Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cycle Tracks or Cycle Traps?

This City don't need neither Cycles nor Cycle Tracks but Walking Plazas!

Many will raise their eye-brows & say what else can be expected from a builder! But this I am saying not as a builder or professional but as a citizen who moves around the city with open eyes & from my recent experiences on city streets! When we say we need something, should it not be reflected in our acts? Acts which must be in accordance with our need for eg when a small kid sees any toy, it demands from his/her parents & if not given makes hue & cry until he gets it. And when he gets it the child refuse to part with it,even in sleep we have seen many kids holding their toy. That's the sign of ownership & a sign of act that the child wants that toy. Try to take away that toy from the child & with all its force it will oppose you to do so!

Well its about a child who knows what it needs but come to we Punekars who are grown up & see what we are doing about cycle tracks which we have got with us! Surely not a single act which shows we need it any more! Since last six months approximately because of my work I am coming via Chnadani Chowk via Paud road back to my home at evening time. Its the time when most of the pune is going back from the work & Paud road is a major life line of kothrud & its full up to its capacity with every type of vehicle occupying the space what ever available from the ongoing road works along! And from all such heavy traffic the cyclists also making their way. It made me curious as in the stretch of nearly 3 km ie from chandani chowk to anandnagar the road has got a wide foot path along with cycle track, at least in major stretches its there. Then why not a single cyclist is using the same & put his life in danger in main road traffic?

I used to walk down for nearly 4 km for my own fitness purpose & so many things got unfolded in front of me about the cycle track! Well first thing I didn't understand why the cycle track is only on one side of road, what about people going in opposite direction,how they can cross the road with all along divider are there except chowks. The cycle track is on left side of the road going towards paud which must be making it inconvenient to use in morning hours when the traffic is towards city. Another aspect is if it means to carry the load of two way cyclists then is the width has been kept accordingly? which surely don't seem to be! At evening time I saw every activity right from children playing cricket,garages repairing vehicles, from cobler to fish sale, tea stalls, furniture sales!  Again at places there are PMC shades of bust ticketing by PMPML, MSEB distribution boxes,vehicles parked,people selling plants i.e. mini nurseries & sugar cane juice shades! At last there were cutouts erected in such a way that even walking person has to go by avoiding them & plenty of them. I didn't dare to snap the cutouts from front as then if they got published the angry karyakartas will surely after me for using their cutout for bad publicity! We are shameful or shameless depends on how we take , up to such stage that from paud road cycle tracks even the signage of cycle tracks have been removed! So we are free to say, who says there is cycle track here!

Now look at the scene on another probably the best road with cycle track in stretch of 2 km from mhatre bridge to rajaram bridge. Touch-wood there isn't a single encroachment or commercial establishment in this stretch of road so the cycle track is free of any obstacle but trees & people walking for their fitness. Yet the state of the track is such that no one uses it. The entries from various cross roads to the track are in bad shape with lots of undulations to the surface,so one has to get down from the cycle for entry or exit to the track which no one can do as cross roads are at regular intervals. What more there are speed breakers on this cycle track, when they are required on road ! The biggest joke is the track ends abruptly on boundary of PMC effluent treatment plant near Mhatre bridge which has strait way encroached on road! Now how & who will use this track?

In nut shell every one is having his share of place but cyclists & they are using main track of road without any hastel or complaint & that is why I conclude that we need walking plazas than cycle tracks! As all those activities which are permitted in walking plaza are happening on cycle tracks & yet no one is complaining , what it means? If we love our cycles, care for the city & have a ownership feeling for cycle tracks then like Ranbir Kappor demands in recent flick " Rockstar", why we don't gather & ask " Sadda Haque, Itthe Rakh! " for cycle tracks?

This is clear failure on part of city & the system who runs it to make people aware about their haque. There is a strong need of special task force for cycle track which will ensure the well being of cycle track regarding maintenance of all sort & run a awareness drive amongst the cyclists who don't use the cycle track. Make the survey of one route like Paud road & see how many people use the cycle track & ask to those who don't use it & why?We talk things like Metro & high take solutions for traffic problems where on other side we cant even just clean up our own mess of what we done with what we have ! Even political parties who show their awareness over green DP also keeps mum on this existing problem than focusing on something which isn't in existence! Why cant any political party conduct a cycle rally for appealing to the authorities & ask them to drive to their work place one day by using cycle tracks & then they will realize the facts!

Friends each day so many cyclists risk their lives not only by driving their cycle in heavy traffic but exposing them self to the pollution & many of them are our own kids, friends, relatives! Its high time to wake up & ask for our haque towards cycling & even walking freely in our own city as that's what makes it a good city!

See the snaps along as it's proof of what we think for our cycle tracks & do click the link below for more of them...

Sanjay Deshpande

Sanjeevani Dev.

Envo-Power Committee, Credai, Pune

Please do visit my blog to know about our philosophy at Sanjeevani !

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  1. Cycle tracks in Pune is just a joke. Corporators and PMC people came to know that in foreign coutries there are cycle track, and we need to keep those in Pune also.

    Otherwise, mororised two wheelers are travelling on these cycle tracks. Thanks, they are not wide enough, otherwise, even 4 wheelers would have travelled on those.

    They are not continuous.. for example track from Maharashtra bank Mayur coloney to Karve Putala chauk, even bus stop with steps is in between.

    Sanjay says the track between Mhatre bridge to Rajaram Pul is good one. But, that is least used road in Pune, as far as crowd is concened. So credit doesn't go to PMC in any way.

    Every cycle track is separate story of its own personality. One can get Ph.D. on this subject.

  2. The entire money spent on the tracks has gone down the drain.
    I liked you article.
    As Suhas said a PHD can be done on the death of Cycle tracks in Pune.


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