DNCC to name the lane after Bangabandhu
In an effort to beat the nagging traffic congestion in Dhaka city, there has been a growing popularity of bicycle use among people as a form of daily sport, physical exercise and most importantly, a time-tested mode of travel and commuting.
Against this backdrop, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has been implementing the first ever bicycle lane project in the capital.
DNCC is constructing a 9.5km long lane exclusively for bicyclists in Agargaon amid growing popularity of cycling. The route goes through the north side of Islamic Foundation, LGED Road and University Grants Commission.
DNCC Mayor Md Atiqul Islam told Dhaka Tribune, that, the first ever bicycle lane will be inaugurated on the occasion of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s 100th birth anniversary.
"We have a plan to dedicate this bicycle lane to the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s 100th birth celebration. We propose to name the bicycle-lane after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and we will put it to our Prime Minister in due course."
"We can make separate lanes for cyclists in Mirpur. And there is space available on Airport Road but it doesn't belong to us," said Mayor Atiqul Islam, responding to a question if it was possible to construct separate lanes for cyclists in other parts of the capital.
Considering commuters safety at the capital's roads and thoroughfares, Executive Engineer of DNCC-5, Faruque Md Al Masud told Dhaka Tribune, that, there are three types of roads, in terms of width in the area in coverage: 150 feet covering 3.8 km, 100 feet covering 1.31 km, and 60 feet covering 2.58 km.
"The bicycle lane has been under construction with a layout of international standards – traffic movement analysis, road safety issues for passersby and commuters as well. Anticipating traffic volume, width of the bicycle lanes is six feet on either side of the road," said Masud.
According to DNCC officials, 285 meters out of nine kilometers of the bicycle lanes have already been completed that is starting from Election Commission to Mahbub Morshed Sarani.
“There are three lanes on both sides of the median; one lane for bicycles, one main lane for vehicular traffic, and one exclusively for car parking. However, for the beautification at the median – there will be carpet grass, Kalabati and Bakul flowers, and for landscaping – almond, wood-rose, cheery, bottle-palm, Tecoma, China Tagor, and carpet grass," he added.
The road is being constructed under a project funded by the government of Bangladesh. The project's estimated cost would be Tk694 crore, according to the DNCC official. "It covers different parts of the city corporation are, not only Agargaon,” Masud added.
Meanwhile, cyclists around the capital have expressed their appreciation for the initiative.
Hasirul Haque Eram, a young cyclist said: "Separate lanes for bicycles is likely to reduce elements of risk and danger for bicycle-riders on the streets. Considering the traffic, if this works well, people would be more than happy to adopt this fine sport in their daily life and avoid traffic."
The government is determined to create such infrastructure so that a person can reach his destination by bicycle without disruption.
Maruf Rahman, a program manager at WBB Trust that has been leading a movement for separate bicycle lanes in Dhaka since 2004, applauded the DNCC’s initiative.