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Perils and Joy Of Cycling - Way forward for Bangalore Cycling

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I wanted to put my thoughts expressed here out to Bangalore Cycle Day Organizers, before the next Cycle Day, and Mr. Adiga's post in GGI GROUP, gave me a proper opportunity to artculate my thoughts.

regards,

-KP 

Dear Adiga,

A very timely post.

First, - let Cyclists not be their own enemies - by not being very aware and by not so very responsible behaviour, thus adversly affecting our Image in General Public .. and rubbing the General Public on the wrong side.

Humans are about EMOTIONS and EGO first, and everything else Next. And we do not WIN because we are RIGHT - But we may WIN because we CARE and are Very Responsible, and Show it in practice. And because we do not invalidate other public or communities.

For that we must make ourselves conciously aware - the way the Human Psyche, Instincts, Reactions and Emotions work / play out - and carefully condition our RESPONSE(S) (not REACTIONS) - to make a POSITIVE IMPACT, and Elicit a Empathetic Response from the Other side. You Tick off somebody, you prove somebody wrong - you have lost them forever - worse you have made enemies - and strengthened the Opposition.  If somebody is wrong, not very responsible, rude - first acknowledge the person, smile and make a connect. Then engage, reason and explain, seek their support. This has positive, amicable results - 90% of the time - and slowly change attitudes, that's what finally matters and makes the difference. And when we have sufficient Public on our side, we can press for systemic and policy interventions .. Cycling lanes and whatever.

I was at the first Bangalore Cycle Day, 27th October - in Cubbon Park. When back at Office, I was talking about it to my colleague, she asked .. Sir, But is Cycling safe!? I have spoken out at the Cycle Day - that we Cyclists are not out there to show our Might - but our Positive and Caring Nature, and that is how we Impact - first ourselves - and then more and more of others, and win them to our side. So this Day forward let all Cycling Groups in Bangalore - first clearly become aware themselves - and take this Open Pledge -

- We are not out to show our Might .. but Posiibility and Feasibility of Sustainable and Green Commuting .. Cycling for one
- We are not out to Hinder Traffic .. rather to Help it .. by de-clogging the roads, putting less load on traffic, and causing no Pollution
- We stand for a Positive and Caring Culture - that is what we Project - and ask you to reciprocate, and make Cycling Safe
- When we cycle / assemble as Groups, we will not Block traffic - we will stick to one Lane / side, and let the other traffic pass smoothly
- We will not stop and Block Junctions (including in Cubbon park) at any time, but allow traffic to continue to flow unhindered
- We will not Jay Walk, Jay Cycle or Jay Stand .. be aware .. that we share the space, place, and lanes .. whereever we are - with Pedestrians, Walkers, Runners, Other Cyclists and Other motorised traffic - and we will be AWARE of this fact at all times and then conduct and park ourselves in a such a Way .. that there is least hindrance and chaos .. ensuring maximum safety for all.
- We respect Traffic Signals, respect Right of Pedestrians - do not pedal on Footpaths, and Zebra Crossings
- We will not litter, and will keep the Environs Clean and Green
- We seek all of Bangalore and India to support us

This should be the personal pledge of All Cyclists / Cycling Groups. And then it should go out publicly on Banners across the City .. and in adverts in Prominent Newspapers and local News Letters, as an appeal from all Cyclist Groups in the City. Thus also show how many Cycling Groups there are in the City and they stand as a Collective and Collaborative community. This I Strogly believe, will make aware and  discipline 90% of the Cyclists in the City and also win the support of 90% of Bangalore.

Also in future:
Sit across and negotiate with Walkers, Runners and Other Cyclists - in Cubbon Park - the most happening place and Collaborate, CO-Operate.
Establish proper spaces / lanes for different activities, to make it safe and pleasant. I realized we were criss crossing and also not properly focussed .. what with all our Excitement .. potentially hazardous .. and one two incidents will mark Cyclists as Black Sheep.

Also Cycling is now firmly on Bangalore's Map. Hereafter instead of making Cubbon Park the Central Place - and Clogging it up .. better to operate as de-centralized groups from multiple locations, thus spreading the message better across the city.

Best Regards,
-Sagi Krishna Prasad / NGV / 9972060394


Quoting Adiga Balakrishna <badiga@gmail.com>:

OPINION

Is It O.K. to Kill Cyclists?

