Hyderabad Metropolitan Area which is witnessing a spurt in privately owned vehicle numbers and subsequent rise in pollution is in need of a Bicycle Master Plan.
The Comprehensive Transportation Study (CTS) taken up on behalf of Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority to suggest solutions for transportation issues has underscored the need to promote bicycling and make the city ‘bicycle-friendly’.
Advocating a Bicycle Master Plan, the CTS report called for a wide network of cycle routes and facilities and making bicycle policy an integral part of transportation system policies.
The quality of urban environment has deteriorated seriously owing to noise and air pollution and inadequate road safety, the report compiled by LEA Associates says. Most pollutants present at the street level originate from motor vehicles, it points out while adding, “there is a definite need to make the city bicycle-friendly”.
According to CTS report, between 2001 and 2011, the population increase in HMA has been about 23.7 per cent whereas the increase in private vehicles shot up by 231 per cent. The private vehicle ownership levels in Hyderabad Metropolitan Area are expected to increase six folds from 16,74,399 in 2011 to 99,58,820 by the year 2041, forecasts the study. It will rise from 178 vehicles/1,000 people in the year 2011 to 512 vehicles/1,000 people by the year 2041.
The Bicycle Master Plan has been proposed as a document with ‘long-range planning for developing bicycle infrastructure in the city with emphasis on designating and expanding bike routes, fostering a safe environment for cycling and promoting bicycling as a viable transportation option’.
The report calls for providing exclusive right of way for bicycles and improving safety by segregating vehicles moving at different speeds.
These steps coupled with safe bicycle parking places, could also contribute towards increasing the use of public transport. Also suggested are facilities such as shade giving landscaping, provision of drinking water and resting stations along bicycle corridors.