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Reset Jharkhand With Cycling

Ranchi, Jharkhand | May | 13, 2020 :: A bicycle costs less than a cellphone, lasts longer than one and makes your health better instead of worse. Get on a bike today. #ResetWithCycling #CycleToWork

Kanishka Poddar, Bicycle Mayor of Ranchi has urged the Jharkhand Chief Minister Shri Hemant Soren through an open letter to consider making cycling a new normal during the lockdown period and also in post lockdown era.

He cited the examples of various cities across the globe which has taken up cycling to curb the menace of Coronavirus.
Cities across the world are enabling bicycling in these troubled times including Italy & Spain despite such high fatalities.
New York City saw a spike of 52% in bicyclists on the bridges after social distancing protocols were put in place.

New York, Berlin, Bogota, Auckland, Budapest, Mexico City are rolling out “emergency” cycle ways to boost bicycle use during the Coronavirus epidemic.
With some of them planning to increase the permanent cycling network.
have opened up some streets only for bicycling and walking.
In New York, San Francisco, Berlin and across the UK bicycle shops are considered an essential service and allowed to remain open.
France has declared post ending of their lockdown “the bicycle will be the principle means of transport enabling social distancing”

The WHO also recommends cycling during the Corona Crisis . According to WHO:

• Better bicycle accessibility can support economic recovery after COVID-19

• Bicycling can improve public health and quality of life
• Bicycling infrastructure can help cities become more resilient to future shocks

Cities and the environment are beginning to heal during the COVID-19 lockdown and the cycling community, represented by the Bicycle Mayors of around 40 cities in the country have come together to make an ask to the government to revive cities with the bicycle post the lockdown.

Let’s not go back to old habits. Let’s use the bicycle to reduce traffic, stress, improve health, air quality and renew our cities. Build a city for our children.

To encourage people to use non-motorised vehicles and bring a positive impact on public health, achieve greener mobility and reduce pollution, Ranchi’s ‘Bicycle Mayor’ Kanishka Poddar has written to the Chief Minister requesting 4 simple measure which can be taken up during the lockdown to ensure more and more people starts cycling as a basic means of commuting.

1. Declare that people on bicycle don’t need a pass to move around during lockdown periods of any intensity.
2. Declare bicycle sale/repair shops essential service and allow them to stay open at all times during lockdowns or otherwise.
3. Dedicate neighborhood shopping streets as walking/cycling only so as to provide adequate space for physical distancing.
4. Dedicate motor vehicle lanes on major roads for bicycle movement in such emergencies and afterwards.

He has also urged the Chief Minister to make various neighbourhood lanes across the city free from vehicles and allow only pedestrians and cycles for at least three months or till lockdown continues. The virus is going to live for a long time around and perhaps we need to adjust to new normal. Cycling is one of the most beautiful human inventions which helps us in multiple aspect to adapt social distancing in our everyday life.

This is the right time to implement it. By-lanes in crowded areas and roads, including Upper Bazaar, Lalpur, Old Commissioner Compound, Bariyatu, HEC Complex and Mecon colony, should be blocked for vehicular movement so that people can walk or cycle while maintaining social distancing,” he said.

He added that if the bigger roads in the city had a dedicated cycle lane, thousands of people would cycle to offices. “In this regard, a 1.5 metre cycle lane on the edge of the main road is easily workable. Installation of bollards is the only work needed, which can be done along with installation of bollards for milestones etc,” Mr. Poddar said.

People across social media have really appreciated this step by the Bicycle Mayor and had also urged the CM to act on it by sharing, retweet and commenting on the post.

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