Gurugram: A year on, residents still wary of using city’s first cycle track

The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority inaugurated 5km cycle tracks on each side of the stretch between HUDA City Centre and Subhash Chowk on October 2 last year
Most of the times, motorcycles and scooters ply on the cycle track although the entry of such vehicles is prohibited. (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
Most of the times, motorcycles and scooters ply on the cycle track although the entry of such vehicles is prohibited. (Vipin Kumar /HT PHOTO)
Updated on Oct 02, 2021 11:49 PM IST
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Lack of streetlights, broken bollards, encroachments and parking of cars and autorickshaws are among a host of issues plaguing the city’s first cycle track on Netaji Subhash Marg, even a year after its construction.

The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) inaugurated 5km cycle tracks on each side of the stretch between HUDA City Centre (HCC) and Subhash Chowk on October 2 last year.

V S Kundu, the then CEO of GMDA, had said the project was aimed at ensuring pedestrians and cyclists have equal right of way (ROW).

The track is also used for parking cars and autorickshaws at various points, such as near Subhash Chowk and near residential clusters on Arya Samaj Marg. The stretch has limited signages indicating the presence of a cycle track, due to which a large number of cyclists end up riding on the main carriageway.

“Only if one observes closely can they spot the signage with a cycle drawn on it. I had no clue about the cycle track and thought it to be a service road as I could see cars and motorcycles passing by. More signages should be put in place along the stretch, preferably in Hindi, so that daily workers can understand it,” said Kishan Singh, a resident of Samaspur village.

The Netaji Subhash Marg track was launched as a pilot project, based on which cycle tracks across the city were planned.

Over the past year, cycle tracks have come up on various stretches across the city such as Hamilton Court Road, Vyapar Kendra Road, the service lane leading towards Gold Souk Mall, and a section of the Old-Delhi Gurgaon Road while one such facility is also under construction at the Anaath Road in Udyog Vihar, the new sector road which links Rampura Chowk on National Highway 48 with Pataudi Road.

Last month, the GMDA also decided to construct 800 kilometres of cycle tracks across the city by 2035.

While GMDA is going ahead with its plan of scaling up the cycling infrastructure in Gurugram, many residents are not comfortable using the tracks due to lack of safety.

“The cycle track is much-needed but must be equipped with necessary features so that people are encouraged to use it. At night, a large portion of the track, especially near HUDA City Centre, is completely dark because there aren’t any streetlights or the ones that are there aren’t turned on. In addition, motorcyclists drive their vehicles at high speed on the track, due to which I rarely use the facility,” said Chetna Das, a resident of Sector 47.

Sudhir Rajpal, CEO of GMDA, said the issues concerning cycle tracks, including the one at Netaji Subhash Marg, were raised during a residents’ advisory council meeting held recently, and he subsequently directed officials to address all issues.

“The GMDA is constructing a cycle track for every new road that is coming up or being taken up for special repairs. We want to promote cycling in the city by all means and the maintenance and upkeep of cycle tracks are of utmost importance to us,” said Rajpal.

Sewa Ram, associate professor and urban roads design expert at the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi, said, “The biggest problem with the Netaji Subhash Marg cycle track is its design. It does not take into account the crossings that are located on the stretch. The cycle track is not continuous as a result. Further, the space between two concrete bollards is significant that leaves enough space for motorcycles to enter the cycle track”

He added the entire stretch needs to be under 24x7 surveillance, for which CCTV cameras should be installed to keep a check on violations.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2021