Calling Cyclists!!! Planners cant see you...

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Cycle related discussions on BTP TAC committee mailing list... (read bottom up since its an email thread)

From: Sathya Sankaran 

Dear Sir, 

Even flyovers & adding asphalt space have not solved the congestion yet we continue to waste public money on these demand inducing projects. You will notice waste is a subjective word here. 
I believe planning is not about reacting to induced demand but rather defining appropriate modal share based projects. It is neither safe nor convenient to ride a cycle but we expect people, who are ready to do it, to adopt this modal share. Today we do not walk longer distances because it is inconvenient but you can induce more walking if you put uninterrupted sidewalks. 
 I maintain that we should look at networking all parts of the city with an NMT network which aids pedestrians+cyclists which encourages a better NMT modal split. Trains & long distance buses should provide for carrying cycles so last mile problems can be solved. 
I will meanwhile alert the cycling public that they are not visible enough to the planners & authorities. :)

From: M.N Sree Hari
Subject: CYCLE TRACK for BANGALORE- There is no need if not used-SREEHARI

Dear Mr. Sathya,
I once again reiterate my stand point based on my about 38 years experience in transportation engineering, having cycle track is a good idea like any other developed countries of the world where commuting time between two short places can be made as well as within communities. In Bangalore before carrying out this work studies were not conducted by DULT and or any other agencies as can be seen that no one is using. If there is demand and also the lanes provided for cycles do not match. If this is the scenario, is it right to waste crores of rupees belongs to public. The same way bus lanes & auto lanes are also failed. What is wrong with the planners or administrators?  Do you think we can afford &  digest this kind of expenditure. Can I conclude that the studies conducted for the location is failed? or without any other peripheral arrangements, the work was simply pushed through in a hurry? Can we held the agency responsible for this? I wish Mr. Sathya to revisit these cycle track locations marked in Jayanagar. It requires scientific planning, pilot study for the same, site conditions & hurdles or bottleneck etc to be known before executing such projects. Otherwise this becomes mockery. 

From: Sathya Sankaran 
Subject: Re: SKY WALKS for BANGALORE- There is no need if not used-SREEHARI

Dear all, Cycle tracks are not a waste, only the way it is implemented may have some flaws. Please provide good advise, fix it & extend cycle tracks to more areas. 
Also, like Murali mentions while we at Praja support pedestrian skywalks where there is threat to safety & convenience of pedestrians, they have to be only in places where it provides substantial benefits in crossing & is not a burden to most people. The best place to cross for all ages of people (able+disabled) is the surface & that must be given preference over skywalks/underpasses. But there are places where long skywalks with ramps can provide a channel to smooth movement of people/NMT across multiple roads/highways/interchanges/destinations, such places need to be identified & proposed for skywalks.
Praja RAAG

From: M.N Sree Hari 
Subject: SKY WALKS for BANGALORE- There is no need if not used-SREEHARI

Dear Madam,
These arrangements are considered based on TASK FORCE & Engineering cell of experts headed by Dr. B.R. Sreenivasa Murthy (former professor of IISc & registrar) & others. Even Prof. Justo is also a member. Most of the times their suggestions will not be considered or cared due to pressure from elected representatives. There must be full fledged traffic engineering cell headed by a qualified traffic post graduate & his studies must be coupled with traffic police consultation as they know the problem as well as solutions. Most of the time it will be ignored & if the situation goes out of control many times they approach me for some kind of relief. It will be only of temporary in nature to solve the problem created by them as a short term measure. 
Traffic police under the clear cut directions from Additional Commissioner & Police Commissioner must take up the issues with BBMP. Any complicated engineering problems can be referred to experts in the field. Though IISC is a premiere institute in the world till recently did not have this expertise. This requires change in the amendments & by-laws of BBMP. Some nodal agency must work & put all these stakeholders under one roof. Formerly ABIDe was doing this job where I am one of its advising member under the chairmanship of CM himself. Presently we have multiple govt organizations having their own agenda including DULT. They have wasted about 100 crores for studies & development of cycle tracks in Jayanagar & not utilized by anyone. Why to waste public money like this? I request TAC members, Police officials, DULT members, IISc team assess this before going for such projects in the future. Let them take confidence of the actual users & RWA's rather than spending the amount.  



