Bicycling Ban Sparks Outrage in Kolkata

In order to "ease traffic flow" the police commissioner in Kolkata, India (formerly Calcutta) has expanded a ban on bikes to 174 roads across the sprawling city of 14 million. Environmentalists and social activists are protesting the measures.

What would Gandhi do? Probably not undertake the measures the enlightened leaders of Kolkata have decided will improve the city's traffic flow.

"A ban on cycling in one of India’s most polluted and crowded cities has sparked protests in recent days and reignited civic debate over the country’s attitudes toward its poor — many of whom cannot afford even a bus ride — and its commitment to addressing air quality," reports Annie Gowen. "Although bike travel will be allowed on some streets after business hours, activists say the new restrictions are tantamount to a ban on cycling in the entire city. They say the measure makes no sense at a time when traffic and air pollution are worsening in Asia."

“It’s absolutely off-track, and they need to reverse it,” said Anumita Roy Chowdhury, executive director for research and advocacy at the Center for Science and Environment in New Delhi. “In our part of the world, we need to keep people on cycles and public transport, not force them into cars.”

Full Story: City of Kolkata bans bikes to reduce traffic, but India’s environmentalists, workers protest

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

NEW! City Map Posters

Available in 9 different cities.
$25.00

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.
$105