Kathmandu, February 12, 2018: Cycle City Network Nepal has successfully conducted cycle related discussions and the screening of film ‘Bikes Vs Cars’ on 10 February, 2018 at Nepal Tourism Board, Pradarshani Marg Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, Nepal.
The main aim of the event was to raise fund for ensuring participation of Sahil Shrestha, the founder president of Cycle City Network Nepal, as a speaker in an international conference ‘Foro Mundial de la Bicicleta – World Bicycle Forum 2018 Peru’ and an after foro event in Cusco. Sahil’s participation will ensure the opportunity to apply to organize this international event in Kathmandu in the year 2020. Sahil has been actively involved in making Kathmandu city a ‘Cycle Friendly City’ by 2020.
Hariprabha Khadgi, Kanak Mani Dixit, Kriti Suman Joshi, Bushan Tuladhar and Udav Pyakurel were among the distinguished guest present in the panel discussion of the event.
In the panel discussion, Hariprabha Khadgi, the deputy mayor of Kathmandu, mentioned “I am interested to learn more and will lead to start experts discourse on the issue of removal of cycle lane from the design of ring road. Kathmandu municipality will explore on the scope and possibilities of making Kathmandu as a cycle city.”
Focusing on the scope of Kathmandu to become among the most cycle-friendly cities Kanak Mani Dixit, a reputed journalist and publisher of the country mentioned, “The valley can become cycle friendly if the municipalities are committed to making Kathmandu cycle friendly.”
Kriti Suman Joshi, urban planner and lecturer at Pulchowk Engineering Campus indicated that the ring road design has cycle lanes clearly in it, but was stunned to not see any cycle lanes distinguished in the roads. He also said, “Kathmandu was always a city built for pedestrians, and cyclist to travel. But, gradual vehicle-centric development has made it deadlier for the pedestrians and cyclist to travel in Kathmandu.”
Udav Pyakurel, Lecturer of Development Studies at Kathmandu University, centered his talks on the necessity of ground actions for strong activism and suggested regular, the public social discourse was important.
Bushan Tuladhar, Regional Technical Advisor of South Asia UN-HABITAT indicated that academia could help with research to build evidence-based lobbying capacity to such campaign for the cycle-friendly city. He focused on the need for intervention at the present moment as the ongoing expansion of ring road could prove to be very dangerous.
Cycle City Network Nepal is an NGO that intends to advocate cycle as a feasible medium of transport. Since 2009, they have been actively involved to make sure that the country’s cities have policies and infrastructures in place. The campaign started with the aim of making Kathmandu cycle-friendly city by 2020. Similarly, Bikes VS Cars is a documentary film about bicycle activism and private car lobbies. The event discussed the role of a bicycle to become an amazing tool for change. The documentary showcased an optimistic change created from bicycle activist and challenge of vehicles in central urban planning.