A push to make Visakhapatnam cycling friendly

As town gears up to take part in India Cycles4Change problem, here’s what the cyclists counsel to result in an eco-friendly change for commuting

The street behind the Waltair Club sports activities a large and properly painted cycling lane. But the trail ends abruptly on the junction close to Gujarada Kalashetram. Ahead of that junction, cyclists both have to make their manner by way of the heavy visitors or get off the bike and stroll it house.

But this would possibly change quickly because the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) has registered for the India Cycles4Change Challenge, an initiative by the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs which goals to help Indian cities to rapidly implement cycling-friendly initiatives in response to COVID-19. The authorities is making an attempt to promote cycling as an eco-friendly manner of commuting to cut back folks’s dependency on public transport and assist them in sustaining social distance. Visakhapatnam together with 94 different cities have registered for this initiative.

Through their social media handles, GVMC is reaching out to folks searching for their opinions to make town cycling-friendly. “We have put out surveys and poll campaigns on our Twitter and Facebook page, inviting people to make suggestions about their preferred cycling trails, barriers on these routes, city’s cycling habits and their opinion about renting cycles.We are hoping that Visakhapatnam gets listed among the 11 cities to implement changes, following which cycling lanes will be developed and awareness campaigns will be undertaken to promote safety of the cyclists. Currently, we are considering to develop cycle lanes on the Beach Road. More areas will be added according to the suggestions submitted by the people,” says M Vinay Kumar, Superintendent Engineer (Smart City Projects).

What is India Cycles4Change Challenge?

  • Launched in June 2020, the initiative goals to arrange in depth cycling-networks utilizing strategies like pop-up cycle lanes, non-motorised zones and arrange community-led cycle rental schemes.
  • Of the registered cities, the Centre will choose 11 who will likely be given an award of ₹1 crore.
  • Development in these cities will occur in two levels. Under stage one, the native authorities may have to conduct promotional actions to encourage cycling and develop a wide-scale technique for making town cycling-friendly.
  • Under stage two the cities will implement the scale-up plans underneath the steering of nationwide and worldwide consultants.

Homesh Cetty, an entrepreneur and a seasoned bicycle owner believes that town may have to bear main redesigning to make it cycling-friendly. “There are barely any cycle lanes in the city and the ones that exist lead to nowhere. A cycling-friendly city like Copenhagen or Amsterdam has been successful because they have ensured that all parts of the cities are accessible on a bike. The cycling lanes are smooth and without speed breakers. If the authorities plan on promoting cycling as a part of daily commute, then all the areas need to be well connected, developing just a few areas will be no good,” says Homesh.

He can be the founding father of Vizag Bay Cycling, one of many oldest cycling teams within the metropolis. “ In the current state, cycling in the city is dangerous as there is heavy traffic and people are not educated about taking cyclist into consideration while driving. The authorities will have to educate the citizens about driving responsibly alongside cycling lanes,” he says.

Dr Suman Das, who picked up cycling through the lockdown, believes that pop-up cycle renting providers will assist in making a buzz among the many residents. “Even if one is not a cycling enthusiast, these hop-on hop-off kind of initiatives can encourage a person to pick up rental cycles. For that to work, the authorities will have to ensure that here are ample of renting stations in every area,” he says.

Currently, the rental cycle service on the Beach Road is a success among the many metropolis dwellers, however the heavy visitors and crowd are a significant hindrance.

But 28-year-old Nidhi Chawla who moved to town a 12 months in the past believes that sustaining the cycle lanes is as essential as creating one. “The job of the government is not done just by making the lanes. They have to ensure that people are educated about making use of these lanes while driving a car or a motorbike. A lot of people use these lanes to park their vehicles so authorities will have to look into that,” she says.

Homesh believes that cycling trails in and across the metropolis would appeal to cyclists from the world over and provides a significant increase to the tourism trade. “We are blessed with the hills and a serene coastline, Visakhapatnam would make for a great cycling destination if developed carefully. The authorities can have specific trails around Araku Valley, Bheemli, Meghadrigedda and areas near Madhurawada. These tours can be included in the travel guides of the city,”he says.

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