Q :How do you switch off cars in Delhi.
A: Get people on cycles who travel by cars.
Q: How do you get them on cycles.
A: Get cycle lanes all over Delhi.
Cycle lanes in a city like Delhi makes immense sense. The city is mostly barring flyovers. Weather for at-least 8 months is ok to cycle.
Cycle as a means of travel for a lot of poor people is evident on Delhi streets. What is not so obvious is that a lot of rich and middle class people with cars have cycles too. More and more people are buying fancy cycles every day. Currently they ( including myself) cycle only during the weekends and more as a hobby. Why, because we are scared. Even on weekends people get knocked down by cars. Sunita Narain , the director of CSE and a fellow cycling enthusiast was badly hit by a car a few months ago . If there were good cycle lanes and some surety that you will not be knocked over by a speeding car then lot of the car owners might want to ditch cars and go to office and other places in cycles.
Less cars means less congestion on the road, less accidents and less petrol bill for the Government and less Green house and other things.
Consider this. I live 4 kms away from office. I spend 25 -30 minutes in traffic to reach office in a car. I can run 4 kms in 28 minutes. I can cycle even faster. I would in fact cycle everyday if there were cycle lanes in Delhi. I will save about Rs 40 every day and burn some 120 calories and save some precious dollars for the Government other than saving environment etc etc. I don’t do this because I’m scared of getting knocked down on the road because of lack of cycle lanes.
I feel including more cycles in Delhi is a “no brainer”. I wish that the Government of Delhi can include cycles in its Urban Transport framework. It should include more public transport, more cycles and cycle lanes and fewer and fewer cars and bikes. With AAP Government in Delhi may be we can hope for cycle lanes all over Delhi and strict enforcement that only cycles will ply on these lanes.
I hope it is on AAP agenda. May be Sunita Narain with her credentials as a cyclist and environmentalist can lead on this.