Vehicles parked on designated cycle tracks, hindering cyclists on World Bicycle Day in Kochi
The United Nations declared June 3 as World Bicycle Day to honor the bicycle’s role as a mode of transport. However, in Kochi, cycling is still more of a recreational activity than a practical means of transportation, largely due to the lack of cyclist-friendly roads.
Mithradham Renewable Energy Centre’s Initiative
Aluva-based Mithradham Renewable Energy Centre is aiming to change this reality. As part of their World Bicycle Day celebrations, they have organized a cycling event focused on the 16.5-kilometre Pipeline Road, stretching from the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) Pumping Station at Aluva to near the Ernakulam South Railway Station.
“Pipeline Road, at 40 feet wide and restricted to heavy vehicles due to the presence of pipelines, is the perfect avenue for cyclists,” says Santosh Thanikkat, coordinator of Mithradham’s CyKochi project, which aims to make Kochi more cyclist-friendly. This stretch offers a safe commuting option for cyclists within the city.
Mobilizing Support for a Cycling Priority Road
At the heart of the initiative is the push to establish Pipeline Road as a ‘cycling priority’ route. The objective is not to exclude other vehicles, but to give cyclists the priority on this road, making it safe for their daily commutes.
The program also aims to increase awareness about Pipeline Road and cycling while encouraging participants to explore the various pocket roads that connect to this route, making it easily accessible from different parts of the city.
World Bicycle Day Programs and Events
As part of the World Bicycle Day celebrations, various events will take place, including theme-based competitions and a ‘cycling carnival’ at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kaloor on June 4. Additionally, a design competition, held in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Architects, aims to beautify the Pipeline Road. For more information on the events, interested individuals can call 9770820147.
This initiative aligns with the larger goal of making Kochi a more cyclist-friendly city and encouraging the use of bicycles as a practical mode of transport, rather than just a source of exercise and leisure. Through Pipeline Road, Mithradham Renewable Energy Centre seeks to provide a safe and accessible route for cyclists as a step towards achieving this vision.