By DANIEL DUANE Published: November 9, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — EVERYBODY who knows me knows that I love cycling and that I’m also completely freaked out by it. I got into the sport for middle-aged reasons: fat; creaky knees; the delusional vanity of tight shorts. Registering for a triathlon, I took my first ride in decades. Wind in my hair, smile on my face, I decided instantly that I would bike everywhere like all those beautiful hipster kids on fixies. Within minutes, however, I watched an S.U.V. hit another cyclist, and then I got my own front wheel stuck in a streetcar track, sending me to the pavement.

Related in Opinion
ROOM FOR DEBATE
 

The Rules of the Road

 

Should the laws and infrastructure be altered to recognize differences between bikes and cars, or should cyclists and drivers be treated the same?

I made it home alive and bought a stationary bike trainer and workout DVDs with the ex-pro Robbie Ventura guiding virtual rides on Wisconsin farm roads, so that I could sweat safely in my California basement. Then I called my buddy Russ, one of 13,500 daily bike commuters in Washington, D.C. Russ swore cycling was harmless but confessed to awakening recently in a Level 4 trauma center, having been hit by a car he could not remember. Still, Russ insisted I could avoid harm by assuming that every driver was “a mouth-breathing drug addict with a murderous hatred for cyclists.”

The anecdotes mounted: my wife’s childhood friend was cycling with Mom and Dad when a city truck killed her; two of my father’s law partners, maimed. I began noticing “cyclist killed” news articles, like one about Amelie Le Moullac, 24, pedaling inside a bike lane in San Francisco’s SOMA district when a truck turned right and killed her. In these articles, I found a recurring phrase: to quote from The San Francisco Chronicle story about Ms. Le Moullac, “The truck driver stayed at the scene and was not cited.”

In stories where the driver had been cited, the penalty’s meagerness defied belief, like the teenager in 2011 who drove into the 49-year-old cyclist John Przychodzen from behind on a road just outside Seattle, running over and killing him. The police issued only a $42 ticket for an “unsafe lane change” because the kid hadn’t been drunk and, as they saw it, had not been driving recklessly.

You don’t have to be a lefty pinko cycling activist to find something weird about that. But try a Google search for “cyclist + accident” and you will find countless similar stories: on Nov. 2, for example, on the two-lane coastal highway near Santa Cruz, Calif., a northbound driver lost control and veered clear across southbound traffic, killing Joshua Alper, a 40-year-old librarian cycling in the southbound bike lane. As usual: no charges, no citation. Most online comments fall into two camps: cyclists outraged at inattentive drivers and wondering why cops don’t care; drivers furious at cyclists for clogging roads and flouting traffic laws.

My own view is that everybody’s a little right and that we’re at a scary cultural crossroads on the whole car/bike thing. American cities are dense enough — and almost half of urban car trips short enough, under three miles — that cities from Denver to Miami are putting in bike-share programs. If there’s one thing New York City’s incoming and departing mayors agree on, it’s the need for more bike lanes.

The American Medical Association endorses National Bike to Work Day, and more than 850,000 people commute on a bicycle, according to the League of American Bicyclists. Nationwide, cycling is the second most popular outdoor activity after running, supporting a $6.1 billion industry that sold 18.7 million bikes last year.

But the social and legal culture of the American road, not to mention the road itself, hasn’t caught up. Laws in most states do give bicycles full access to the road, but very few roads are designed to accommodate bicycles, and the speed and mass differentials — bikes sometimes slow traffic, only cyclists have much to fear from a crash — make sharing the road difficult to absorb at an emotional level. Nor does it help that many cyclists do ignore traffic laws. Every time I drive my car through San Francisco, I see cyclists running stop signs like immortal, entitled fools. So I understand the impulse to see cyclists as recreational risk takers who deserve their fate.

But studies performed in Arizona, Minnesota and Hawaii suggest that drivers are at fault in more than half of cycling fatalities. And there is something undeniably screwy about a justice system that makes it de facto legal to kill people, even when it is clearly your fault, as long you’re driving a car and the victim is on a bike and you’re not obviously drunk and don’t flee the scene. When two cars crash, everybody agrees that one of the two drivers may well be to blame; cops consider it their job to gather evidence toward that determination. But when a car hits a bike, it’s like there’s a collective cultural impulse to say, “Oh, well, accidents happen.” If your 13-year-old daughter bikes to school tomorrow inside a freshly painted bike lane, and a driver runs a stop sign and kills her and then says to the cop, “Gee, I so totally did not mean to do that,” that will most likely be good enough.

