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Cycle lane on ORR to be ready soon
With people staying away from public transport in Bengaluru due to fear of contracting coronavirus, urban planners, architects and transport experts have come together to activate sustainable transport across the city.
Bengaluru: With people staying away from public transport in Bengaluru due to fear of contracting coronavirus, urban planners, architects and transport experts have come together to activate sustainable transport across the city. The state department of urban land transport (DULT) initiative on a 34-km pop-up cycling lane on Outer Ring Road has finally reached a final shape.
There have also been non-government initiatives like 'Namma Cycle', a bicycle sharing programme. In recent days Bengaluru has witnessed a program involving creating Bicycle Councillors at the BBMP ward level, Bicycle Champions at schools and colleges across the city. "There are many initiatives for the people to use cycles for their workplace. Most of the IT employees prefer to cycle to office, but lack of adequate public infrastructure and cycle lanes made them step back. But this cycle will be helpful to people" says Apoorva, an IT employee. According to the reports, people's inclination towards cycling has picked up sharply since the lockdowns, with sales of cycles having risen across the country as well as in Bengaluru, which has over 1.39 lakh cyclists. Experts suggest that the government invest in infrastructure that favours walkers and cyclists in city spaces which are typically jam-packed with motor vehicles.
The pilot pop-up cycle lane will stretch for 34 km along the Outer Ring Road (ORR), one of Bengaluru's most traffic-congested roads, between Silk Board Junction and Lowry Junction in KR Puram. The cycle lanes will be set up on ORR's service roads. The project has been officially submitted to the BBMP and the implementation is expected to be completed in the coming months. The project is set to serve as a pilot for the current 'Cycles4Change' challenge, an initiative of the Smart Cities Mission to support cities to quickly implement cycling-friendly initiatives in response to Covid-19 pandemic.
""People have clearly realised the benefits of cycling during these lockdowns. Anyhow most of the companies have announced the work from home option till March, so it's better that cycle lane to be open by that time" says Abhilash, who prefers to cycle to office.
ORR is currently used by over 1,000 cyclists as part of their daily commute to the numerous offices and tech parks along the road and is a prime candidate for improving cycling infrastructure to reduce accidents. ORR is designed with three lanes in the centre (including one dedicated bus lane), flanked on either side by two-lane service lanes. Creating a cycle path in the service lane prevents conflicts with motorists in the main vehicular lanes, making cycling safe.