Chandigarh far from being cycle-friendly to encourage mass switch, says RITES report - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh far from being cycle-friendly to encourage mass switch, says RITES report

By, Chandigarh
Jul 19, 2022 02:09 AM IST

To encourage more walking and cycling, RITES has recommended a stronger network of footpaths, cycle lanes and public bike sharing scheme, in terms of both quantity and quality, across the tricity

Even as Chandigarh boasts of a dedicated 210km cycle track network and a strong public bike sharing system, it still has a long way to go in becoming a cycle-friendly city.

RITES through its survey found that only 9% of Chandigarh opt for walking or cycling for daily commute. (HT File Photo)
RITES through its survey found that only 9% of Chandigarh opt for walking or cycling for daily commute. (HT File Photo)

In its interim report, RITES, working on a comprehensive mobility plan to resolve the traffic woes in the tricity, has stated that 40% Chandigarh residents are not satisfied with the facilities provided for non-motorised transport (NMT), such as walking and cycling.

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To encourage more NMT takers, it has recommended a stronger network of footpaths, cycle lanes and public bike sharing scheme, in terms of both quantity and quality, across the tricity.

RITES through its survey found that only 9% of Chandigarh opt for walking or cycling for daily commute. The average trip length of cycle travel is 3.8 km and average duration 20 minutes.

A considerable part of Chandigarh, especially the periphery, is still bereft of cycle infrastructure. (HT)
A considerable part of Chandigarh, especially the periphery, is still bereft of cycle infrastructure. (HT)

This is primarily due to absence of safe parking facilities, and separate NMT lanes and bicycle sharing scheme across the tricity, as per residents’ responses. “Usage of cycles in Panchkula and Mohali is also very low and needs to be encouraged for environmental considerations,” states the report.

The report further points out that the current facilities in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula are also inadequate for heavy pedestrian traffic. “Increase in walking and cycling trips is expected with improvement in pedestrian and cycle infrastructure,” states the report.

The UT administration has spent over 22 crore on construction of the 210 km cycle track network in the city over the past five years. A cycling policy, envisaging 10% dedicated parking space in buildings, cycle boxes at all traffic signals and a four-second head start to cyclists at all traffic lights, is also in the works.

However, a considerable part of the city, especially the periphery, is still bereft of cycle infrastructure, while the existing cycle tracks present a picture of neglect.

RITES has also highlighted that though around 250 stands have been set up under the public bike sharing project in Chandigarh, it still has many shortcomings. Due to low battery, many cycles are not ready to start the ride from the mobile app. In many cases, the cycles’ locks, seats, pedals and stands are broken, while mudguards and handle grips have been stolen. Apart from this, the baskets have also been dismantled, and the lock and barcode stickers have been removed.

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