerns

Beijing urges relevant countries to avoid making 'wanton spe...

BJP won’t go anywhere for next many decades, says Prashant Kishor; takes swipe at Rahul Gandhi

BJP won’t go anywhere for next many decades, says Prashant Kishor; takes swipe at Rahul Gandhi

Political strategist says once you secure 30 per cent-plus v...

3 Punjab women run over at farmers' protest site at Tikri border

3 Punjab women run over at farmers' protest site at Tikri border

The Punjab government announces a compensation of Rs 5 lakh ...

Cities

View All