This World Bicycle Day Be Vocal for Local Cycling
World Health Organisation, University Research Wings, Local Agencies and various international organisations have already recommended to consider bicycle as an alternative primary mode of transport during Lockdown as well as to restore normalcy after lockdown along with ensuring physical distance. Yes if city needs to move with Be Vocal for Local then Bicycle is the only economical viable alternate in which city need to depend at least for next couple of months or years.
So do with Lockdown getting eased there is a fear of catching corona virus in crowded public transport there is a boom in modal shift, two wheelers getting into cars, few switched to two wheelers those uses public transport. But similarly there was visibility of more people doing cycling for essential services during Lockdown and now for other regular activities within shorter distances.
As the Pandemics still very much active across the globe, World Bicycle Day arrives on June 3rd just two days ahead of World Environment Day. Bicycle was never been so much dear to rich or poor in recent times, as it was like an miracle instruments in Crisis like Pandemic COVID19 for many be it Migrants returning home or swanky people pedalling in absence of Gym for fitness, or executive pedalling towards workspace or people pedalling for essential services, Bicycle became the best friend of human beings.
Similarly this crisis has given opportunity to realise how beautiful is our city without vehicles and world without cars, as emission level fall by 17% and half of it due to less number of cars on the street. So do a Bicycle ensured there is no inequality between age, gender, money and it’s the safest mover in city mobility.
Keeping above aspects in mind an urban research conducted by Local Governance Network found Lockdown 1.0, Lockdown 2.0 there was a greater demand for cycling even upto first week of Lockdown 3.0 most switched into their vehicles for various reasons in Bhubaneswar based on 100 random survey that were conducted during Lockdown 3.0. It was observed that 87% used Bicycle during Lockdown 1.0, Lockdown 2.0 with average TRIP of 5.8km. Similarly 93% have their own bicycle while 3% borrowed from relatives. Interestingly 39% Bicycle were either non functional or required repair like brake, pumps, chain issues that were solved in house or neighbourhoods.
Of the cycling 47% respondent did pedal every alternate day either to market or essential services some other purposes. While 19% did cycling every day for essential services. It was also observed that due to closure of Gyms around 23% used cycling for exercise purposes. While 39% did cycling for the first time after a decade, while 27% after two decades. But 19% were into cycling on regular basis.
The survey did tried to understand behaviour on the street by Automobile with questions like. Do you able to understand How top is cycling for many on the street due to cars or other automobiles? Interestingly 79% realized how rash they were in automobiles, 85% felt they are more happy while pedalling in safer environment than inside Cars.
Is cycling a social taboo issue or harsh weather or bad topography or poor infrastructure unsafe to blame. The answer did surprised 36% believe social status, 89% believes poor infrastructure is unsafe for cycling, 45% blamed harsh weather, while 13% feels bad topography is to blame for avoiding cycling regularly.
Finally some future experience from COVID19 includes Would You continue cycling for shorter distance post Lockdown given the factor your social status, topography, weather safety all taken into consideration. This was surprised as many as 89% believes if this scenario provided then they will be on road with Bicycle. In another question only for Cars do Lockdown taught you how to behave with a Cyclist on the street. Yes 89% believes in future they will be careful towards Cyclist.
However, despite all good good reasons out of those 87% cycled during Lockdown 1.0 and Lockdown 2.0 a drastic change visible as only 37% are using Bicycle in Lockdown 3.0. Major reason in this change is 79% found it top to cycle inside crowded automobiles, 2% have lost their Bicycle, 9% damaged their Bicycle, 7% felt no need to Bicycle now.
Perhaps the biggest learning is there is a craze for cycling but there are circumstances that restricts cycling in normal days. Second Government enforcement plays a major role in safeguarding cyclist, society must overcome from social status and local government must build infrastructure for cycling. However, now days neither authorities requests Public to Use Bicycle Nor they do anything on the street for Cycling. But everyone wishes the city to be normal. However, normalcy with present situation not possible until city make some drastic change that were not done decades needs in a week time or even overnight.
Yes if city needs to move with Prime Minister Call Be Vocal for Local then Bicycle is the only economical viable alternate in which city needs to depend at leas for next couple of months. As moving public mobility may not be an alternate nor people bring back their cars into street. Time for new innovation in streets to convert some of roads into cycling to maintain social distancing is need of the hour. If cities don’t act now Social Distancing will not find a space at all in journey of living with COVID19.
Well no one likes a city remain in Lockdown, so do no one would take a Risk on the street flooded with automoobiles but overall people have realised cycling is possible in Bhubaneswar and it’s not bad for economy nor health at all so do for cities, an opportunity that won’t come everyday. Perhaps those pedalling Bicycle are society’s Last defence in Climate Crisis by becoming local champion in neighbourhood by igniting through leadership beginning from this World Bicycle Day keep pedalling into World Environment Day on 5th June.
Welcome into Streets of Bicycle Journey Be Vocal for Local Cycling.
#Lockdown #COVID19 #Cycling