NEW DELHI: Cycling on Delhi roads is definitely not a pleasure. The city not only lacks proper infrastructure but also a monitoring system on the cycle tracks. The chaotic and rash traffic conditions add up to the cyclists’ woes.
Although there are dedicated cycling corridors that should ideally guarantee cyclists a safe passage, however there is no continuous road network for cyclists in the Capital. Also the existing ones too are hogged by motorcycles, auto-rickshaws and even cars during peak traffic hours.
“While the government had made quite a few road segregation during the Commonwealth Games in 2010, but most of them were confined around the Games venues. A cyclist barely gets about 10 per cent of a safe zone drive,” Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Environment, told MAIL TODAY .
As per a recent study done by University of Michigan in association Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, the number of people killed in road accidents in India has increased at eight per cent annually in the past decade—nearly the rate at which car sales have grown.
Another reason that Anumita highlights is that cities with higher proportion of wide streets and low density road networks have much higher fatality rates compared to more compact cities. Wider roads and signal-free corridors encourage motorists to up the speed of their cars resulting in accidents, especially pedestrians and cyclists.
“This is evident from the recent analysis of the Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme at the IIT-Delhi. It shows the probability of a pedestrian fatality in collisions with different vehicle groups in such areas can increase fatalities by 67 to 200 per cent,” She adds.
She says there are not enough traffic lights/zebra crossings for people to cross roads safely and the limited number of footover bridges also results in accidents.
Cycling enthusiasts in the city too feel unsafe. While some of them keep confined to their colony roads or housing complexes, the ones who choose to face the rash traffic, prefer to ride on footpaths, creating a menace for pedestrians. Gaurav Ganguly, a student pursuing his post- graduation and a cycling enthusiast, refrains from going to college riding his cycle. “ The traffic is scary in Delhi. I had tried going to college a few times on my cycle but one cannot ride alongside cars constantly trying to race one another and violating road rules,” he said.
Cops clueless about driver of car that hit Narain
Two days after noted environmental activist Sunita Narain was hit by a car while cycling, the police are still clueless about the identity of the motorist involved in the accident. “ We are waiting for her to recover so that we can record her statement which may help us to zero in on the vehicle,” said a police officer.
Narain has been shifted to the main AIIMS building from its Trauma Centre. Her condition is stable and she is showing signs of improvement.