Bring cycles back on Kolkata Roads

Bring cycles back on Kolkata Roads

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Moina Majhi, age 21, coming from a small town in the South 24 Parganas comes to work as a house help in 3 houses in East Kolkata Township every day. Cycles being the sole mode of transportation for her, with restrictions across several routes she uses to commute, it has become Moina to use her cycle to travel and save some of her commuting time. The milk that gets delivered to your house every morning, the newspaper that comes to you every day, comes to your house on a bicycle. Daily about 25 Lakhs cycle trips are made in the city by people coming from all rugs of the society. Cycles can increase the income of poor families by as much as 35%, revealed a study. 

About 11% of Kolkata’s population rely on cycles so much so that trips by cycles have outnumbered trips by cars, mentioned a New Delhi based non-profit’s report. However, the practice of sidelining cycling, victimising cyclists and penalising them  has been around for a few years now. Since August 11, 2008, Kolkata Police has brought major restrictions on cycling in Kolkata roads and restrictions still continue to exist creating hindrance in the day to day activity of several thousands of population who use cycling as the only means of transportation within the city. Kolkata’s average road space is the lowest compared to other metropolitan cities and cars occupy only 6% of this space. In addition, the average commuting distance is also close to 3 km which can be easily covered by a cycle. 

I am also a part of the SwitchON foundation an organisation ,dedicated to work towards equitable and sustainable development

SwitchON Foundation conducted a speed mapping exercise which revealed that cycles with an average speed of 14 km/hr can easily match vehicle speed of kolkata. Apart from decongesting the traffic fleet, cycles can also be used as a silver bullet remedy to Kolkata’s rapidly declining air quality, which is a silent killer taking away lacs of life. And sadly almost 30% of Kolkata pollution comes from vehicular exhausts, found out a 2019 Government study.  Cycles are not just used as the only mode of transportation by economically challenged citizens but also used as a means of by professionals to commute to office, youth and children to go to school and tuitions and fitness enthusiasts.

As a citizen, I feel it is my duty to speak out towards safe and sustainable  transportation .That is why I have started this petition. 

As citizens, we must urge the Government  to make our city cyclable by providing safe infrastructure.

Kolkata has already been ahead of the race by being a part of C40 cities in green mobility.Cycles are a zero emission mode, and play a major role in enabling the livelihoods of people by providing a cost effective transport option especially in present covid time.

For over a decade now we have been struggling to get our cause out to the authorities. On the occasion of World Bicycle Day, I am requesting from the,Transport Minister Police, Department of Transport and other associated authorities the following - 

Immediately lift the ban of cycles 
Ensure safe cycling campaigns, clear traffic signages etc. 
Identify safe cycling corridors and create cycle and NMT lanes in the cities 
Move away from a car centric transportation planning and incentivise cycling by making them feel a part of the system.

I request you to sign the petition and help this initiative to build strong voices for a safe walkable , cyclable city with clean air.

#liftbanoncycles 

#wewantcyclelanes

Warm Regards

Ms.Ekta Jaju 

SwitchON Foundation 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!
At 15,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!