Call for cycle lanes in Capital roads

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Call for cycle lanes in Capital roads

Oct 31, 2014-

A group of young cyclists and others organised a rally in the Capital on Friday, which also marked the death anniversary of biologists and wildlife expert Prahlad Yonzon, urging the authorities concerned to come up with cycle inclusive development in the city.

Yonzon was killed as his cycle was knocked down by a truck in 2011. According to Shail Shrestha, president of Kathmandu Cycle City 2020, they have been organising the rally named Critical Mass Kathmandu on the last Friday of every month since April last year, supporting similar events in more than 400 cities worldwide on the same day.

Shrestha said they initiated the campaign to exert pressure on the government to introduce cycle lanes in all the road networks within the Kathmandu by 2020. The call to promote cycling in Kathmandu, however, is not something new to the city.

More than 10 years ago, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) decided to build cycle lanes along the Tinkune-Maitighar road, the Ring Road, river corridors and arterial roads. The objective was to promote the concept of livable city, said Toran Sharma, a senior environmentalist. In 2005 as well, a decision was taken to construct a 44 kilometre bicycle track in the city under the government’s Action Plan for Bicycle Friendly Communities. The plans, however, never materialised.

 “The focus of the government is more on expanding motorised transportation instead of adding basic amenities to improve the living condition of city people,” said Dhanapati Sapkota, chief of the KMC’s Implementation Department. Currently, the 3.3 kilometre widened Maitighar-Tinkune road has been equipped with cycle lane as per a government decision taken in 2011.

Shrestha said though a growing number of cities in West are eagerly trying to promote bicycles as sustainable means of transport and enhance quality of life in the urban landscapes, riding bicycles has just been limited to a hobby for some young people and environment conscious citizens in Kathmandu.

Published: 01-11-2014 09:06

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