Show of strength

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All cycle groups need to come together & organize a show of strength. Critical mass is a good move. More public should get on their cycles & get healthy. You dont have to save the planet just save your heart & lungs

My addendum to my rant. 


Dear All, I agree with Prof Sreehari if something is wrong we should have answers to fix it not more questions, but I am making the point not to not throw the baby out with the bath water. Cycles & pedestrians are also traffic & need same attention from traffic police. BDA/BBMP's Engineering has not done justice to all modes of transport & we are left chasing our tail now.

Cycle tracks in Jayanagar - a very good idea

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The Jayanagar cycle tracks are a good idea, NOT a waste of public money. They have been implemented partially, and hence failed. A full implementation requires the following:
1. Hard divider between the cycling lane and the rest of the road.
2. Separate signalling for cycles, with a separate 10 second delay like for pedestrians.
3. Promotion of cycling through campaigns in the media, through brand ambassadors, etc. RideACyle thought of Jayanagar as an ideal location because of the high concentration of educational institutions, which is a good idea. Cycling must be promoted among the students, their parents and the heads of the institutions.
4. Discouraging of personal automobiles on some roads and in some areas.

In general, to promote sustainable transport we need to do these 3 things simulatenously:
1. Enable cycling, walking and bus use by improving facilities.
2. Persuade people to use these modes of transport - through media campaigns etc. (like the 'Bus day')
3. Discourage private automobiles.

Just doing any one of them will not work. In Jayanagar (as in the rest of Bangalore) only the first has been done. Not the 2nd and 3rd.

These can still be done in Jayanagar, not too late. We need to treat this project as a prototype, learn from the mistakes and fix them, RIGHT NOW. There is no reason to treat this as a failed project.

"Hard divider between the cycling lane" - Das

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a.k.a cycle tracks..hits the nail on its head!

As we have been saying on Praja since some time, segregated lanes are the only way its gonna work..ofcourse there are some modalities that will need to get worked out..but dedicated lanes will surely go a long way to promote the cause!

Yes, a show of strength needed, a "WLC Day"?

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Pick a weekday, and appeal to all who can to be out on the streets (token trip, or actual commute) to do a "we love cycling day" aka "WLC Day" !?

I will do cycle commute on the day, 16Km, can do it.

A place to log pictures (can be FB), and to log all problems encoutered (can be FB - all input there, we discuss and compile them here).

What say!?

There's already a Critical Mass every month

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There's already a ready-made event for show of strength. Critical Mass bangalore happens on the last Saturday of every month. There was one on Feb. 23 too, with about 50 participants. Would be lovely if it could see more participation, a few hundred. Details on the Feb event here.

Lets do critical mass

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Das is right we dont need to create another one. We already do sunday morning Praja breakfast rides. We should show up for the march event. Lets move the sunday morning Praja bf ride to saturday only on critical mass day. (I need to move my run to sunday to accomodate this)

certainly, why create another

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When we meet today, lets look at building on Critical Mass itself.

  • A run on weekday, to sort of show that it is possible to commute
  • Perhaps a less geeky name, simple one like cycle day.
  • Some 'marketing' through press/radio etc
  • Perhaps, get BMTC to agree to allow cycles just one day, inside the Vajras.
  • etc, etc

LA gets biking lanes downtown

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Believe its a big deal happening in car country. 

Backers of the project say that protected bike lanes in other cities have proven far safer than lanes merely painted onto the road surface, like those on Spring, Main, First, Seventh and Olive streets and others in Downtown.

Bike advocates point to protected bike lane projects in New York and San Francisco that contributed to fewer accidents and increased retail business near the lanes.

“Most people don’t want to ride next to cars,” said Eric Bruins, planning and policy director for the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition, who added that painted lanes only moderately increase ridership. 

Bruins said the Figueroa project is crucial for the city’s bicycle future because the cycle track would be L.A.’s first.


Bangalore needs to stop acting like its making a big sacrifice for car owners considering this report...


Children falling victims to air pollution in City, says study... 10 per cent of the City’s population - which is about nine lakh - suffer from health problems caused by air pollution

and this report...

The vehicle-to-people ratio is highest in Bangalore in the entire country. While it is 1:4 in New Delhi, it is 1:8 in Mumbai, and 1:2 in City