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City to be Cycle – Friendly Road

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The Lalitpur Metropolitan City to start a 4.7km cycle lane from November 17 after the meeting successful with the representatives of Nepal Cycle Society and other stakeholders. The project would be completed by March next year.

The Lalitpur Metropolitan City has earmarked Rs 5million for the cycle lane project. Construction of a cycle lane that passes through Kupondole, Pulchowk, Jawalakhel, Lagankhel, and Mangalbazar. The contractor of the project is” Ramit Consultancy.”The Reliance Engineering and Builders Company to construct 100 cycle stands and the company has already built cycle stands in 10 different places in Lalitpur. Nepal Cycle Society estimates that there is over 150,00 cyclist in Valley.

A 44 years old cyclist,  Mr. Om Shakar Shrestha said ” I am thrilled that Lalitpur City has taken this initiative. Other city authorities in the Valley should also be making more cycle-friendly roads because riding cycle in the Valley roads is risky.

Lalitpur Mayor, Mr. Chiri Babu Maharjan said that the city had already allocated the budget for the cycle lane project in the last fiscal year. He mentioned -“As the mayor of this cultural city, my priority will be on motivating all city residents to ride their cycles. I am also convincing other mayors to make Kathmandu Valley a cycle city. I am going to present this idea at the next mayors’ forum.”

“It would take at least a month to make plans for cycle lanes. Cycle lanes in Kathmandu is not a new concept. After Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya was elected in May 2017, building cycle lanes in Kathmandu as part of his 101 tasks in the first 100 days. But more than two years later, the plan is yet to be executed” says, the Post contacted, Mr. Ishwor Man Dangol, the representative at the Kathmandu Metropolitan City regarding the city’s own proposed cycle lane.

Shrestha said- “When I was a kid, riding a bicycle used to be a dream for every one of us. But people of my age have started to ride four-wheelers or motorcycles. They now regard cycles to be poor people’s means of transportation and do not treat cyclists as human beings, which I think is wrong.”

President of the society, Ms. Ratna Shrestha said “They all need safety. This is the first time in Nepal’s cycling history that government authority is consulting with experts to design separate cycle lanes for its residents. This is a welcome move.” 

The vice-president of Cycle City, an urban designer, Mr. Soam Raj Rana mentioned that Kathmandu needs cycle-friendly roads, as it would reduce a significant amount of air pollution. A collective online database, Numbeo has enlisted Kathmandu as the world’s 7th most polluted city.

Rana said “If you look at the city roads, it’s hazardous to drive. Look at the recently built eight-lane eight-lane Koteshwor-Kalanki road section there is no cycle lane. The Maitighar-Tinkune road section and the Tinkune-Suryabinayak stretch of the Araniko Highway are no different.” He believes building cycle lanes would motivate people to ride bicycles.

Source: The Kathmandu Post