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Make room for cycles, urges Centre

Courtesy :: HT Mumbai
Rajendra Alekar, Mumbai, April 12, 2008

Make room for cycles, urges Centre Dedicated lanes for pedestrians, pedal pushers recommended in new urban road projects

IN AN environment friendly move to promote non-powered modes of transport, the Union Ministry of Urban Development has recommended dedicated paths for pedestrians and bicycles in new projects. A letter to the chief secretaries of all states sent by M. Ramachandran, secretary to the Government of India, underlines the importance of congestion-free, nonpolluting transport.

It said: "Every public transport user is a pedestrian and no public transport trip is complete without a pedestrian trip. Pedestrians and cyclists use the least space on the road and are the most environment friendly modes of transport. Whatever roads are being built, new or widened, enough provision should be made for dedicated paths for pedestrians and cycle users.

"Such provision should be made available wherever possible and if not then the speed of motorised traffic should be limited to 30 kmph."

The letter, a copy of which is with the Hindustan Times, goes on to add that while preparing the master plan, it would be desirable to incorporate a network of tracks for safe cycling between homes and schools and work centres. "Even flyovers that are being constructed should have proper design for taking care of pedestrians and cyclists," said the letter.

A Transport ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they would examine where the tracks could be incorporated in new projects. "Such tracks can be kept only where there is lots of space. Mumbai is overcrowded. We will implement the recommendations where possible, but experience tells us such tracks become places for hawkers and not many use cycles," a Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority official said on condition of anonymity.
rajendra.aklekar at