“We do not know of a single case of a cyclist fatality in which the driver was prosecuted, except for D.U.I. or hit-and-run,” Leah Shahum, the executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, told me.

Laws do forbid reckless driving, gross negligence and vehicular manslaughter. The problem, according to Ray Thomas, a Portland, Ore., attorney who specializes in bike law, is that “jurors identify with drivers.” Convictions carry life-destroying penalties, up to six years in prison, Mr. Thomas pointed out, and jurors “just think, well, I could make the same mistake. So they don’t convict.” That’s why police officers and prosecutors don’t bother making arrests. Most cops spend their lives in cars, too, so that’s where their sympathies lie.

Take Sgt. Richard Ernst of the San Francisco Police Department, who confronted people holding a memorial at the scene of Ms. Le Moullac’s death. Parking his squad car in the bike lane, forcing other cyclists into the very traffic that killed Ms. Le Moullac, Sergeant Ernst berated those gathered, according to witnesses, and insisted that Ms. Le Moullac had been at fault. Days earlier, the department had told cycling activists that it had been unable to find surveillance footage of the crash.

Provoked by Sergeant Ernst, people at the memorial decided to look for themselves. It took them all of 10 minutes to find an auto shop nearby with a camera that had footage of the incident. The police eventually admitted that the truck driver was at fault, but they still have not pressed charges.

Smart people are working to change all this. Protected bike lanes are popping up in some cities, separated from car traffic. Several states have passed Vulnerable User Laws placing extra responsibility on drivers to avoid harming cyclists and pedestrians. Nobody wants to kill a cyclist, but the total absence of consequence does little to focus the mind. These laws seek to correct that with penalties soft enough for authorities to be willing to use them, but severe enough to make drivers pay attention. In the Oregon version, that means a license suspension and a maximum fine of $12,500 or up to 200 hours of community service and a traffic-safety course.

Cycling debates often break along predictable lines — rural-suburban conservatives opposed to spending a red cent on bike safety, urban liberals in favor. But cycling isn’t sky diving. It’s not just thrill-seeking, or self-indulgence. It’s a sensible response to a changing transportation environment, with a clear social upside in terms of better public health, less traffic and lower emissions. The world is going this way regardless, toward ever denser cities and resulting changes in law and infrastructure. But the most important changes, with the potential to save the most lives, are the ones we can make in our attitudes.

So here’s my proposal: Every time you get on a bike, from this moment forward, obey the letter of the law in every traffic exchange everywhere to help drivers (and police officers) view cyclists as predictable users of the road who deserve respect. And every time you get behind the wheel, remember that even the slightest inattention can maim or kill a human being enjoying a legitimate form of transportation. That alone will make the streets a little safer, although for now I’m sticking to the basement and maybe the occasional country road.

 

Daniel Duane is a contributing editor for Men’s Journal.


Balakrishna Adiga
A-503, Sterling Terraces
BSK III Stage Ring Road
Bangalore 560085


 

 

Comments

idontspam's picture

No need to soft-pedal

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I disagree & here is a very good rebuttal on why we dont have to soft-pedal on this issue. 

http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.in/2013/11/shafted-again.html

Let the motorized traffic take all of these pledges first. Let motorvehicles pledge not to get in cycle lanes or block cycle traffic or use the sidewalks. We dont have to prove cyclists deserve to be on the roads, when we are also traffic why do we have to give way to other traffic in fact it has to be the other way around, motor vehicles have to prove they deserve to be on the roads with pedestrians & cyclists.

Please remember cars are driven by 5% of the population while 45% are on cycles & you dont even realize this when you are out on the roads, who should give way to whom now?

Sagi Krishna Prasad's picture

@idontspam : the response

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@idontspam : the response below is not personal - I am putting forth perspectives for all to think - calmly think - how things work or / fail  in the real world - and what really is going to serve and forward the cause of Cycling, and a more Caring Culture. We have various levels of awareness, and various viewpoints - think carefully - adopt those - which rapidly promote - the CAUSE - not our Personal Stands.

