Bicycle wardens to ensure safe rides for cyclists in Pune
Encroachments, debris, two-wheeler riders and garbage have taken over Pune’s cycling tracks causing the Pune Municipal Corporation’s (PMC) cycle plan to go off-track.
In view of this, the PMC, traffic department, Centre for Environment and Education (CEE) and city-based NGO Parisar will appoint ‘Friends of cycle volunteers’ who will monitor these tracks. Those who wish to volunteer can do so before October 30.
The role of these volunteers is to patrol the 2.4 km University road cycle track and the 1.5 km Jungli Maharaj road cycle track on cycles or walk along adjacent footpaths and capture any violations using a mobile phone and send the photo of the offence/ vehicle to the PMC and Pune traffic police who will take corrective actions. These volunteers will also keep an eye on people who use these tracks for parking their vehicles, said officials of PMC bicycle department.
Sanskriti Menon, head, Centre for Environment and Education said, “Two-wheeler riders tend to use the cycle tracks to escape traffic jams. Due to this cyclists cannot use the tracks meant especially for them. Other than that bollards are placed along the cycle tracks to prevent motorists from entering, however, these bollards cause inconvenience to cyclists. Hence we are using cycle wardens (volunteers) who can patrol these tracks.”
Amar Avinash, from Centre for Environment and Education who is heading this initiative said, “ Cycle wardens, volunteers and even general public can complain against volunteers on the city traffic police department’s Satark app. The purpose of the cycle wardens is to promote responsible behaviour among motorists.”
What the Act says
According to the Motor Vehicle Act, Section 118 vehicles are not to be parked or driven on footpaths and cycle tracks. Under the amendments, anyone violating this is expected to pay a fine of at least Rs 500-1,000