The challenge, which was launched for the smart cities to implement the non-motorised transport post-COVID-19 pandemic, entails the participating cities to conduct surveys and implement pilot projects.
“We are about to implement the Mega Street project in the city. Also, we have been boosting cycling in the city for over eight years. The challenge is suitable for cities, which are yet to boost cycling infrastructure,” a Chennai Corporation senior official said.
The official added that the Chennai Corporation opted out of the challenge to concentrate on the implementation of the Mega Street project. As many as 25 cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Kochi and Indore have been selected for the final.
In August 2019, the central government has instructed several city corporations to study the possibility of non-motorised transportation as an alternative to public transportation in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. The smart cities were asked to conduct a citizen survey to identify hurdles in using the cycles. Chennai also conducted such a survey and shortlisted a road to implement the pilot project by rectifying the hurdles pointed out by the citizens.
“We are implementing pedestrian plazas. We have selected 110 kilometres of road for the Mega Street project and the project will be implemented on 25 kilometres as a quick win. The Mega Street project concentrates on cycling and non-motorised transport. We do not want to spend time on pilot projects,” the official said.
During the survey, 70 per cent of respondents expressed fear of being hit by speeding vehicles and 50 per cent pointed out potholes and traffic congestion impeding cycling on the roads.