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Cyclists' woes at Brigade World Trade Center

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Brigade Group's World Trade Center claims to be " The best address your office could have in Bangalore". Ask anyone who cycles to their workplace in this elite location and you'll probably get a snigger. I've been working at a company that has leased office space in WTC for nearly one and a half years now. At work, we have a small group of people who like to commute to work on their bicycles, and each of us have had multiple frustrating experiences with the people who manage this facility.

First, despite all the tall claims about being a world class facility, it's been a struggle for us to even get a proper parking facility. For the first few months after the facility opened, there was simply no place to park the bikes. Later on they did install some infrastructure involving bars and chains seemingly designed to secure the cycles. However, it was in a completely dark unguarded place. There were at least two thefts that I can recall and on reporting those to the Brigade authorities we only received an indifferent reply that said nothing about what was being addressed and how. One of my colleagues who had secured his bike against a post lost his saddle not once but twice and had to take his bike back in an auto rickshaw. 

A few months later we did get a security guard who was stationed near this parking facility, and that only made things worse. Every morning we had to fight with the guard - a new one each time- who would insist that the parking was not meant for cyclists. They would ask us to leave the bikes untethered and we eventually had to resort to "I'm parking here. Do what you have to do!". The security situation was soon to get a little more bizarre. One fine morning a couple of months ago, they stopped allowing cyclists from the main gates. We had to go around the vast campus and enter through a service gate tucked away at the side. After we escalated this issue, apart from posting on Brigade's facebook wall and sending mails to their PR, they started allowing the cyclists in through all the gates. There was a twist; only the bikers with fancy riding gear and expensive-looking bikes were allowed in through the main gates. It's surprising that the builders can get away with this kind of apartheid!

The status now is that Brigade has finally solved most of these problems (including discriminating between cyclists), but it's disappointing that it took us a over a year to set things straight. The roads and public places of Bangalore are hostile enough already to dissuade people from taking up cycling, but it's hard to accept progressive institutions aiming at the highest standards make it so hard. The total number of cyclists that commute to my place of work would fit their bikes in two car-parking slots. We don't contribute to the noise or the pollution in the campus and we're unlikely to injure anyone. And most of are passionate enough to motivate other people to take up biking. But it's hard to tell someone to sign up to become a second class citizen! 

 

 

Comments

murali772's picture

WTC's past century mind-set

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93 users have liked.

So what if we were to turn the situation around and take as a starting point for public policy and investments not so much the dominant twentieth century values of speed (ever faster), distance (ever farther) and indifference (ever more) but 21st-century values of equity, frugality (this is not a negative word), social justice and deep democracy?  

For the full text of that essay on where the 21st century values should ideally lie, click here.

But, apparently, our so-called "World Trade Centre" lot are still far behind times.

Muralidhar Rao
srinidhi's picture

WTC are pro bikers world wide!

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81 users have liked.

They are so pro that they allow bikes in service elevators too and give them parking with a view!

On a rainy Thursday in November, three bicycles were parked in an office on the 29th floor of 7 World Trade Center in downtownManhattan, a sleek new tower. Positioned near a window overlooking the Hudson River, the bikes had a better view than many of the desks nearby.

more here

Heres another image of bike parking at WTC at grade!

The same is the case in Amsterdam WTC etc..why is India different? Maybe just because they are not aware..they need to seriously get sensitized to the needs of bikers..

Also this is not just about WTC..its with all facilities/offices in city!

 

Vasanth's picture

Even for 2 wheelers many places this is the case

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87 users have liked.

Many hoteliers think people who come on 2 wheelers are also of 'low' stature and do not allow parking.

I recently went to 3 quarters chinese on church street parallel to MG Road on a 2 wheeler to avoid parkin g and traffic problems we usually get for cars. That fellow says no parking for 2 wheelers and only for cars.

 

rs's picture

A solution would be to get in

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70 users have liked.

A solution would be to get in touch with some bicyclist network - like the Go Green group - and have a cycling `gherao' of the place. I suppose if suffciently many cycles show up in various kinds of cycles and gears they will have to form a policy. As it has been said there is a discrimination going on here - the notion that cyclist are second class citizen ( except those who ride fancy bikes with fancy gear ). I find that if I am in ordinary clothes and on my old bike, I get stopped at various places ( like IISC gate, for instance ) but if I'm decked up in biking gear on my fancy bike, I get saluted.

In general, anyway, I think a helmet is enough for the guards to not harass you - so the easy solution is to wear a helmet. Of course this does not do anything about the bigger picture - of discrimination ( which is esseniallly an economic things as the notion is that only poor people ride bicycles ) - but would at least make your life easier.

As a counter point, I know that Mantri Mall does not charge cyclists to park there - though there is a chance they will move your bike around.

Ramesh

 

idontspam's picture

Bicycle parking mandatory

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77 users have liked.

I think we should submit a memorandum to both the industry associations & govt to make non discriminatory cycle parking in easily accessible places mandatory for business & govt institutions. We should approach DULT to push this into BBMP construction byelaws. We should start with bus stands & train stations (Metro+IR)

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