PMC and PCMC plan to promote Cycling in Pune Smart City

Anushka Khare Posted on: 2018-10-01 10:39:30 Viewer: 2,071 Comments: 0 Country: India City: Pune

PMC and PCMC plan to promote Cycling in Pune Smart City

Pune: Both the civic bodies – PMC and PCMC – have actively been pushing to promote cycling as a method of transportation. In order to encourage cycle owners to take our their vehicles, cycle tracks than 2.5 m wide are being built for both directions along the four BRTS lines in Pimpri-Chinchwad where they are being branded as Rainbow Cycle (Rainbow is the brand the BRTS operates under).

The PMC is also relaying pavements in areas with a high-density of non-motorised traffic such as Ferguson College Road and Jangali Maharaj Road to accommodate cycle lanes. The PCMC is also looking at setting up cycle stations for both docked and dockless cycles within its jurisdictions. Temporary shelters were initially set up to enable residents to get acquainted with them. Future plans for promoting cycling includes setting up parking zones in and around BRTS stations, and once the Pune Metro is operational, at metro stations as well as setting up cycle lanes under them.

Replacing the bike with cycles The administration is working towards getting more people to opt for cycles over their motorized counterparts and for good reason too. As of 2017, Pune has reached 25 lakh registered two-wheelers, way more than the state capital at Mumbai. The reason for the increase in the number of bikes was due to the city’s lack of a proper public transport system, especially until the earlier part of the decade.

With among the highest density of two-wheelers vis-à-vis the population of the city, congestion on the roads too has been on the rise. Since 2009, the city had a Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) cell to develop and promote the use of cycling. However, many of the earlier plans fizzled out due to lukewarm response from both residents and private players to supply cycles. It is only after both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad were selected for the Smart Cities Mission that the cycling plan has really taken off.

Cycling into a smarter and healthier city With many cities across India going in for an overhaul of their civic infrastructure to finally accommodate pedestrians, promoting cycling seems to be a natural progression. Earlier this year, a Canadian study found that urban design that favoured pedestrians and cyclists helped reduce childhood obesity. The study said that neighbourhoods with wider pavements and crossing lights encouraged children to engagthe e in more physical activity.

Further, a reduced dependence on motorizerised transport also helps reduce air pollution levels in the city. While the escape the winter pollution that plagues North India, increased congestion on roads due to more vehicles coupled with greater idling times has seen a rise in air pollution. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had earlier cautioned about the increase in vehicles, especially two-wheelers being a reason for the increase in pollutants.

As people slowly transition to cycling, especially for shorter distances, it would keep them healthy by way of physical exercise and also with reduced emissions. Further, with the BRTS being expanded and the upcoming metro, cycling as last mile connectivity has the potential to take the Cycling Capital on par with global standards.

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