1. Provide temporary pop-up bicycle tracks connecting industrial areas to efficiently restart the economy in a safe, environment-friendly and congestion-free mode.
2. Opening busy shopping streets as ONLY cycling and walking zones across the city and closed for motor vehicles to enable social distancing and safer retail activities.
3. Approve an NMT policy for the city and empower DULT to prepare a Comprehensive NMT plan for the city as well as an action plan to implement this.
4. Create an NMT cell headed by a technocrat - NMT Special Commissioner within BBMP.
5. Earmark a budget of 500 crores every year to the BBMP NMT cell to ensure all streets in Bangalore have a usable footpath and are made cycle-friendly as per the Comprehensive NMT Plan & Action plan by DULT.
There is a global consensus that this pandemic is a wake-up call in how we set the new normal. As a consequence of the lockdown, last year, Bengaluru’s air pollution rate has dropped by over 40% just with vehicles off the road. We know it's impractical to continue this way, but with over 40 of the world’s major cities planning to go cycle and pedestrian-friendly, it's time our city shows the same intelligence and pro-environment action. We have made tremendous gains in air quality these last few months and must find ways to sustain this for the long-term.
Going back to personal motor vehicles, experts agree, will not just congest the roads but most importantly will again pollute the city air which will worsen our respiratory system’s ability to fight a virus that attacks it. This is one major reason why cities around the world are prioritising cycle-friendly roads.
Cycling/walking is a proven way to ensure public health and general well-being.
Collective voice forces political action and it is important for us as a progressive city of the world, to enable and encourage non-motorised transport (NMT) on our roads as our commitment to doing our bit for the environment.