01. this is a reactionary and a righteous response - with many underlying and untenable biases - and that is what you are wedded to - not the cause of cycling or being a Caring individual - beacuse - this is a U vs Me stand - right from the word go - which will only alienate - You think you are right and have the RIGHT - and so does everybody else - Jay Walkers, Jay Cyclists, Jay Motorists including. Recall when did you ever Win Over your Family Members or Friends - by being RIGHTEOUS - let alone Society members. Righteousness pre-supposes - I am alwayas Right and in all things - and All Wrongs lie with the others.

02. It is the Cyclicts who are wanting the Change - and want to Change Society - to a more Caring and Cultured one, not the Motorists. I cannot Change anybody but myself - and that is the most effective and pleasant means of Impacting others. I need to set the Example for the Change I want.  

03. I am not Soft pedalling - rather I am hard pedalling myself first - conditioning and culturing and disciplining myself first (not easy, quite hard) - before asking the others (motorists !) to do so.

04. Do not  Generalize - nor Communalize: - there are good, bad, and ugly; caring, uncaring, neutral, and indifferent individuals in all communities - pedestrians / walkers / runners / cyclists / motorists - and I am all of these - and also have different shades of afore mentioned behaviours.  But then as a CYCLIST, when I want to promote a more Enlightened and Elevated Culture (among society, among others) - I can only IMPACT - by beginning with myself - by BEING the CULTURE I promote - first and foremost - I cannot Soft Pedal myself. Else I am saying - I will be what I am - but you be Different !!!

05. If I am really wedded to the CAUSE - I must do whatever it takes to reach the GOALS FASTEST (not what is my personal preference) - in this case win over the General public to my side. 

06. I think I only proposed in the Pledge - that I will be the Change first - that I want to see in Others - and I will not Soft Pedal on Myself - nor be Ignorant of the Wrongs I might be doing as a Cyclist. I have not proposed to Soft Pedal the Wrong Doers - be it Walkers, Cyclists or Motorists.

07.  If somebody just wants to take a RIGHTEOUS Stand - let me tell them - Motorists are Legal  - they are paying ROAD TAXES - and they will remain as RIGHTEOUS.

Best regards,

-Sagi

 

-Sagi KP

murali772's picture

hard-pedalling the need

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Reclaim the road from the cars should be the talk, nothing less, as Ms Sunita Narain has said - check this

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

let's raise the demand

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Perhaps time to press for such solutions too.

Muralidhar Rao
Sagi Krishna Prasad's picture

I'D LIKE TO KEEP MY SANITY

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I'll stand by what I said, and I will like to keep my sanity.

Sunita Narain:  .. "But cycling and walking are difficult not just because of poor planning. It is also because of the mindset that only those who move in a car have status and road rights. Anyone who walks or cycles is considered poor, wretched and destined to be marginalised, if not obliterated."

This is excessive posturing, and over Generalizing - which sure the other communities  will reciprocate - once you Brand them wholesale as such - like the motorists (whom we r marking as blacksheep -  Sunita says two motorists stopped by and helped her to the hospital!), we are hooked on to our Adrenalin rush too!  And with all my Enlightened Soft views expressed here and being on the Cyclists Side, I do not give a damn (I'll stick by the Cause yet !) if somebody takes such Aggressive and Sweeping stands! and rigid posturing, - then what about reactions of the other side whom you are treating as Enemies ?

Well, I just started occassionally cycling around NGV and surroundings since a year or so ago. I did a Bidadi Cycling trip with ICycle around Nov 2012 .. and I was eyeing their GMC.  I have not put Cycling under my belt to do that this year. I have just started cycling to some events since a month - to show Solidarity. I did my first Cycling to Office on 12-Oct-2013, responding to Cycle Day called by ICycle, and some local cycling in the evening, about 30km total. Next day evening, I set out from NGV to PetSpace on Sarjapur road, then Marathahalli to a friend, and back to NGV by about 7.30pm via Old Airport Road (abt 40km). On 27-Oct  Bangalore Cycle Day, I was at the Cubbon park and did about 20km. All the while w/o a helmet. Then in the evening, I set out from NGV  to BOTS, Jayanagar for buying a Helmet, and doing a little fixing on my (son's actually) Bi-Cycle, returning back by 9pm. Thats been my Cycle saga thus far.  Aah .. I'd like Cycle Lanes to come up on the expanded Mysore Road Lanes from KR Market Flyover .. to Nayandanahalli .. to Kengeri.

