Update From Delhi: Separated Bike Lanes Far From Guaranteed

Delhi_BRT_Corridor.jpgDelhi currently has separated cycle tracks along its BRT corridors. Image: BRT_Delhi/Flickr

On Monday, we reported on Delhi’s decision to install bike lanes on all its major roads — an intriguing piece of news from a developing world metropolis where private motoring appears poised to potentially overwhelm the city’s streets.

We noted that it seemed like an open question whether those bike lanes would be physically separated or not. Since then, we’ve heard back from the Delhi Cycling Club, the local advocacy organization that led the push for bike lanes. It turns out they have the same questions we do.

According to the club’s Rajendra Verma, decisions about physical separation will hinge on both the advice of consultants hired by the Delhi government and "how much the pressure groups like us are able to push/fight for in order to ensure that bike lanes are developed mostly [as] physically segregated in the city."

Anything less than separated lanes will probably wilt under the pressure of Delhi’s famously lawless streets. The Times of India reports that the city’s bike lanes "are encroached by unauthorized parking, two-wheelers and autos avoiding jams or hawkers and squatters."

Separated lanes or not, Verma called Delhi’s commitment to cycling a "major policy decision." Though it does sound like the Delhi Cycling Club has a lot of advocacy work ahead to make these bike lanes all they should be.

You can read the letter from Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit after the jump…

Delhi_CM_letter_and_assurance_to_DCC.jpg

  • CBrinkman

    I was thinking about how you could keep the lanes clear of traffic besides bikes. Bollards or a barrier along both sides to prevent cars or tuk tuks from entering the lane, and a bollard in the middle of the path every 20 meters or so to prevent a vehicle from traveling in the lane. Cyclists would have to pay attention to the mid-path bollards but if the space were narrower then a tuk tuk it could work. Of course, that won’t stop vendors from setting up shop.

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