Initiative to close unauthorized parking on the first Abraham Madmakkal Road
Official sources said that cycle lanes would be installed on ‘smart roads’ in the city to prevent other vehicles from parking in the city.
This comes in the wake of the imminent launch of the first lot of 360 shared bicycles based on 60 terminals in the city as part of a joint initiative of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and Cochin Smart Mission Limited. CSML) to launch 1,000 shared bicycles.
It will be tried first on Abraham Madamkkal Road. There were widespread complaints from cycling enthusiasts that heavy vehicles were being parked on the roads, despite the green paint and markings. Many motorists park vehicles on the side of the road, sidewalks and bicycle tracks, even though the surrounding area has pay-and-park facilities. He said there is free space for parking at the Marine Drive ground owned by the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA).
CSML has read a pair of cycle lanes on both sides from Rajendra Maidan to the Queen’s Walkway on Chatti Road as part of the initiative to promote non-motorized transport. In addition, the agency is preparing a scale-up plan to prepare such dedicated lanes for other large-scale roads. A list of priority roads is being read, it has been revealed.
The city may not have been safe enough for cyclists from an accident that occurred a week ago in Thripunithura, when a boy was run over by a lorry when he fell from his wheel on an ill-maintained section next to the road. .
“The reduction of lanes is a major obstacle we face for bicycle riders,” said Leggie Philip Pothen, a former Air Force officer who frequently roams on bicycles in his neighborhood. “Unauthorized and haphazard parking by cars and other vehicles is another problem on NH Bypass’s service roads,” he said.
KMRL managing director Alkesh Kumar Sharma and his wife are among those who travel long distances on bicycles at dawn. “The epidemic and rising health consciousness have led to a huge demand for bicycles. The increase in their numbers manifold led to a marked change in the way motorists see cyclists. Back in 2019 when I reached Kochi, motorists used to signal cyclists to give way. Now, this is the second route, and they give us the way, which also includes junctions. After all, the roads are also for pedestrians and cyclists. They must reclaim this right. Although not mandatory, helmets are being viewed by cyclists as a necessity of safety, ”he said.
On the shared cycle venture, Mr. Sharma said that they would work for those who want last mile connectivity. “There are 60 terminals where they can be deployed, an added attraction as they are available every 500 meters,” he said. We should take cue from cities like Barcelona, Bogota, Madeline and even Pune, where cycling is the pride of place. After all, the average speed of vehicles in Kochi is around 20 km per hour during peak hours, and it is easier to cycle to the destination than to rely on a car or scooter. It is also a sustainable mode of living / transport. Ultimately, Kochi should become like Singapore or European cities where pedestrians are king, ”he said.