As per the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act 1966, the state government directed the PMC to include the comprehensive bicycle plan in the Development Plan, and submit it for the approval of the state government.
The civic body has also been urged to implement it with immediate effect.
As per the plan, an 824-km-long long cycleway has to be developed in the city at an estimated cost of Rs 335 crore.
The plan aims to make Pune a cycling-friendly city where cycling is safe, comfortable, convenient and enjoyable.
Also ensuring public engagement and user participation in the development of cycle paths, walk-friendly infrastructure and its monitoring.
The comprehensive bicycle plan seeks to increase the modal share of cycling in public transport from the current 3 per cent to 25 per cent by 2031.
The project also entails the introduction of a scheme for the public sharing of bicycles to promote their use.
The PMC has already started implementing the public bicycle sharing scheme and it is up and running successfully in some parts of the city. However, due to incidents of theft and damage to bicycles, few cycle sharing private agencies have withdrawn their service.
The fear of riding on roads with such traffic deters people from cycling regularly and this will continue even when the city has cycling roads, says Anurudha Patwardhan, Civil engineer.
The cycle tracks made so far in the city are used also by Motorcycle riders. In fact, the stretch from Aundh to Pune university was designed for cycles but being misused daily.
Also, paving blocks on cycle tracks cause physical pain which should be avoided and proper slopes should be made to get off cycle tracks. Cycling should be made safe and comfortable for the citizens.
A week ago, several cyclists collectively made a complaint to PMC about the inconvenience faced with drainage covers, uneven roads, no proper space between bollards and Illegal parking on cycling tracks.
Such factors should be considered before designing the road, Patwardhan added.
John Dsouza, Cyclist and Fitness expert says, “Pune becoming cycle friendly is a welcome initiative from the Pune municipal corporation.
I hope cycling will be safe, as there are many two-wheelers using those tracks. And, where there are no tracks, it can be life-threatening for a cyclist.
Parents should encourage their children to cycle to college etc. The only way to keep vendors and motorcyclists away from the tracks is to have more and more cyclists using them to travel.
However, there meeds to be a solid plan for cycle-friendly Pune to avoid digging and redoing these stretches over and over again, John added.
Cycling tracks of 824 km will only be successful if the government also makes an effort to encourage commuters to switch to cycling, says Namrata Mistry, Content Marketer.
Easy availability of cycles near IT parks, corporates, schools and colleges will certainly promote the use of cycles. Also, hassle-free parking should be made available for the users.
Citizens will only use cycle if their journeys are completed without any difficulties. A good cycling infrastructure consists of continuity for a long stretch without any disturbance of trees, DP boxes, lamp posts and bus stops. Often you have people commuting by bus literally standing on the cycle track often causing an obstacle for the rider.
PMC has cycling tracks but it seems that they have ignored all the factors which need to be considered while designing a good cycling track, Namrata adds.
#All views are those of the respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.