Bike/Pedestrian primary city ?

The Dutch have done it a long time ago – turned against the automobile for commutes inside and immediately around the city. There are a lot many more who’re either bike-friendly already, or waking up to it.

A lot many of us consider the coming decades to be India’s, and Bangalore’s surely one of the “smarter” and more cosmopolitan, forward thinking cities here.

Can we do it ?

What its got going for it ?

  • A lot many people do live close to their workplaces – within 10-12kms
  • Bangalore does have slopes – but nothing major
  • Lovely weather most of the year – through the monsoon I got caught in the rain maybe thrice
What may it change ?

  • Make it tougher/more expensive to drive – actively discourage bigger vehicles
  • Might “split” the urban sprawl into smaller, more self contained centres. This will be a major help in managing them better as well. The various “towns” can be connected primarily using decent public transport which is again bike friendly.
  • Fewer traffic related deaths, lesser pollution, lesser need to chop trees, expand roads and the like – lesser money spent better on public transport, a few arterial roads etc.
To me, the Dutch model for growth/urbanization beats the American Suburban sprawl model hands down. Its the way forward for civilization – and while this might seem like a utopian dream, its feasibility has been proven already, and “but-we’re-Indians” is the only myth that needs busting.

Some cyclists are trying to do that a little this Fri – first ever Critical Mass ride in Bangalore. The plan is to ride in a single line (i.e one cyclist behind the other) and draw attention to the fact there there are people who cycle on the roads and that other people using the road should know about us and provide us
equal opportunity to use the roads.

Just a simple peaceful ride!

Cycle in a single file
No breaking red lights
No cussing
No arguing with motorists
Just a quiet ride. And it’ll be fun.

I’m hoping we turn the IC-engine tide and pedal into a better city in a decade or so. Mere hope ? Who knows. I was really hoping the government would NOT drop fuel prices….

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