KOLKATA: It seems the city’s cycle enthusiasts will have to wait a bit longer for dedicated cycle tracks to come up in Kolkata. An internal correspondence between the Kolkata traffic police and the KMDA — over a proposed trial run to try and implement cycle tracks in the city — has now revealed that Lalbazar has doubts if these tracks can be implemented without introducing unique road furniture and augmenting roads space.
Highly placed police sources said that while they were not against cycle tracks, their experience of using traditional traffic furniture and dedicated lanes (with lane markers) have so far failed to have an impact. “The left lane is used by passengers to wait for buses. It is also used for waiting before crossing the road. Again, parking is also a major issue on the extreme left lanes. With hawkers taking up pavement space, people even tend to use this lane in several stretches of the city as an alternate pavement,” explained a traffic ACP.
Cycles are a green and efficient mode of transport and all governments that care for the future and think of sustainability must strive to make roads more cycle-friendly. But, at the same time, attention must be paid to disciplining cyclists. Many of them (like jaywalkers) refuse to heed traffic signals or align themselves with the overall traffic system. All factors should be considered before any long-term decision is taken.
“Cyclists negotiating major crossings is also another concern,” pointed out a Lalbazar officer, adding that cyclists would need to learn basic traffic rules before allowing them on roads.
The KMDA had earlier proposed dedicated cycle lanes connecting the south with Sector V and Esplanade. “The city’s roads are utilized to capacity and are not equipped to handle extra pressure right now,” said an IPS officer.