Update From Delhi: Separated Bike Lanes Far From Guaranteed
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…