Open House: What more needs to be done to Promote cycling, reduce Traffic congestion? : The Tribune India

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Open House: What more needs to be done to Promote cycling, reduce Traffic congestion?

Ensure safety of pedallers to address fear of cycling

Open House: What more needs to be done to Promote cycling, reduce Traffic congestion?

NHAI’s approval for constructing a cycle track along the highway passing through Ludhiana is a welcome step towards making the city cycle-friendly, addressing pollution and congestion. File photo



Construct protected cycle tracks

The National Highway Authorities of India’s approval to construct cycle tracks along highways in Ludhiana is a positive step. This decision could be the icing on the cake if the proposed tracks are protected cycle tracks. Though protected cycle tracks are more expensive to construct than traditional bike lanes, studies have shown that they have lower crash rates when compared to other types of road accidents. Protected cycle tracks may increase the amount of space dedicated to cyclists, but when weighed against the benefits, the move could be a game changer in terms of pollution and congestion control. Furthermore, the introduction of protected cycle tracks will provide an economic boost to Ludhiana’s cycling industry, which hosts the largest cycle manufacturers in the world. Undoubtedly, with the issues of climate change and traffic congestion, cycling for transport is no longer an option, but a necessity. It is no secret that cycling has numerous benefits too, including lowering carbon emissions and promoting healthier lifestyles. As a result, it is the responsibility of the authorities to launch a campaign emphasising the benefits of using bicycles as a mode of transport within the city in order to reduce traffic congestion.

Novin Christopher

NHAI’s approval for constructing a cycle track along the highway passing through Ludhiana is a welcome step towards making the city cycle-friendly, addressing pollution and congestion. File photo


Several steps to promote cycling

The construction of cycle tracks is a welcome step and it would help mitigate pollution and congestion, besides enhancing safety on streets and providing safe neighbourhoods. We would plan vehicle-free zones, cycle highways and shared streets in a phased manner to ensure that the citizens adopt and adapt for a positive outcome in the long run. We would also take steps to promote cycling, which would help reduce the rising pollution levels in one of the most polluted cities in the world.

— Sakhshi Sawhney, deputy commissioner

QUESTION

As many as eleven property owners, both private and public, owe the Municipal Corporation (MC) a sum of almost Rs 60 lakh as property tax in Ludhiana. This constitutes almost 10 per cent of the total Rs 6.12-crore arrears that the civic body has not received on account of property tax from over 25,000 defaulters during the last financial year 2023-24. What should be done to recover the dues and check the rising trend of defaults in paying taxes?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected] by Thursday (April 18)


Provide rest, medical assistance areas

It is a great development that the National Highway Authority of India has given its nod to construct a cycle track along the national highway passing through the city. It will surely reduce congestion on the highway. Entry and exit points of the cycle track must be marked and entry of two wheelers such as scooters or motorcycles must be forbidden. Cyclists must follow the traffic rules. This cycle track must be extended on other internal roads of the city. Some rest areas should be constructed for cyclists so they may have some respite after pedalling for long distance. Cyclists must wear a helmet while riding. Medical assistance booths must be constructed at an interval of every 5 to 10 kilometres to provide first aid in case of any emergency. Some cycle manufacturing companies must be contacted to promote cycling habits and must instate provisions to purchase cycles on easy instalments. The benefits of cycling must be shared with the public so they may cycle at least once or twice a week. Sometimes, people don’t cycle due to a fear of traffic. The local government and NGOs may help curtail the fear by instilling confidence that they may follow the routes through streets, parks, cycle paths and canal paths.

Dr Mohd Saleem Farooqui


Cycling routes should be safe, scenic

The approval given by the NHAI to construct a cycle path along the national highway passing through the city is a welcome step. It will definitely address the traffic burden and air pollution in the city. The government must promote and incentivise cycling among the city residents. The benefits of cycling must be promoted by giving lectures in schools and colleges. There is a need to create cycle-friendly infrastructure which includes dedicated bike lanes separated from motorised traffic by physical barriers and signage, bike docking facilities and a bike sharing system that allows users to rent bikes for short trips. Cycling tracks must be planned to offer scenic and safe routes for leisure or exercise. Another way to encourage cycling in the city is to facilitate education and promotion programmes that can raise awareness and interest in cycling and foster a positive cycling culture and community.

Farzana Khan


Need for more cycle docking stations

Ludhiana is the cycle capital of the world and the cycle is an environment friendly mode of transport, it is good for people’s health and an affordable medium for the common people. Most Ludhiana citizens are scared of cycling on the city’s congested roads due to safety concerns. The industrial hub of the state has been deprived of quality cycling tracks for long. In this respect, the authorities have been reminded several times in the past but no concrete solution was found. The NHAI and MC officials should encourage cycling in the city by identifying docking slots along the highways as well as other stretches where people can ride their cycles. A stretch of the cycle track constructed on either side of Malhar road is being used as an unofficial parking spot leaving no space for riders. The administration should make all out efforts to streamline parking at Malhar road to keep the cycle track clear. Parking slots or cycle tracks along the highway or internal roads, once set up will resolve the stubborn problem of traffic jams. There is a dire need of constructing cycle tracks for daily users like labourers, as around 90 per cent of road accidents in the city involve cyclists, pedestrians or two wheelers. The number of peddlers travelling by cycles has increased considerably over the past few years and the potholed roads lead to accidents. Therefore, the authorities should improve the infrastructure to ensure safety of the cyclists. Establishment of tracks will also give a boost to the cycle industry in the city. The MC should continue exploring options for more such projects.

