Dedicated cycle stands at city markets, colleges and gardens are a thing of the past as cyclers are forced to lock their bicycles along railings, the bark of trees and iron gates.
The parking area outside Rock Garden still has the provision of parking cycles but it’s only used by two-wheelers.
A labourer who diurnally commutes to Sector 17 from his home in Ram Darbar on his bicycle said, “Five labourers including me used to park our bicycles at the back side of the market but the shopkeepers started objecting to it. Since then we moved to a tree in front of the Indian Coffee House but here also, we are allowed to park our cycles only for a brief period. The space for the cycle stand at Sector 17 has been converted into a two-wheeler parking area.”
Principal of Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) professor Pradeep Bhagat said, “In CCA cycle stands have been converted to stores as they provide vital storage space. However, when I took over as principal in 2009 I converted it into a ‘thesis-studios’ where students could work on architectural projects.”
Principal of DAV College, Sector 10, BC Josan said, “Not a single student commutes by his/her bicycle since the ongoing trend requires one to have fashionable cars. In fact, considering the increas in number of vehicles students are using these days, we have increased the arrangements for the car and two-wheeler parking.”
Panjab University (PU) has a bicycle lovers association which promotes the culture of cycling on campus. To encourage students and professors to use bicycles, the association offers bicycle with a hoodies with the slogan- ‘Ride with pride’ printed on them.
Meanwhile, city schools continue to have parking areas as students still use it as a mode of transportation. These include St Annes’s Convent School, Sector 32, government model senior secondary school, Sector 16, 21, 19 and 23 among others.
Principal of government model senior secondary school, Sector 16, Anujit Kaur, said, “All city schools have bicycle stands within premises as they are the best and safest mode of transportation for schoolchildren, especially for government school kids.” Class 12 student Keshav Gupta, a resident of Sector 20 said , “Till we are in schools our bicycles are safe as we have proper cycle stands but they aren’t safe at market places or coaching institutes. I have lost two bicycles in one year that too from the market area.”
UT Tourism director Jitendra Yadav said, “Projects to promote cycling are in the pipeline. Events like cyclothon, carefree day etc will start soon. On weekends, we plan to encourage people to cycle to visit tourist places through projects to be introduced.”