I'm gonna shun Extremism  - though I'm a short tempered and volatile person, and very opinionated myself !, because I firmly believe - that is what will really serve the Cause of Cycling being embraced and supported by larger masses.  I consider Extremists are Enemy Number One - in keeping away the public and remaining a closed and another EXCLUSIVE community, - A Self defeating proposition.

Best regards.
 

-Sagi KP

Sagi Krishna Prasad's picture

Not just City Planning .. Reinvent State and Country Planning

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Sunita Narain:

"Now the challenge is to reinvent city planning so that we can do this as we become rich.

For the past few years, this is exactly what we have been working on - how to bring back integrated and safe public transport options to our cites, so that even if we own a car, we don't have to drive it.

But the keyword is integration. We can build a metro or get new buses, but if we do not have last-mile connectivity, then it will still not work. It has to be seamless and effortless. This is why we need to think differently.
"

It is not just developing one City in each State endlessely, with a Quarter of the State population residing there.  Let there be a dozen cities developed across each state with Equitable infrastructure and opportunities and good connectivity spread out across the state - that makes it a Sustainable, Equitable, and Inclusive Developmental model. Root for it Now, and Campaign in that direction from Now. May be it can be realized in 15 years - still in our Lifetimes!

- As to last mile connectivity .. it needs Innovative Solutions and out of the Box thinking - whats is there in different Worlds ??

Best regards.
 

-Sagi KP

srinidhi's picture

keep it up..

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Very nice to read about your foray into cycling and your interest in it. Hope it grows well and you succeed in influencing many others into cycling.

About inclusive infrastructure, there are various mechanisms it can be done and as local as the TenderSure plans for Blr roads is something which will go a long way in providing better road facilities for NMT (Peds/cycles). Hope you get a chance to influence to get that implemented..participating in cycleday is one such opportunity..

I think last mile solution can be anything..but predominantly its walking..so better pedestrian facilites will largely take care of it

idontspam's picture

Motorists are not from mars

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Motorists are Legal  - they are paying ROAD TAXES

First, By saying this you are saying your cycling is illegal that is wrong on so many counts. Road tax doesnt define what is illegal. It is not a constitutional power cars have  over NMT. That way pedestrians dont pay tax for sidewalks which means you shouldnt be walking without paying tax.

Road infrasctucture is built for cars, cyclists dont have an infrastructure of their own. Why should we pay tax for roads built for cars? I will use whatever is available and cant be told to not use available infrastructure. Just like I will walk on whatever infrastructure is given & cant stop walking because I havent paid road tax or I have run out of sidewalks.

Motorists cause negative externalities & deserve to pay tax whether road or otherwise, cyclists should not hence be taxed just like you will not tax a pedestrian for providing sidewalk. Motorists have to pay for cycle infrastructure also due to the privelege of owning a damaging vehicle which is the cause of all problems in cities today. 

Road tax is a punishment not a privelege

 

srinidhi's picture

Taxes on cycles are high..so

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Taxes on cycles are high..so guess the MV folks need to be taxed more for their crime with something like NMT tax and cycles need to be subsidized with that money and better ifra need put up!

idontspam's picture

What to expect...

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I own a car myself, drive it a lot & expect to pay a lot more for having that privelege.

I expect to be delayed due to congestion cause by me along with the rest of my fellow citizens who are the motor traffic causing asthma to our own children & parents shortening their lifespan.

I expect that the road tax I am paying will go into making cycling tracks, sidewalks & zebra crossing for pedestrians & cyclists which I will be when I get out of the car.

I also expect to watch out for pedestrians/cyclists & respect them & stick to rules of the road before I ask them to adhere to anything.

If I feel this is expensive & not convinient to me to drive a motor vehicle, I expect get off the car & use the bus or bicycle.

I expect to participate in conducting disciplined driving camps & preach these safe driving habits to car drivers instead of preaching to cyclists & pedestrians without giving them the infrastructure

I expect cyclists will stick to cycle tracks & pedestrians will stick to sidewalks & zebra crossings provided it is made available in uninterrupted manner. Untils then I expect we as motorists should suck up to it. 

