Let’s Develop More Cycle Cities Like In Lalitpur

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Lalitpur, Nepal – Lalitpur Municipality is reallocating roads to people on cycles and managing cycle lanes to make the cities cycle friendly.

Nepal cycle society is coordinating with the municipality to manage the lanes. In order to make the lanes distinguished, now they are filled with green color. The color is already painted in areas like Pulchowk and Jawalakhel.

Due to this coronavirus pandemic, something strange is going on. The air is clean, traffic is clear and there is no pollution. This pandemic renders countries an opportunity to take space away from cars and buses and turn their cities to cyclists and pedestrians. Now, cycles have surged as a right too during this hard time. 

 In Kathmandu and major cities, life seems empty, with streets roads, arenas abandoned, businesses shuttered. Well-heeled residents have skipped cities to rural areas. With Covid-19 lockdown reducing the use of public vehicles, authorities in Nepal now should take advantage by shunning streets to private cars, more public vehicles, opening others to bicycles, and widening footpaths to help people maintain the six-foot distancing recommended by health authorities.

 Cycling also offers people the ability to exercise safely.  Encouraging cycling may reduce crowding on public buses, where people can maintain the required distance.

Now, the government should build more cycle lanes like in Lalitpur and continue these urban interventions. Cities like Milan and Paris are already planning to build more cycle lanes. In Paris, it planned set to open 400 miles of pop-up bike lanes after the restriction ends. Many cities in different countries are committed for the change.

The global pandemic of coronavirus can be a catalyst but the government should plan to reduce more cars, vehicles and encourage cycling by increasing cycle lanes. While traffic has dropped in the country tremendously, there are widespread concerns over the surge in speeding drivers and endangering those walking and cycling. The concerned authority should also check this.

Cities around the globe like Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Vancouver have taken actions to replace and expand the cycle lanes. In Berlin, streets have new, wide cycle lanes. Bogotá has replaced 35km of traffic lanes with new emergency bike lanes by the use of temporary cones. Mexico City has also proposed 130 km of temporary cycle lanes.

Whether the country is rich or poor, there are actions within its reach to support walking and cycling. The city looks cleaner and less congested now and lets it be continued by proper plans by the government.

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