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Cycle track in Anna Nagar soon

K. Lakshmi

This initiative will be done on a trial basis, says Mayor

— Photo: K.Pichumani

Eco-friendliness: Sixth Avenue in Anna Nagar is one of the locations that may soon get a bicycle track.

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation will demarcate space for dedicated cycle track at a 14-km stretch in Anna Nagar in about 20 days. This initiative would be done on a trial basis, Mayor M. Subramanian said here on Friday.

While eight-km stretch of arterial roads would be covered for the pilot project, interior roads of six-km distance would get the track. People would be sensitised and encouraged to use them, he said.

Focus is more on school zones where students are involved in cycling. Of the 33,000 students in 14 schools of the area, nearly 7,000 are found to be using cycles.

Other localities such as Adyar and Besant Nagar, where several schools are located, might also be considered for such tracks, he said.

Mr. Subramanian was speaking at a programme where representatives from Denmark-based urban quality consultants Gehl Architects made a presentation on projects implemented in Copenhagen at Denmark and New York to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists.

For cycle lanes, the design proposals is being presented by Chennai City Connect, a non-governmental organisation that is offering consultancy to the civic body for the project along with Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

The options such as raised road space or use dividers and strategically placed trees to differentiate from other tracks according to the condition of each road would be discussed, he said.

Raj Cherubal, Coordinator of Chennai City Connect, said roads such as Second Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Avenues would get such tracks where schools are in the neighbourhood.

The concept of cycle track would be familiarised with people and the designs proposed such as cycle tracks between footpath and car parking area and having tracks for two way traffic on the same side of the road would be tested, he said.

Parking regulation

Earlier, Mr. Subramanian said the civic agency was also identifying roads that are more than 40 feet wide to provide paid car parking space. The system would be in place in two or three months. This would not only regulate hap hazard parking resulting in congestion but also provide revenue.

Henning Thomson and Jeff Risom of Gehl Architects spoke on the success stories of Copenhagen and New York. Designing the cities with public space for sociability and mobility is important. Poor conditions prevail for pedestrians and cyclists in Chennai and there is not much public space, they said.

Corporation Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni said transition in the city could be done earlier unlike the 40 years of research in Copenhagen project with the learning experience. Measures to provide public spaces in some zones would be considered, the Mayor added.

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