Let's make Bangalore India's first cycling friendly city
There is a global consensus that this pandemic is a wake-up call in how we set the new normal. Slipping back to old ways will be read as a sign of incompetence and wilful apathy in not willing to see the obvious. Societies that don’t learn to adapt, as history tells us, will be left behind losing all opportunities to grow and prosper. Bengaluru is not one of them. We have always led by taking risks, making dynamic changes and coming together as one family.
This is one more such opportunity for us to adapt and make that change when no one else is.
Consequent of the lockdown, Bengaluru’s air pollution rate has dropped by over 40% just with vehicles off the road. We know its impractical to continue this way, but with over 40 of the world’s major cities planning to go cycle and pedestrian-friendly, its time our city show the same intelligence and pro-environment action. We must not miss this window of opportunity to rethink our roads which will be difficult if things go back to old normal.
We have made tremendous gains in air quality these last few months and must find ways to sustain this for the long-term. If NY, London, Berlin, Paris and others can, we can too.
It is widely accepted by experts that this virus is not going to abate anytime soon and the only way to mitigate spread is by social distancing and personal hygiene.
Public transport and Metro systems worldwide has seen an 80% decline in usage due to high transmission risks in them.
Going back to personal motor vehicles, experts agree, will not just congest the roads but most importantly will again pollute the city air which will worsen our respiratory system’s ability to fight a virus that attacks it. This is one major reason why cities around the world are prioritising cycle-friendly roads.
Cycling/walking is a proven way to ensure public health and general well-being.
Collective voice forces political action and it is important for us as a progressive city of the world, to enable and encourage non-motorised transport (NMT) on our roads as our commitment to doing our bit for the environment. Here’s what we ask our CM together:
1. Provide temporary pop-up bicycle tracks connecting industrial areas to efficiently restart the economy in a safe, environment-friendly and congestion-free mode.
2. Opening busy shopping streets as ONLY cycling and walking zones across the city and closed for motor vehicles to enable social distancing and safer retail activities. (for e.g., Church street after widening its footpath, reducing the carriage-way width and adding cycle-parking facilities has considerably spiked foot-falls into its businesses while reducing vehicular congestion).
3. Approve an NMT policy for the city and empower DULT to prepare a Comprehensive NMT plan for the city as well as an action plan to implement this.
4. Create an NMT cell headed by a technocrat - NMT Special Commissioner within BBMP.
5. Earmark a budget of 500 crores every year to BBMP NMT cell to ensure all streets in Bangalore have a useable footpath and are made cycle-friendly as per the Comprehensive NMT Plan & Action plan by DULT.
Through this show of public opinion, the good citizens of Bengaluru want its elected leadership to show favourable political will in achieving what no other major city in India has done. Political will is directly proportional to the groundswell of public support. Help this petition reach every Bangalorean so we can proudly put our city on the map of global cities that not just beat the pandemic but shine its light to others in making brave new changes.
Sign the petition NOW!