Two Swedish students, Lina Hellstrom, 26, and Oskar Bergstrom, 25, students of Spatial (Urban) Planning, are Mumbai in an effort to make it a bicycle friendly city as part of a project from the Blekinge Institute of Technology.
For the past five weeks, the duo has been studying the city's traffic culture to find ways to make it bicycle friendly.
“In my city in Sweden, 45% of the people use bicycles and this motivated me," said Lina.
The duo plans to propose a separate lane on the road dedicated for cycles and make roads safer for bicycle users. They have already spoken to many people as part of their survey.
However, talks with authorities like Uma Adsule from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Agency and assistant commissioner of police, traffic, Vilas Pawar, did not yield a positive response. “We are facing a lot of difficulties because there are no statistics available for us to work on,” said Lina.
The duo said the major reasons for making cycling an integral part of the city are health, environment, equality, safety, mobility and a better urban life.
Faizan Jawed, transport expert and their mentor in India said, “It will be a great idea because nothing like this has been implemented till today. There are a variety of strategies which can be considered.”
The duo is working on a micro-level, taking care of smaller areas around Dadar, which is one of the most congested places of the city.