Do segregated cycle tracks make sense in India?

This in from an informant in Pune, India where they built 80 km of cycle tracks, but most are unusable due to poor design, paving, and encroachment.

On 10th Nov 10, a cyclist was hit by a speeding luxury bus and died. The cycle tracks in Pune are just not visible, nor usable resulting in non-use of cycle tracks.

The manifold problems re CYCLE TRACKS are:

1.The signages are too little and insignificant/invisible, displayed after a pretty long distance. Lost or broken boards are never replaced.

2. CT are blocked by parking of 2 wheelers/rickshaws/cars , even trucks. (see earlier posts here and here)

3. Auto vehicles drive frequently on CT for convenience-contra flow-short cuts-congestion etc.

4. CT are used for private and commercial activities.

5. CT are used for dumping garbage/building repair-construction materials and left overs.

The question remains then: what is the best strategy for informal economies from the global south, like India? Can segregated bicycle lanes work? Or are they culturally specific to cities where traffic rules are clear and followed, like rule-bound Denmark, Holland, and Germany where they were developed? What should be put in in a place like India instead if segregated cycle tracks don’t make sense?


5 responses to “Do segregated cycle tracks make sense in India?

  1. well said ezra. really the respect for CT’s in india is zero. not just the public even the law enforcers and administration has no respect for the cycle lanes they only built. i am not sure about how it is in Pune but in New Delhi even in the worst condition it’s much safer to be on the CT than the road with rest of the traffic. the good thing about New Delhi is that the Bike lanes are really narrow and well separated from the rest of the road. since it’s narrow most of the bigger vehicles avoid it barring two wheelers but even they come in limited numbers. i guess the physical segregation is must (like in Chandigarh and New Delhi BRT corridor) not just a yellow line to mark the separation.

  2. Guys, I understand your concerns. But please understand that Pune is notorious for the traffic indiscpline. And it is yet to come to terms like seperate cycle track.
    It is easy to blame traffic department for such a mess but it is the people who are mostly responsible for such sorry state of affairs in Pune.

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