As Bicycle sales Double amid Pandemic, Centre To Issue New Guidelines For Scaling Up Cycling Infrastructure


Central Government on sunday, October 18, said that, it is drafting new guidelines to scale up cycling infrastructure in Indian cities, reported Hindustan Times

The guidelines will be shared by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) with cities as part of Smart City Mission (SCM).

Official said, the guidelines will include national standards for cycling infrastructure, process to create cycling friendly streets, such as segregated lanes, shared streets, and intersections, It also contains details on parking management and additional design elements such as parking of cycles, signage, and street lighting…The next phase of the document will contain implementation details and methods to measure the impact of interventions.

“Besides planning standards for cycling infrastructure, we need to recalibrate traffic lights in cities to factor in mass movement of cycles at traffic intersections. We can integrate landscape planning with cycle infrastructure,” said KT Ravindran, an urban designer and a former chairman of Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC).

Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which is helping ministry in developing guidelines, also conducted a survey to understand choice of travel post pandemic, survey showed, cycling would increase up to 65% as lock-down will be completely lifted.

This move has in come in right time after bicycle sales saw a peak during pandemic, bicycle sales have doubled in past 5 months, sales have peaked in smaller cities as well.

Business Today reported that bicycle sellers are finding it hard to full fill growing bicycle demand, since logistics and manufacturing are only recovering now.

MoHUA, in another letter to the states also mentioned that, as lock down has been gradually relaxed, while maintaining distancing measures, pandemic has given an opportunity to re-imagine streets for public, using pavements in big way, we should leverage this opportunity to scale cycling infrastructure, as cities across world are doing.

Of the 107 cities enrolled in SCM, 54 cities have already formed an official team working on scaling cycling infrastructure, reported Hindustan Times.

Official also said, a competition, “Cycles4Change” will be held among cities to promote cycling infrastructure, and cities will be rewarded based on their performance in the competition, all cities enrolled in SCM, capitals of states and UTs, and smaller cities with population above 5 Lakhs are invited for the competition.

As the first part of challenge, participating cities should pilot at least one dedicated bicycle corridor of minimum length 5 Km and a bicycling safe neighborhood of minimum area 5 Sq. Km by December 14, 2020, and the pilot intervention would be documented by city administration, continuous feedback from bicycle commuters and public will collected.

As of now, 35 cities have already initiated the work, designing and testing pilot corridors and neighbourhood areas, around 370 Km and 210 Sq Km. have been identified across different cities, official said.

He further said, 11 best performing cities in above mentioned completion will be qualified for second stage of competition, with a reward of Rs. 1 Crore.