Indian Crisis: When Cycling Becomes an Extreme (Tran)Sport

by Ève Lacroix on November 1, 2013 - 12:10pm

The article written by the BBC News, South Asia correspondent Andrew North, describes the disastrous situation that cyclists and pedestrians are facing in India. In fact, at least three of them pass-away on the streets of the major city of New Delhi on a daily basis. They represent more than 50 percent of all the road deaths in this urban center. Likewise, this issue is also common in other Indian metropolises, such as Mumbai. However, even if it has been present in the country for many years, the problem has recently been taken more seriously after the renowned environmentalist, Sunita Naraingot, got involved. She got seriously injured after being hit by a car while she was riding her bicycle early in the morning. The fact is, she only represents one of the millions of cases.

A major cause of this issue is that the roads were not originally designed with the purpose of welcoming both bicycles and cars at the same time. Thus, there are actually only a few cycle lanes available on the streets of the cities. Furthermore, it is said that the number of car-owners increases by 7% every year. In fact, "[a]t least 1,400 new cars are being registered in Delhi every day." With the constant growing amount of vehicles circulating on the streets, the situation can only get worse. This serious social crisis is also said to be strongly linked with the important number of drunk-drivers. It is evaluated that their implication in road accidents is around 40 percent. By these facts, it is clear that cycling conditions in India are problematic.  

From my perspective, this social problem is alarming. Effective decisions have to be taken in order to change the situation. I hope that the case of Sunita Naraingot will be an eye-opener for the government to react. In fact, the authorities of the Indian city of Calcutta have decided to forbid cyclist transportation on many roads. By creating new laws for cyclists, they will reduce traffic. However, will that really help cyclists and pedestrians circulate safely around the city? I don’t think so. In my opinion, it will only temporarily council the issue instead of solving it once and for all. The road system and driving behaviour have to be transformed and redesigned in order to create harmony. To make that possible, the state has to put cyclists and pedestrians’ well-being in its priorities, considering that they represent the majority of the population. The massacre has to end. 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24643106

 

 

Comments

The title of your article was very intriguing to me. I think that this is a very interesting issue. I myself have a driver’s license and am very aware of the dangers of driving with cyclist around. They are not always easy to see which has become a huge safety issue. I think that having lanes specifically for cyclist is a great idea. It encourages people to bike rather than travel by car which is also better for the environment. The number of increasing cars is part of the problem. If there were fewer cars, fewer cyclists would be getting injured because of it. I think that the government can easily put measures into place in order to help keep their citizens safe. It may be costly having to create extra lanes but it will be beneficial to the entire population in the long run. It will reduce traffic as well as keep its cyclists safe. As for drunk driving, stricter laws should be put into place in order to reduce its frequency of occurrence. Being sober behind the wheel is critical to ones ability to see which will allow drivers to be aware of the cyclist surrounding them. Overall, I think that this is an issue that requires cooperation from both the government and its citizens in order to provide a safer environment for everyone to enjoy.

The deaths of cyclists in the city streets have been a problem for years. Places like India contain many busy streets and do not cater to bicycles. As stated in your summary the numbers of drivers continuously increase make the roads even more dangerous. Millions have already died but nothing has really been done about this. The best thing for the government to do is to expand the streets and make bicycle lanes. Certain cities like New York City have already done this. This makes the streets marginally safer because it gives cyclists a place to ride that will not obscure traffic and keeps them out of the way of the drivers.

The deaths of cyclists in the city streets have been a problem for years. Places like India contain many busy streets and do not cater to bicycles. As stated in your summary the numbers of drivers continuously increase make the roads even more dangerous. Millions have already died but nothing has really been done about this. The best thing for the government to do is to expand the streets and make bicycle lanes. Certain cities like New York City have already done this. This makes the streets marginally safer because it gives cyclists a place to ride that will not obscure traffic and keeps them out of the way of the drivers.

The deaths of cyclists in the city streets have been a problem for years. Places like India contain many busy streets and do not cater to bicycles. As stated in your summary the numbers of drivers continuously increase make the roads even more dangerous. Millions have already died but nothing has really been done about this. The best thing for the government to do is to expand the streets and make bicycle lanes. Certain cities like New York City have already done this. This makes the streets marginally safer because it gives cyclists a place to ride that will not obscure traffic and keeps them out of the way of the drivers.

The deaths of cyclists in the city streets have been a problem for years. Places like India contain many busy streets and do not cater to bicycles. As stated in your summary the numbers of drivers continuously increase make the roads even more dangerous. Millions have already died but nothing has really been done about this. The best thing for the government to do is to expand the streets and make bicycle lanes. Certain cities like New York City have already done this. This makes the streets marginally safer because it gives cyclists a place to ride that will not obscure traffic and keeps them out of the way of the drivers.

Your summary is really relevant! I, too, believe it is an extremely interesting issue because it applies not only to India, but to almost every major population cluster of the world. Whether Mumbai, Montreal or Berlin; cities were not designed for cars and bicycles. In fact, most city centers were designed for pedestrians and carriages. We cannot do much about the way the city centers are designed, however, I do believe that, as you mentionned in your summary, stricter rules will be positive. I also advocate the creation of new subway and bus lines to decongest the main streets. The less people there will be, the safer the streets are going to be! Subway lines are expansive, however, they do not modify the historical charm of a district and are an efficient way to move people quickly.

I can't believe that cities of their size have not gone ahead to build bike paths. When cities have populations as big as New Delhi and large numbers of people are on the road with bikes and cars and when you have a stat like 3 pass away each day, there must be a change. A new law or bike paths should be created, it isn't right that this many people die and nothing is changed as if their lives meant nothing and it is just another death and no one could care less.

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