I expect that if the above is invconvnient, motorists who campaign to have flyovers built for them will now have the decency to ask for pedestrian & cycling facilities also

But hey thats just me & if authorities go after cyclists without getting the motor vehicles under control its going to be over my dead body.

Sagi Krishna Prasad's picture

I DON'T WANT TO BE AN ARGUMENTATIVE INDIAN CYCLIST

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@IDONTSPAM: 

ref:  My Statement:  Motorists are Legal  - they are paying ROAD TAXES,   and   .. Way forward for Bangalore Cycling blog

Dear,

The Imputations, and Inferences are yours - and from your context and frame of reference - and they are 180 degrees out of phase with mine. I am speaking in a different context - what I say has very different meanings from my frame of reference.

I am coming from - "What Works n Positively Impacts - by making people aware, acknowledge, and appreciate" perspective.

You are coming form "RIGHT (RIGHTS) - WRONG" perspective even if it actually  Hinders / Negates serving your CAUSE.

Imagine - while both of us sorts of almost being on the same side - I am not able to appreciate your one sided stance - then What chance and reason someone has - of - first Listening to you, then becoming Aware of  it - then Understanding it - and then toeing your line !?  - someone whom you are telling - "I am All RIGHT,  and you are All Wrong"  - that someone will not even listen to you first !!!  

You can't have discussions with two totally different Frames of Reference. East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet .. so I don't wanna get into Futile arguments, and further confuse and confound the audiences. I wrote my piece to be very purposeful.

I have a Strong suspicion .. we are sort of Rooting for the same things but  Posturing differently.  We may be better off face to face - are you there at the Bangalore Cycle Day on 24th !?

Good Day.

-Sagi KP

Sagi Krishna Prasad's picture

keep it up.. Thank you, I Will

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@Sirnidhi: Thank you for the Encouragement .. and updates.

-Sagi KP

Sagi Krishna Prasad's picture

WHAT TO EXPECT ... My Add-Ons for MY CYCLING

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@IDONTSPAM: 

Dear,

I expect All you expect, 

and some more - from MY CYCLING:

( .. seperately sometime - what I expect from myself as a Motorist )

While mass Cycle campaigning in Cubbon park n Similiar places, and on Bangalore Roads:

I will not park haphazardly, or block pathways, roadways

I will not ride haphazardly, unconciously - causing inconvenience and endangering safety of self, pedestrians, walkers, runners and other cyclists.

I will ride on one side - of the roadways - letting traffic flow freely and smoothly on the other side - avoiding blockades, traffic jams - and thus set an EXAMPLE to MOTORIZED TRAFFIC.  And I will thus also keep DULT and TRAFFIC POLICE on my side and earn their GOODWILL.

I will not Halt or Assemble at Road Junctions en-masse in a way that Blocks / Jams Traffic.

 I invite Traffic Police to intervene when I am  acting in contravention of above, causing nusiance / inconvenience to public / traffic - by indulging in insensitive Crowd / mob behaviour

I will not litter

I claim no special priviliges compared to MT, other public wrt sensitive and responsible behaviour

And as an Aware Citizen,

I shall seek and campaign for suitable Amenities and Infrastructure for Pedestrians and Cyclists.

 

 

-Sagi KP

idontspam's picture

Unacceptable statement

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Dear Sage Krishna Prasad,

The statement "Motorists are Legal  - they are paying ROAD TAXES" is absolutely WRONG any which way you look at it. This particular statement & belief has no basis in any frame of reference. If you believe in this statement your frames of reference & any other construct or positioning on or around this point has no meaning. Paying income tax does not make anybody a citizen or allow demand for quid pro quo or make non income tax paying people who dont have a job, non-citizens or illegal. I rest my case.

Naveen's picture

Unfair to NMT

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The way things are, authorities in every city in the country have been very unfair to pedestrians & bicyclists. Whilst motorized vehicle users have their powerful machines to move around, bicyclists (unlike motorists) cause no pollution harm to others, use very less road space & use their own body power, yet get pushed off on busy roads. They actually deserve much higher rights on roads. Subsidies for creating exclusive bicycle & pedestrian infrastructure are far more warranted than building flyovers for motorists. If motorists do not treat bicylists with respect, some force may be necesary by law as mindsets do not change easily due to long-held biases that consider them as poor man's mode of transport - might is most certainly not right on the streets.

