5 years later, project “good” on paper, risky on the ground | Bhopal News

Bhopal: Dedicated cycle lanes have been converted into motorbike routes and even parking lots along the Hoshangabad road. The dedicated bicycle track opened in 2017. Just five years later, the PBS track, dubbed the nation’s longest stretch for non-motorized transportation, is now a do-it-yourself riding area for cyclists, young and old. .
On paper, a 2.5 meter wide track on both sides of Hoshangabad Road is the perfect area for an early morning health trip for early risers. The bike path runs parallel to the BRTS lane. It stretches from RRL to Misrod crossing. It was developed by the Bhopal Smart City Development Corporation Limited. The “dedicated” track extends 5.5 km on one side of the road and extends 11 km if both sides of the road are taken into account.
The reality on the ground is quite different. After landing the flyover, the RRL traverse to the BU leg is manageable. The situation is deteriorating rapidly. A U-turn for traffic coming from Bawadiya ignored by most commuters. PBS lane barriers have been dissolved, allowing motorists to use the cycle lane to hop the wrong way to navigate to the other side of the BRTS.
A little further, showrooms at other commercial establishments have transformed the PBS into a parking space for motorists. The same is replicated on the other side for traffic heading towards the Habibganj flyover. BMC also ignored street vendors in the area. Anti-encroachment discs rarely leave a meaningful impression.
The Hoshangabad track was created after the demolition of properties along the road. It took years of litigation to achieve land acquisition amid controversy. According to the PBS track tender, the cycle corridors were intended to “promote a culture of cycling”. The overall mobility plan was cited by the BMC, which cited 50% of commuters using non-motorized transport.
The first phase of the project started with a cost of Rs 2.95 crore. It claimed to be adopting a new revenue model: it plans to increase operating costs by Rs 6.7 lakh per month through memberships, rental income, advertising revenue, sponsorship deals, parking fees and financing of CSR, among others.

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