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cycle-friendly mobility cycling Lifestyle pedestrian post-lockdown

Is pedestrian and cycle-friendly mobility possible post-lockdown? 

Is pedestrian and cycle-friendly mobility possible post-lockdown? 


Cycling to his workplace, Dr Paban Sharma, Professor at Patan Academy of Health Sciences, has needed to face the brunt of the police officers on multiple event. Ever for the reason that nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24, Sharma’s most popular technique of commute has been his trusty previous bicycle.  

And why not,” he exclaims. “It’s secure, wholesome and environmental-friendly. But I feel we have to make our frontline police officers conscious of that.”  

Tirek Manandhar, fourth-generation proprietor of PANC bikes, one of many oldest cycle outlets in Kathmandu, has additionally skilled comparable situations. Since the pandemic, bicycle enterprise worldwide has witnessed an awesome surge in gross sales, however in Nepal the alternative has been true.  

“But we have now acquired an amazing quantity of inquiry from prospects on the prospect of shopping for bicycles,” Manandhar informs.  

He has began dwelling supply providers however is greatly surprised by the federal government’s resolution to extend tax on electrical mobility after the finances announcement of May 28, simply when electrical cycles have been starting to achieve traction.  

Nepal and elsewhere  

Many cities like Rome, London, Brussels, Melbourne, Berlin have taken benefit of this enforced pandemic pause to usher in setting pleasant mobility changes. In Nepal as properly cycle advocates have been bent on urging the federal government into rethinking city mobility, however so far the problem hasn’t moved past mere dialogues and concept exchanges in elongated lengthy zoom webinars.  

“We know pedestrian and cycle-friendly infrastructure should be the way in which ahead. Now is the time to behave and capitalise on this chance,” stated Bhushan Tuladhar, an environmentalist and Executive Director of Sajha Yatayat, throughout a webinar session performed by Nepal Cycle Society on May 27.  

However, the authorities involved have by no means critically thought of pedestrian and cycle-friendly roads as a precedence. Back in 2017 when Bidya Sundar Shakya was elected Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, constructing cycle lanes in Kathmandu was a part of his 101-tasks within the first 100 days — a pipe dream, which after three years nonetheless appears removed from fruition.  

As per a 2018 ‘Kathmandu Walkability Study’ by the Resource Centre for Primary Health Care, which surveyed 35 completely different sections of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, greater than 70 per cent of roads lack fundamental facilities for pedestrians.  

That pedestrian and cycle security are on the backside of the federal government’s precedence is additional evidenced by the on-going development of the Birgunj-Kalaiya highway and the enlargement of the Birgunj-Pathalaiya Road, as knowledgeable by Vibek Gupta, transport planner based mostly in Birgunj. “Everyday 1000’s of employees use the stretch of the highway on their bicycles however these tasks don’t have any cycle lanes,” he says.  

Pedestrian and cycle-friendly mobility  

On May 18, when Kathmandu partially eased the lockdown, social media was abuzz with images of rows of automobiles caught in site visitors jams. The picture despatched shockwaves throughout the group of environmentalists and cycle advocates as they have been introduced a slight glimmer of what life would appear to be put up lockdown.  

Urban designers preserve encouraging denizens to make use of cycles for brief distances, however infrastructure resembling devoted cycle lanes are solely current in a couple of areas of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, which are also worksin-progress. However, Keshav Sharma, Director General, Department of Roads (DoR) has stated DoR might be trying to prioritise biking as a method of commute put up lockdown. “Cycling is appropriate for Kathmandu. We can create house by both resizing the lanes in city streets or compromising current lanes and giving it to biking, strolling,” he provides.  

Speaking of suitability in Nepal, as per the 2011 census, 32.eight per cent of households owned a bicycle, whereas 9.58 per cent owned a bike. “Likewise, round 60 per cent of Nepalis can trip bicycle, whereas 80 per cent of individuals in Tarai trip bicycle,” informs Som Rana, Architect and Urban Planner. These numbers clearly aren’t any indication of at present and as per the Department of Transport and Management (DoTM), bikes alone quantity to round 80 per cent of the overall variety of automobiles registered in a yr.  

In order to stop additional domination of the streets by bikes, a buzzword amongst cycle group has been ‘Pop Up Cycle lanes’ 

“Pop-up’ cycle services means putting in lanes swiftly utilizing mild segregation options like versatile plastic wands; or rapidly changing site visitors lanes into momentary cycle lanes,” explains Rana.  

Whether this new buzz goes to make to the road or not, solely time will inform. 



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