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HOW TO IMPROVE CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE IN INDIA

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How to improve cycling infrastructure in India

Cycling is one of the cleanest ways to get around a city, and can have enormous benefits for health, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality and road safety. To make Cycling an attractive option, cities must focus on safety, convenience, culture and comfort for Cyclists. Here is the cycling infrastructure that cities need and how to encourage people to use them.

USING THE FULL RANGE OF INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIONS TO IMPROVE THE CYCLING EXPERIENCE

  • Segregated and wider bicycle lanes- These are proven to be far more effective at encouraging Cycling and improving safety than Cycle Lanes painted on the street.
  • Bicycle Rental infrastructure- This includes Bicycles, docking stations and vehicles to transport them.
  • Secure Bicycle parking infrastructure.
  • Traffic light signalling that prioritises cyclists- This helps cyclists safely cross intersections safely and not getting caught between motorists.

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ENSURE CYCLING INFRASTRUCTURE IS WELL CONNECTED WITH OTHER TRANSPORT NETWORKS

Where Cycling Infrastructure leads from and to is just as important as the types of infrastructure built. Cities need to ensure that Cycling networks connect with other transport networks and with key areas of the city. Cycling is commonly used to get to and from longer-distance transit hubs, such as train stations. Cities can focus on these areas and their connections to other high activity areas. In the long run, aim to turn all streets into Bicycle friendly streets, rather than a sparse selection of Cyclist Friendly streets.

INTRODUCE SCHEMES TO INCENTIVISE CYCLING

  • Cycle-Hire Schemes- Bicycle-share schemes that allow anyone to hire a Bicycle for short trips, either from a docking station or using dock-less Bicycles, have multiplied dramatically over the past 10 years around the globe. They require the infrastructure investments alongside a managed cycle-hire scheme. Docked bicycle-share schemes can be delivered by the city or in partnership with a private sector sponsor.
  • ’Car-free street’ or ‘Open-Street’ days- Close down select main streets on Sundays and public holidays for use by cyclists.
  • Cycling and road safety lessons- People with little experience of cycling can feel nervous about starting to travel by Bicycle, especially when their city has not had a reputation for Cycle safety in the past. Partnering with local NGOs to provide free road safety and Bicycle maintenance lessons through workplaces and schools/colleges, can be a great way to help people gain the confidence to give cycling a try.
  • Cycle-to-Work programmes- These are schemes to ease the upfront cost of purchasing a Bicycle and related equipment and to reduce the overall cost. The employer pays the upfront cost. This is then paid back through the employee’s monthly salary. Often, the government will offer tax benefits. Cycle-to-work programmes are usually arranged by the employer along with the support of the local government. Companies where this practice already exists should work to increase awareness among its employees.

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