Kathmandu, April 11
Lalitpur Metropolitan City is preparing to introduce separate cycle lanes on some of the road sections under its jurisdiction.
As per the plan, the local government has identified two road segments, Kupondol-Jawalakhel and Mangal Bazaar-Pulchowk to create lanes dedicated for bicycles. Spokesperson for LMC, Raju Maharjan, said the local level had also allocated Rs 5 million for the project in first phase.
Mayor of LMC Chiri Babu Maharjan said they were expecting to invest Rs 50 million if the first phase of the plan was fruitful. He added that the metropolis was in the process of enacting a separate law to address this issue. “Once the law is drafted and approved, we will vigorously work towards making Lalitpur a cycle-friendly city,” he told THT.
Chiri Babu had promised to develop Lalitpur as a heritage city during his election campaign. He said creating more cycle lanes was one of the most important catalysts to achieve this goal.
The LMC has also proposed to create multiple cycle stands at several places where people can park their cycles. These cycle stands will also have municipal cycles for tourists and commuters who could use them free of charge to go from one place to another.
Raju Maharjan said, “We are working on a mechanism so that municipal cycles will not be misused. Placing trackers on cycles or colouring them in a unique way are some of the measures being discussed.”
Meanwhile, Nepal Cycle Society, which has been lobbying with the local government to make Lalitpur a cycle-friendly city, today presented a research paper before LMC officials, including Chiri Babu. NCS coordinator Rubin Singh Maharjan said, “It might seem like a tough job to make a congested city like ours a cycle-friendly city. But, once the government starts acting towards the goal, people will gradually acknowledge the importance of cycling to commute in the city.”
According to the NCS, a motorbike covering a distance of 10 km a day emits 950 kg of carbon dioxide a year and a four-wheeler emits carbon dioxide equivalent to 10 motorbikes. Rubin, who is a cycling activists, said, “Kathmandu valley must promote cycling, as air pollution is already choking the city.”
A version of this article appears in print on April 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.