‘Trin-trin’ plan to promote use of bicycles in Gandhinagar

“For the first month of the project, there won’t be any charge for taking the cycles on rent,” said GUDA chairperson Ashish Dave.

Gandhinagar | Published: January 18, 2016 11:47:40 am

Fifty one years after it was conceptualised, authorities here are working on a plan for new cycle lanes for the residents with the Gandhinagar Urban Development Authority (GUDA) launching a pilot cycle sharing initiative — ‘Trin-Trin Green-Green (TT-GG)’ Project — next month.

The project is set to be launched even as GUDA’s planners realised that the original cycle tracks marked in the master plan for the first planned city of Gujarat have now been encroached upon for vehicular traffic.

Under the TT-GG Project with estimated budget of Rs 60 lakh, the GUDA is planning to have 10 cycle stands at 10 locations on a public-private-partnership (PPP) basis. Under the project, people can hire bicycles from these locations and then return those at any of the 10 identified cycle stands in the city.

“For the first month of the project, there won’t be any charge for taking the cycles on rent,” said GUDA chairperson Ashish Dave.

According to Vedant Patel, urban planner of the GUDA who is overseeing the TT-GG Project, “One hundred bicycles have already been given to GUDA by a Gujarat state enterprise for Rs 6.5 lakh. The 10 cycle stands costing around Rs 22 lakh have been sponsored by local real estate firms. The contract to conduct the project, which includes maintaining cycles, registration of users and getting the cycles insured, has been given to a Gandhinagar-based cycle firm through a national tender of Rs 25 lakh.”

“This is a pilot project only for the city areas. We are targeting school- and college- going teenagers, youths and those going for morning exercise” said Patel.

The urban planner said GUDA is yet to decide on how to arrange for parking of vehicles of those who will take cycles on rent.

“Since this is a pilot project meant for people living within around one km radius of the cycle stands, it does not require to handle the parking issue. That issue can come up at later stage of the project when we plan to expand,” said Patel.

On safety of cyclists, the GUDA official said on most roads there will be dedicated corridors for cyclists. But, on cycle tracks mentioned in the original 1965 master plan, he said: “We have realised that over the years those tracks have been encroached upon for vehicular traffic… Now, we are trying to plan or rediscover the cycle tracks.”

However, local experts questioned viability of the project. “None of us or other local groups have been consulted by the GUDA while finalising the project. There were dedicated cycle tracks in the original 1965 master plan of the city. In fact, there were dedicated cycle tracks made of bricks. What happened to those?,” asked Arun Buch, a senior citizen and president of Gandhinagar Shaher Vasahat Mahamandal. He is living in the city since April 1970.

Buch, who has been observing Road Safety Week annually in Gandhinagar for 27 years, was not much optimistic about the cycle project, especially when other priorities such as proper electric traffic signals remain unfulfilled. “We don’t have proper traffic signals in Gandhinagar yet, and a number of people die on road accidents. In such a situation, what about safety of cyclists on roads? Merely, marking yellow lines for cyclists on roads won’t do. There should be a proper study on pros and cons of the project.”

Fifty one years after it was conceptualised, authorities here are working on a plan for new cycle lanes for the residents with the Gandhinagar Urban Development Authority (GUDA) launching a pilot cycle sharing initiative — ‘Trin-Trin Green-Green (TT-GG)’ Project — next month.

The project is set to be launched even as GUDA’s planners realised that the original cycle tracks marked in the master plan for the first planned city of Gujarat have now been encroached upon for vehicular traffic.

Under the TT-GG Project with estimated budget of Rs 60 lakh, the GUDA is planning to have 10 cycle stands at 10 locations on a public-private-partnership (PPP) basis. Under the project, people can hire bicycles from these locations and then return those at any of the 10 identified cycle stands in the city.

“For the first month of the project, there won’t be any charge for taking the cycles on rent,” said GUDA chairperson Ashish Dave.

According to Vedant Patel, urban planner of the GUDA who is overseeing the TT-GG Project, “One hundred bicycles have already been given to GUDA by a Gujarat state enterprise for Rs 6.5 lakh. The 10 cycle stands costing around Rs 22 lakh have been sponsored by local real estate firms. The contract to conduct the project, which includes maintaining cycles, registration of users and getting the cycles insured, has been given to a Gandhinagar-based cycle firm through a national tender of Rs 25 lakh.”

“This is a pilot project only for the city areas. We are targeting school- and college- going teenagers, youths and those going for morning exercise” said Patel.

The urban planner said GUDA is yet to decide on how to arrange for parking of vehicles of those who will take cycles on rent.

“Since this is a pilot project meant for people living within around one km radius of the cycle stands, it does not require to handle the parking issue. That issue can come up at later stage of the project when we plan to expand,” said Patel.

On safety of cyclists, the GUDA official said on most roads there will be dedicated corridors for cyclists. But, on cycle tracks mentioned in the original 1965 master plan, he said: “We have realised that over the years those tracks have been encroached upon for vehicular traffic… Now, we are trying to plan or rediscover the cycle tracks.”

However, local experts questioned viability of the project. “None of us or other local groups have been consulted by the GUDA while finalising the project. There were dedicated cycle tracks in the original 1965 master plan of the city. In fact, there were dedicated cycle tracks made of bricks. What happened to those?,” asked Arun Buch, a senior citizen and president of Gandhinagar Shaher Vasahat Mahamandal. He is living in the city since April 1970.

Buch, who has been observing Road Safety Week annually in Gandhinagar for 27 years, was not much optimistic about the cycle project, especially when other priorities such as proper electric traffic signals remain unfulfilled. “We don’t have proper traffic signals in Gandhinagar yet, and a number of people die on road accidents. In such a situation, what about safety of cyclists on roads? Merely, marking yellow lines for cyclists on roads won’t do. There should be a proper study on pros and cons of the project.”

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