Worst of all, even the welfare of pedestrians, especially mobility-impaired pedestrians has contsistently been sacrificed in favor of motorized transport of all forms & sizes. What is left are narrow, broken down & uneven sidewalks & even these are being encroached by motor vehicles like two wheelers & even motor cars for parking.

The argument about taxes seems irrelevant. Vehicle owners pay lifetime vehicle tax & their voices are the loudest since they have become too numerous. Authorities have kept favoring them because of their screaming though they cause maximum road damage. House owners pay infra cess & property taxes irrespective of whether they own & drive motor vehicles or NMT or not. What funds go into roads also comes out of various state & general taxes - city roads are not tolled.

Roads are there in every city primarily for public transport, maintenance services, emergency services, movement of goods, etc. People with motor vehicles may use roads but facilities for private vehicles & parking are not constitutional rights. Use of roads & public spaces by them must be charged additionally for the havoc they cause & depriving others of cleaner & less road space using NMT modes.

The current system of vehicle & fuel taxation has proved grossly insufficient to maintain roads & pavements. Agreed, it is difficult to charge for road use since these have been made available for free traditionally, but there has to be recognition that motor vehicles are mainly responsible for road damage & depriving NMT their due share on the streets.

Thus, in context motorists need to make pledges about respecting rights of bicyclists & pedestrians first, rather than the other way around.

Sagi Krishna Prasad's picture

Whats HARD / SOFT - and TOPIC IS ROAD ETIQUETTE – CYCLING

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Whats HARD / SOFT - and TOPIC IS ROAD ETIQUETTE – CYCLING

HARD, SOFT

Gentleness is not a Sign of Weakness, nor of infirmity. One can be gentle, firm, steadfast and in control, - not lost to one's angst - such a one has the most capability to influence - positively.

ROAD ETIQUETTE

UNFAIR TO NMT - Taxes, Infrastructure .. etc. etc. all fine -

but my focussed attention here was / is ROAD ETIQUETTE - of CYCLISTS - UNCONDITIONAL (so, I don't want to talk MT Etiquette, that is another TOPIC). I do not want to MASH UP Issues - losing Clarity and Focus, finally not knowing what is being discussed. And I said this ETIQUETTE of CYCLISTS - shall serve as BENCHMARK, EXAMPLE for others. As CHANGEMAKERS we must be the first and we must LEAD.  This is the STANDARD of BEHAVIOUR we have set for ourselves - no Infrastructure / MT / Policies / anything else is a hindrance or bottleneck for this - if any hindrance is there - it is our attitude and ignorance of how we GARNER or  NULLIFY our own INFLUENCE.

HARD / SOFT .. A RELOOK

NADAL, FEDERER, DJOKOVIC  -  Hard / Soft ?

CHRIS EVERT, NAVRATILOVA, STEFFI GRAPH – Hard / Soft ?

SACHIN – Hard / Soft ?

KUMBLE – Hard / Soft  ?

There were two sides playing, and only one side was playing cricket –

and Australian cricketers were brought to their Knees – by their own Public

I think all of them Projected SOFT POWER

Well !!!

-Sagi KP

wgwwd's picture

How did the 24th Nov event

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How did the 24th Nov event go? No mentions anywhere?

- wgwwd : (w)e (g)et  (w)hat  (w)e (d)eserve...so look at yourself first

srinidhi's picture

Nov CD went wonderful..more

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Nov CD went wonderful..more at the FB site:

http://facebook.com/blrcy...

Sagi Krishna Prasad's picture

How did the 24th Nov event go ..

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Great .. the Cyclists did claim the Roads .. the Reach and Visibility extended greater .. Stretch from Vittal Mallya Road Jn  to Trinity Circle - that is whole of MG Road - belonged to the Cyclicsts for 1/2 an hour - there was non stop celebratory hooting and enthusiasm overflowed ..

-Sagi KP

murali772's picture

RIP - Menaka Gulvady

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A British Airways executive on her morning cycling routine was killed after she was mowed down by a speeding cab, near the IAF base on Ballari Road on Thursday.

