Green Short Cuts
Shouldn’t a cyclist, who uses the most eco- friendly mode of transport and yet is relegated to the fringes of a road, be allowed the right to bypass traffic and cut from point A to point B through the city greens? What if we connect these green short-cuts to form an exclusive cycle tracks network for the city?
While cycles used to constitute 60% of the traffic in the capital city of Delhi in the 70s, today their numbers have reduced to a mere 4%. This is not surprising considering the high mortality rate of cyclists on the roads of Delhi today. The hostile city roads coupled with the growing demand for motorbikes, have made the bicycle a mode of transport only for those who have no other means of travelling or a few daring souls.
2/3rds of Delhi travels by bus or walks or cycles, yet more than 90% of our transport links are given over to personal motorized vehicles. It is time to re-look at our transport networks and find alternatives for the city.
An independent, self-funded, crowd-sourced urban project, ‘Green Short-Cuts’ is a proposal to create a cycle tracks network through the green spaces, ie parks, urban forests, archaeological greens, of Delhi to create an alternative of safer and shorter routes for cyclists. An entry at the Urban Habitats Forum 2009, along with the support of Delhi Cycling Club, we hope to be able to present it to the authorities, with adequate funding and support.
The expected outcome of the ongoing research and mapping exercise is a satellite map of Delhi indicating the possible off-road cycle routes in conjunction with the existing few on-road cycle tracks. By making the map interactive online, anyone would be able to contribute/ add to it.
Along the lines of the ‘Park Connectors’ of Singapore and the bike routes in Louvain, Belgium, the project aims at making Delhi a cycle-friendly city, and hence, more sustainable and livable. With greater awareness and safer routes, more people will be encouraged to cycle for work and even leisure. It aims at producing a network that can be implemented in phases with smaller but crucial pilot projects to trigger off a larger network.