Cycle with Kochi aims to make the city greener through science initiatives – The New Indian Express
KOCHI: Cycling in Kochi can be tedious. Having to wade through traffic and illegally parked vehicles, enduring the constant honking of private buses and cars can’t be fun. Faded and overgrown designated bike paths would be a downside.
To address these issues, “Cycle with Kochi”, an initiative of Kochi Corporation and Cochin Smart Mission Limited (CSML), will soon provide a detailed map of routes suitable for bicycles. “We are launching the initiative as part of our long-term plans to turn Kochi into a cycling city. This follows our budget promise. The project will be executed with the technical support of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), a German agency, ”said Mayor M Anilkumar.
The plan is jointly implemented by Kochi Corporation, Cochin Smart Mission Limited, Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority, Kochi Metro Rail Limited, Revenue Department, city traffic police and city cycling clubs. “It’s good to see the establishments come up with initiatives that will reduce Kochi’s carbon footprint.
Although we are ready to draw several bike lanes, no one cares about restricting illegal parking on them. While preparing the map of routes suitable for cyclists, the authorities should also endeavor to establish a scientific multi-level parking lot across the city and to clear the roads for cyclists, ”said Renjit G Thampy, an activist.
Many cycling clubs in and around Kochi will be part of the initiative. They will train beginners and launch the necessary campaigns to popularize cycling. “We are pleased that the authorities are willing to include cyclists when planning new initiatives. Instead of building new dedicated cycle lanes, ensuring a safe cycling environment within the existing framework will be a good thing. But before spending on new construction or markings, they should publicize the whole plan and listen to public comment. Transparency will ensure that many practical issues are rectified and help formulate a plan that is useful to the public, ”said Shagzil Khan, President of the Cochin Bikers Club.
Safe transport culture
Cyclists also demand an inclusive transport culture for them in Kochi. “We want to see inclusiveness in the circulation system. As several agencies are involved in the initiative, there must be a collective effort to materialize it. We all hesitate to ride bikes on private buses making reckless stops and driving randomly. Sudden stops and movements of these buses must be rationalized. When tourists arrive in Kochi by bicycle, the city should be able to welcome them safely and make them feel safe while cycling on our roads, ”said Khan.
Many cyclists also clamor for scientific designs when setting up cycle lanes. “If these new initiatives are not carried out scientifically, it would not help us. For example, the Panampilly Nagar cycle paths near the footbridge have several concrete constructions and uneven borders, making them unsuitable for cycling. Likewise, Abraham-Madamakkal Road has hawkers. Authorities should also guarantee dedicated parking spaces in shopping malls and other public spaces like Marine Drive and Broadway to promote cycling among residents, ”added Shagzil Khan, president of the Cochin Bikers Club.