RS Sembhi


Cycling reduces congestion for sure

Cycling is not only a wholesome and lovely way to get around, but also a zero-carbon and sustainable mode of transportation. Cycling lessens the pollution and traffic problems. It should be encouraged in urban areas by facilitating education and promotion programmes in order to raise awareness and engrossment in cycling. Cycling is a better way to lead a healthy life that affects longevity. Cycling reduces traffic congestion and greenhouse emissions. Utilising innovative bike designs, technology and accessories which help improve the performance, comfort or safety of cyclists like in the case of electric bikes, can promote cycling. Cycling actually reduces congestion as more people can be on the move and occupy space.

Jaspreet Kaur


Ensure road safety to promote cycling

In order to promote cycling and reduce congestion on the roads, a collaborative and systematic approach is required. The government must take more effective measures as many casualties happen on the highways and not all highways may be suitable for cycle tracks. Providing designated stops, sheds and a government issued identification system for cyclists can enhance safety. Ensuring safety on all roads, especially for the cyclists, necessitates a careful integration of cycling infrastructure with the existing highway speed regulations. This can be achieved by constructing cycle tracks which are separated from the motorised traffic lanes and complimented with amenities such as first aid stations and hydration points. We can for sure create a safer and more conducive environment for cyclists while respecting the flow of motorised traffic. Implementing these measures will also contribute to improving the air-quality in the city. Apart from this, I believe such initiatives will prove beneficial for our economy and thus, should be embraced wholeheartedly. The future depends on what we do today.

Harshita Vasan


Foster community of pedallers

Promoting cycling among Ludhiana residents needs comprehensive steps to increase public awareness. As the city embraces cycling, several factors can contribute to this positive shift. First, awareness campaigns can highlight the myriad benefits of cycling, such as improved physical fitness, reduced pollution and enhanced mental well-being. By disseminating information through local media, social platforms and community events, residents become more informed about the advantages of cycling. Second, educational initiatives empower individuals with knowledge about cycling etiquette, traffic rules and the importance of wearing helmets and reflective gear. Workshops and seminars organised by schools, colleges and community centres educate both children and adults. Promoting cycling as an eco-friendly and cost-effective mode of transportation encourages residents to choose bicycles for short commutes, thereby, reducing vehicular congestion and emissions. Furthermore, infrastructure development is crucial. The government should invest in creating dedicated cycling lanes, improving road safety and installing bike-sharing stations. When residents witness a cyclist-friendly environment, they are more likely to adopt cycling as a regular activity. Community engagement through cycling clubs, group rides and events fosters a sense of camaraderie and motivates people to pedal together. In conclusion, public awareness campaigns, educational programmes, infrastructure enhancements and community involvement collectively will contribute to promoting cycling among Ludhiana residents.

Tamanpreet Kaur Khangura


Cycle tracks along all arterial roads

Ludhiana roads are heavily congested due to an excessive number of vehicles. Cycling is one method for reducing motorised traffic on the roads. There is a strong need to encourage cycling in the city. The National Highways Authority of India’s effort to build a cycle track along the main highway passing through the city is a step in the right direction for encouraging cycling. Such steps must also be taken for other arterial roads in the city. Cycling is a health-giving practice and costs involved in going from one place to another are next to zero. Therefore, all efforts must be made to encourage cycling in the city. This practice can be given a further boost by cutting the cost of bicycles. Currently, the cost of bicycles is very high, and ordinarily, many people cannot afford to buy them. Also, efforts must be made to minimise motorised traffic on the roads, so that the roads are safe for cyclists. There are too many vehicles on the roads at any time. This is because the banks and money lending agencies are freely giving loans for vehicles, and as a result of that, the number of vehicles has increased manifold. Therefore, there is a strong need to keep a check on the banks and money lending agencies for providing loans for the purchase of vehicles in the city. Such steps will not only help in reducing the number of vehicles on the roads but will also encourage people to buy bicycles for the daily commute.

Gautam Dev


Admn officials should become role models

This is the first time in Ludhiana that NHAI has approved a separate path along the national highway for cyclists. It is welcome step. An assurance to this effect was given by the NHAI Chairman, Santosh Kumar Yadav, to Rajya Sabha MP from Ludhiana, Sanjeev Arora. The development assumes significance as Ludhiana is the largest manufacturer of bicycles in the world. Through this and more, the industrial and business hub can become the most bicycle-friendly city in the country. Cycling is among the best cardiovascular exercises besides having the potential to reduce congestion and pollution in the city. To make cycling popular, the local government should develop cycle tracks along all municipal roads, facilitate buying cycles at affordable prices and spread awareness on the health benefits of cycling. The administration officers should become role models by using cycle for their commute. Such measures have the potential to make cycling popular.

Sukhdev Sharma



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