ISLAMABAD: In order to reduce carbon emissions and promote cycling in the federal capital, the Capital Development Agency (CDA) has decided to build citywide bicycle lanes along major routes in three phases.
A PC-I in this regard has been prepared, and the CDA board will take up this summary in its meeting planned for Tuesday.“…only 2.73 per cent of the population is above 65 years of age, so the majority …is young enough to make use of this project,“ the document read.
For everyday mobility, a large number of capital residents rely on public transport, such as metro and vans, or ride-hailing services, the PC-I said, adding that the project would facilitate people who do not own vehicles by providing them with a safe, convenient, and equitable commute option in the city.
Proposed PC-I touts environmental impacts of project, equitable commute option
CDA Chairman Anwarul Haq said that the objective of this project was to establish a secure citywide bicycle route network to promote safe and accessible cycling across Islamabad as well as an equitable commute option for citizens. According to the proposed PC-I, the project through infrastructure interventions would introduce cycling as an alternative mode of transportation in Islamabad.
“The aim is to invest in building bicycle lanes on the roads of Islamabad so people can have a viable option of using bikes as a mode of transportation, rather than solely relying on cars. The intended outcome for the project is an increase in uptake of cycling, reduced reliance on cars, reduced GHG [greenhouse gases] emissions from vehicles, resulting in a sustainable, eco-friendly, and equitable transportation system in Islamabad,” read the PC-I.
It further said that the project also aimed to introduce e-bikes and mopeds and encourage the use of e-bikes by micro-mobility users, such as food delivery services. It relates closely to Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action) by decreasing carbon emissions, improving air quality, and mitigating climate change and SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) by investing in safe, inclusive, and sustainable urban development.
In the first phase, bicycle lanes along Jinnah Avenue, Margalla Road, and G-7 and G-6 will be allocated during February-March 2024. From May to November, the second phase for setting up bicycle lanes across the remaining 14 sectors and major avenues will be undertaken, and in the third phase – December 2024 to Feb 2025 – bicycle lanes will be built along Srinagar Highway and Islamabad Expressway (until PWD). In this phase, e-bikes will be introduced as well.
The PC-I stated Islamabad was an ideal site and the first city in Pakistan with the ideal conditions for setting up cycling infrastructure as Islamabad is Pakistan’s only planned city. According to PC-I, the project aimed to build ridership for cycling by emphasising the convenience, time efficiency, affordability, and health benefits of commuting via cycling. “The project is a concentrated effort to reduce the amount and impact of greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and private vehicles.”
“Throughout the world, cities are making the shift to sustainable and eco-friendly transportation to reduce their carbon footprint and air pollution, especially cities like Bangalore, Manila, Tehran, Guangzhou, etc,” the PC-I read. It added that another significant area of impact for the project was the increasing traffic and parking congestion throughout the city.
Source : Dawn