Kathmandu proposes its own 3.1 km cycle lane after LalitpurCyclists welcome City’s move, but say it’s waking up a bit too late in the day.
A week after the Lalitpur Metropolitan City inaugurated the first 4.7 kilometre cycle lane from Kupondole, Jawalakhel to Mangal Bazaar, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City on Tuesday organised an interaction where it proposed having its own 3.1 kilometre cycle lane linking Maitighar to Tinkune.
“A timeline for executing the cycle lane is yet to be decided by the city though,” an official familiar with the developments told the Post.
During the cycle lane unveiling programme on November 30, Lalitpur Mayor Chiri Babu Maharjan had reached the inaugural venue in Kupondole, riding his own 33-year-old bicycle, along with other cyclists.
Cyclists, in general, welcomed the move, calling it a step forward in making the Kathmandu valley environmentally-friendly. “This is a good move. If two metropolitan cities compete with each other for building such eco-friendly infrastructure, this is good for Kathmandu Valley,” said Ratna Shrestha, founder president of the Nepal Cycle Society. Shrestha had facilitated Tuesday’s interactive session.
However, some cycling enthusiasts called it a late announcement by Kathmandu.
“This track should have come into operation six years ago, but due to unaccountable political leadership, bureaucratic hurdles and lack of coordination among various stakeholders, this could not happen,” said Hira Lal Tendulkar, ward-11 chairperson of the City.
Speaking at the programme, City’s Chief Executive Officer Kedar Neupane said they will now be working toward reducing the number of fuel-operated vehicles and focusing on building pedestrian and cycle-friendly roads. Data from Traffic Police shows that Kathmandu Valley operates around 1.2 million fuel-operated vehicles every day.
“The road designs are made keeping four-wheeler traffic in mind. Cycles have never got priority in the overall scheme of things,” said Bhusan Tuladhar, an environmentalist. “It’s never too late though.”