Bicycling enthusiasts, who have been demanding cycling lanes, have something to cheer about with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (MMRDA) plan to set up a 0-12 km cycling lane in Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).
But the move has evoked mixed reactions from cyclists.
Most cyclists lauded the MMRDA’s plan. Retired airline employee and Bandra resident Brian D’Souza, who has been cycling for 40 years now, said he is really glad.
“A lane in BKC will go a long way in making the roads safer for cyclists and getting the traffic to take us more seriously,” the 70-year-old said.
“It is a good start,” said 38-year-old Firoza Suresh, an advertising and event management executive and member of the Cycling to Work group.
“With infrastructure in place more people will take to cycling. And this will really take the attention off women like me, who use the cycle for the every day commute.”
Anil Uchil, (39), the director of a corporate communications firm, who cycles from Mulund to nearly everywhere, thinks the cycling track could lead to a culture of pick-and-drop facilities for cycles of office goers.
Some others, however, felt BKC is not the right choice for a cycling track.
“I am surprised that the track is in BKC, which is a destination, not a transit road,” said 32-year-old Amit Bhowmik, founder of cyclist.in.
Musician and avid cyclist, O J Nelson, said having cycling lanes along the relatively empty roads of BKC made little sense. “These lanes would be better appreciated on crowded roads with lots of pedestrian traffic,” said the 30-year-old.
There are also concerns about maintaining the cycling track.
“Let’s not forget that the cycling lane in Thane has been taken over by hawkers now,” said Sonu K. (25), an executive with a multi-national company, who cycles from her home in Malad to her workplace in Jogeshwari.
Bhowmik agrees that there needs to be a proper demarcation of the track. “A smarter idea would have been to create these lanes near colleges. It’s important to target the right end user or else the plan will fail,” he said.
The announcement has, however, brought hope to those who have been waiting for cycling tracks to come up in their localities. Entrepreneur Faisal Thakur (36) is hoping that the Khar Bandra and Santacruz Association’s proposal to have a 12.5-km long cycling lane in these suburbs will also be approved.