On the occasion of World Bicycle Day, cyclists in Noida held several events and a plantation drive on Friday, stating that improving the city’s infrastructure is the first step toward boosting cycling.
As a greeting for World Bicycle Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter earlier in the day and advised Indians to take inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi and live a sustainable and healthy life. Cycling was also promoted by a number of other politicians and leaders.
According to insiders, the Noida authorities had set aside land for cycling routes, but the project was left unfinished after the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in Uttar Pradesh was overthrown five years ago.
Residents, on the other hand, believe it is a waste of existing resources and an unjustified justification for the city’s lack of bike infrastructure. The desire for appropriate bicycle infrastructure has increased, particularly since six cyclists were hurt on the expressway in Noida approximately a fortnight ago.
“Unlike many other Indian towns, Noida has spacious and well-connected roadways, as well as a large population of regular bikers.” There is adequate room to build cycling tracks for cyclists’ safety so that they do not have to share the road with high-speed vehicles. This is why some regions have been created with tracks. However, leaving it unfinished is a waste of resources and encourages unlawful behaviours such as unlicensed parking and encroachment,” said Rajiva Singh, an ardent cyclist and a Noida resident.
Noida has five segments of cycle tracks totaling 46 kilometres in length. Most of these, however, are encroached upon, fragmented, and untidy, rendering them unusable for most bikers.
Other inhabitants claim that riding is quickly becoming a popular way for residents to stay active, especially since the Covid-19 outbreak kept many to their homes. However, they added that a lack of safe riding infrastructure has been a disincentive.
“Cycling is one of the healthiest pastimes, according to many reports, because it keeps one active while also improving one’s immune system. During Covid-19, people used to exercise at home, but now they want to get out and enjoy cycling. “Thousands of individuals would benefit from cycling trails, and it will promote the activity among many others,” said Dharmendra Sharma, a resident of Sector 34 who organised a cycle rally and plantation drive on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Noida government is finalising bidding for the operation of electric bikes throughout the city.
“The deadline for submitting a tender is June 6, following which we will select the operator.” We intend to have 310 electric cycles in the first phase. These will travel at a speed of 30-40 kilometres per hour. However, we are not currently working on cycle tracks,” said SP Singh, deputy general manager (traffic cell), Noida authorities.
62 e-bike stations are located across the city, including all main Metro stations and public areas. The authority will request that the operator deliver five e-bikes at each station at first, with the number increasing to ten in the second phase, depending on the reception. Once the operator is chosen, the fares will be established by the operator in cooperation with the authority, according to sources.
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