BENGALURU: The much hyped 17km bicycle lane stretching from Silk Board to KR Puram along Outer Ring Road (ORR) has turned into a nightmare for cyclists. The reason: It’s punctuated by construction debris and encroached upon by cars, besides terminating abruptly and literally missing at several places.
“The bicycle lane is not continuous and ends suddenly only to begin again some distance away. It is filled with construction debris dumped by civic agencies. Whom do we blame then?” lamented Shilpi Sahu, a cyclist and member of Relief Riders, a cycling activists’ groups.
Relief Riders hit the 17km lane on September 5 morning but were forced to deviate from the designated track and enter the main road at several places due to the debris, parked cars and abrupt ends. Sahu regretted that civic agencies just mark these lanes without actually maintaining them, adding that cyclists don’t figure in their scheme of things.
Sathya Sankaran, bicycle mayor of Bengaluru, said civic agencies have even failed to place signboards announcing the lane is dedicated for only cyclists. “There is no awareness about the lane. Signage needs to be installed at every 50 metres to begin with, and the distance could be increased later,” opined Sankaran.
VKS Pakala, another cycling enthusiast, said with no signage, the lane is being appropriated by two-wheeler riders. “Many livelihood cyclists are not using the lane as they are not aware it is reserved for bicycles. Also, the transition from one lane to another across junctions needs to be looked at. Proper boards should be put up to facilitate a smooth transition for cyclists and the traffic,” added Pakala.
The cyclist community feels discontinuity of the lane at several places is a disincentive to those wanting to pedal to their destinations. “Why create a bicycle lane if there is no connectivity?” Sankaran added.
According to data accessed by TOI, the 34km stretch of proposed bicycle lane along ORR slated to be implemented by the directorate of urban land transport (DULT) is only 70% complete. V Manjula, DULT commissioner, said: “We are the planning agency. We give the designs. Stakeholders like BBMP, Bengaluru Smart City Limited and Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited need to implement them.”