According to the Dhaka Bishad Region Plan (2016-2035), about 2 lakh people commute by bicycle in Dhaka city every day. This number will increase if cycle-friendly transport system is ensured in the city. According to the report of the World Bank, the speed of bicycles on main roads is 13.4 kilometers per hour. In other words, it will be possible to reach the destination quickly and safely if the transportation system of Dhaka is planned with priority on bicycles. With that, various benefits including reduction of energy costs, improvement of public health and environment will be available. As a result, the youth demand to ensure bicycle-friendly transportation by controlling private cars.
The speakers made this demand from the cycle rally titled ‘Control the use of private cars, build a planned cycle network’ organized on the occasion of World Private Car Free Day 2022 from in front of Shahbagh National Museum to the central Shaheed Minar on Saturday (September 3) morning.
The rally was organized by Anti-Narcotics Organization, Bangladesh Cycle Lane Implementation Council, Rayer Bazar High School, Dhaka Ideal Cadet School, Dhanmondi Tourism Cyclists, Leo Club of Dhaka Oasis, Female Cyclists of Bangladesh, Surya Shishir Runners Community, Institute of Wellbeing Bangladesh, Carfree Cities. Alliance Bangladesh and Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust.
Under the chairmanship of Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust Director Gaus Peary and Assistant Project Officer. MA Mannan Monir, Tahajjot Hossain, Akib Dipu, Sifat Haroon, ANM Machum Billah Bhuiyan, Aminul Islam Tubbus, Cyclist Didar Hossain and many others spoke in the event moderated by Mithun.
At that time, the speakers said that significant people travel by bicycle in Dhaka city. Many of the young generation are interested in commuting by bicycle. But due to lack of cycle-friendly infrastructure, they have to cycle at risk. That is why they are discouraged to ride bicycles. Currently, traffic congestion and fuel crisis are big challenges for us. To meet this challenge, it is necessary to make cycling easy and popular for everyone.
Speakers also said that in many modern cities in Scandinavia and Europe, bicycles are a very popular means of transportation. Many cities around the world have increased bicycle commuting opportunities in cities as part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. For example, in various cities including Bogota, Vancouver, Sydney, along with the creation of temporary bicycle lanes, some roads have been closed to private cars and opened to people, so that they can move while maintaining physical distance. The city of Bogotá currently has 550 km of cycle lanes and has built another 80 km of cycle lanes.
The youth from the event claimed that it is not enough to mark cycle lanes on some roads only with colors. For this, it is necessary to create an integrated cycle network with cycle roads, necessary infrastructure for short and long distance travel, along with other facilities such as safe cycle parking, repair facilities, canopies, seating, water and public toilets.
Various recommendations were made from the rally to build a cycle-friendly Dhaka – creation of cycle-friendly infrastructure and cycle network, control of vehicle speed limit/control of number of vehicles, space between road dividers for pedestrians and cyclists only, provision of safe road crossing for cyclists, busy roads Provision of ‘hook turns’ at junctions, provision of cycling training for students in educational institutions, reduction of taxes on bicycles, delineation of designated and safe areas for bicycle parking, ensuring that no other vehicles including motorcycles enter the bicycle lanes, creation of bicycle network Allocating necessary budget for maintenance.