1,000 signatures reached
To: Shri Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Honourable Minister - Guwahati Development Department
Let's make Guwahati the most cycling friendly city in India
We initiate this petition seeking the support of you and your good office towards promoting the use of active mode of transport like cycling in Guwahati.
We believe the present covid-19 pandemic situation gives us an opportunity to initiate measures to promote cycling as it gives people an equitable, clean and inexpensive option to travel for their work by maintaining social distance and develop their immunity. While at the same time they do not contribute to pollution and congestion in our city streets.
At the outset we request you to kindly
1. Endorse cycling as a mode of transport by releasing an advisory encouraging people to use cycles to travel for their work in the city for short distances or whenever possible.
2. Ask concerned departments to set up covered cycle parking spaces with locking facilities near city-bus stops and at various car parking facilities around the city. Commercial and residential complexes, government offices, all educational institutes can also be asked to set up covered cycle parking areas inside their campuses. Due to their small size 6-10 cycles can be parked in the place of one car.
3. Encourage people to follow car-free days once every week or atleast once a month. To make the activity more successful people will have to be educated about the benefits of car free days.
4. Ask the police and transport departments to release traffic and road safety advisories, that will ask cyclists to follow traffic rules and other motor vehicle users to respect cyclist’s right to use the road.
Going ahead we request the government initiate measures for the long term on the following areas
Policy and Governance
1. Adopt a comprehensive NMT/Cycling policy or strategy for the city with an aim to improve the modal share of cycling to 50% by 2030.
2. Form an NMT cell with members also from Civil Society Organisations to coordinate the planning, design and implementation of NMT infrastructure in the city.
3. Ask all concerned government organisations / departments to coordinate and work to prepare an integrated and comprehensive mobility plan by giving due importance to NMT/cycling in the city.
4. Adopt policies that will make encroachment and damage of dedicated cycling lanes punishable.
Planning, Design and Implementation
1. Create good quality, safe cycling infrastructure connecting the educational institutes, government offices, commercial places and all places of public interest.
2. Implement projects to enable easy and affordable access to bicycles for citizens
3. Community cycle-sharing systems, cycle rental schemes, cycle clinics, cycle training facilities, etc)
4. Provide safe and free bicycle parking at transit stations and major public destinations to enable better last-mile connectivity.
1. Invest at least 50% of the city’s transportation budget towards building high quality walking and cycling infrastructure in the city
Why is this important?
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more and more people trying to avoid public transportation for fear of contracting the virus and like in other parts of the world, India experienced a boom in bicycle sales during the corona virus pandemic.
Although most Indian cities are not bicycle-friendly, there has been a sharp increase in recreational cycling during the pandemic as people try to beat cabin fever during lock-downs, get exercise, or avoid commutes on stuffed public transport.
People now feel the need for private transport more than ever. And a major section can still not afford cars, so cycling presents an opportunity like no other.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs said the pandemic has presented an opportunity to make cities more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists.
In a June advisory, it recommended pedestrianization of at least three markets in every city and more bicycle lanes.
Given, there is a push for cycling at a national level. Let us demand our local civil administration like Municipal Corporation, Guwahati Metropolitan Development Corporation to take some steps in the right direction.
Join the movement to make your city cycling friendly.