In the last 10 months, at least 10 cyclists have lost their lives in fatal accidents.
The successive experiments carried out by the police and engineering department to make the ride safe for cyclists have failed. Despite the Punjab and Haryana High Court having ordered issuing challans of the cyclists jumping red lights, not a single challan has been issued yet. The reason is said to be delay on the part of the Chandigarh Administration.
Some experiments have been made over the years to provide a safe passage to non-motorised traffic. Rumble strips were installed at the Sector 18-19 roundabout. The aim was to ensure that the fast-moving traffic slowed down at the rumble strips and provided a passage to the non-motorised traffic. Breaks in the median were made for their unhindered movement, connecting straight to the cycle tracks. However, a large number of accidents were reported at the roundabouts due to the vehicles suddenly slowing down.
There were complaints from the residents about the rumble strips. Subsequently, the rumble strips were filled up and instead speed breakers were made, and the purpose of the experiment was defeated.
At the Sector 31-32 roundabout, it was decided to modify the design to provide a passage for non-motorised transport and pedestrians. Table-top zebra crossings were constructed on all four sides. The aim was that instead of the cyclists having to merge with the traffic at the roundabouts, they could ply on a raised platform which acted as a speed breaker for the fast-moving traffic. With no awareness being created about the same, four-wheelers and two-wheelers are frequently seen on the speed breakers when the traffic light is red, leaving no space for cyclists. There was a proposal to replicate the same experiment at 20 other junctions in the city. However, till now the proposal remains in the pipeline.
UT Senior Superintendent of Police (security and traffic) Manish Choudhry says that although they are trying their level best to make the roads safer for the cyclists, it is a difficult task. Most of the time the cyclists become victims of accidents when they cross roundabouts because they have to cross the roads along with the speeding vehicles which make the cyclists prone to the accidents.
The SSP adds that they have not issued any challan to the cyclists but they will soon start doing so.