Menaka Gulvady, 38, was pedaling on the left edge of the road, when the airport-bound cab hit her while trying to overtake her from the left, around 6.20am, at Bharatinagar Cross, Hunasamaranahalli.

The impact of the collision was so severe that Menaka was thrown at least six feet away into the roadside drain, while the cabbie lost control over the vehicle and rammed the roadside lamp post before stopping.


For the full text of the report in the ToI, click here.

Menaka was not quite as lucky as Sunita Narain. The question arises again as to whether we can make our city roads safe enough for cycling, as say in European cities (check here).

Muralidhar Rao
blrpraj's picture

@RIP - MENAKA GULVADY

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@Murali

 

A 100% guaranteed way to shorten one's life is to ride a bicycle or 2 wheeler on any city's roads (and that too especially Indian cities). Inspite of this why do people insist on doing this? It is understandeable that less well to do people can't afford a car and have to make do with 2 wheelers; but a BA executive risking her life this way doesn't make sense. 

The only way safe cycling facilities can be provided is by completely segregating bicycle traffic from other traffic.

Sadly, people are yet to wake up to the reality that road accidents are the no. 1 killer and if the govt & other bodies recognize this and put their thought and mind to it; it can be significantly brought down. 

 

xs400's picture

The many victims of western hype

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Bicycles and motorcycles (and scooters) are unsafe contraptions in a city. But the main problem is being influenced by western media and lifestyles. It will not be possible for Bengaluru to transform itself into Amsterdam just because a few people would like to cycle to work. Where is the dedicated cycle lane in Jayanagar/JP Nagar now? A convenient parking lot for the influential rowdies.

Like blrpraj pointed out, people are forced use two wheelers as cheap transport and those who ride them by choice are risking their lives - the 2-wheeler industry the world over spends billions of dollars to convince gullible humans it is "adventurous" to ride a motorcycle.

Note that there have been very few improvements to motorcycles or scooters safety wise and it is even considered "macho" not to have any kind of protective cage around the rider. And there will be no Ralph Nader for the two wheeler industry, otherwise they would have been banned by now.

The same goes for romantic descriptions of train travel which would have one believe that travel by unreserved compartment would be a joy. There is a reason why people struggle to book tickets and prefer flying in India. The railways are abysmal and the authorities are determined to make it worse. One train ride in India and all that brainwashing will be neutralized!

Don't buy the hype, you could get killed!!

srinidhi's picture

Amsterdam started where we

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Amsterdam started where we are now decades ago, with way lot of cars on the streets with very high accident rates..but they made the right choices and have got to the current state with low accident rates..and a polulace which is committed to riding green!

So please do not talk low of the riders who are doing their bit right now..cycles are healthier and can easily take care of the many errands around home easily without concern of fuel or parking..

xs400's picture

Perils of Motorcycling

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16 users have liked.
India's top woman biker Veenu Paliwal dies in road accident

 

Veenu Paliwal, 44, was on a nationwide tour on her Harley Davidson when the accident took place. She was accompanied on another bike by fellow biker Dipesh Tanwar.

One of India's top women bikers, Veenu Paliwal , died in a road accident in Vidisha district in Madhya Pradesh late on Monday evening.

Paliwal, 44, was on a nationwide tour on her Harley Davidson when the accident took place. She was accompanied on another bike by fellow biker Dipesh Tanwar.

Also read - RIP Veenu Paliwal: 10 things to know about India's daredevil woman biker we lost too soon

Paliwal died after her bike went out of control on a turn and she skid off a road near Gyaraspur about 100km from Bhopal. She was rushed to a primary health centre and later to the Vidisha district hospital, where she was declared brought dead.

Paliwal and Tanwar were heading to Bhopal from Sagar when the accident took place.

Paliwal, a Jaipur resident, was known for her skills with the motorcycle and for having driven the Harley Davidson bikes at 180kmph. She was planning to make a documentary on her nationwide bike journey.

The police said that her family and friends had been informed and that they would be reaching Jaipur soon. The post-mortem on Paliwal's body was to take place today morning.

Veenu Paliwal had recently been named the Lady of the Harley 2016.

I guess "Top woman biker" was awarded by Harley Davidson in pursuit of profits. Another one bites the dust. But the two wheeler industry needs its pound of flesh.

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