Picture used for representational purpose only
BENGALURU: Cycling might have gained traction amid the pandemic but many parks and lakes in the city are still out of bounds for cyclists.
For instance, a cyclist was recently not allowed to park her cycle near Kalkere Lake. Anshul Goswami said: “Apart from lack of cycle lanes, we face another bigger challenge — parking. We need a pole to tie the cycle with or a fixed parking spot. When we go to parks and lakes, security guards don’t allow us to park cycles there. This happened with me on Wednesday morning at Kalkere Lake. I had faced the same issue at Jakkur Lake too.”
At Cubbon Park, cyclists are banned between 5am and 8am on all days. There are complaints of cyclists’ entry being restricted on weekends and other holidays too. The move came after some morning walkers opposed cyclists’ movement inside the park fearing they may hit them. To resolve this, the horticulture department had earlier promised to create a dedicated lane for cyclists inside the park but it remains on paper.
Sathya Sankaran, Bengaluru bicycle mayor, said: “There’s an unfounded fear of cyclists knocking down walkers. But cyclists visit lakes and parks for recreational rides and move slowly. Awareness for cycling may have increased, but unfortunately cyclists still don’t have it easy.”
He said government agencies are treating cyclists on a par with motorists. “They should allow cyclists in Cubbon Park between 5am and 8am and also during weekends, when vehicles are banned.”
Sankaran said he received several complaints from cyclists saying they are being stopped from entering lakes and parks. “A cycling track has been developed at Agara Lake in HSR Layout, but cyclists are often not allowed to use it. There’s also a ban on cyclists in Doddabommasandra Lake in Vidyaranyapura. A simple marking along lakes is enough for cyclists.”
Rajender Kumar Kataria, secretary, horticulture department, said: “Cycling is allowed on all days, including holidays, after 8am in Cubbon Park. We are now working with Bengaluru Smart City Limited to create dedicated lanes inside the park, which should be ready within three months. We will allow cyclists throughout the day once the project is over.”
BBMP is the custodian of most parks and lakes in the city. Palike commissioner N Manjunatha Prasad said he will look into the issue.