Pedal for a Change is conducting an online survey to find electoral candidates in Assam for the forthcoming Assembly elections who are cycling friendly. The survey also intends to understand people’s views on how we can make our cities cycling friendly.

The survey is being initiated by Pedal for a Change with support from The Green Lane Foundation and Guwahati Active Mobility Forum. Follow the link below to participate in the survey:

https://www.pedalforachange.org/is-your-candidate-cycling-friendly

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the world turned towards cycling, mainly to stay fit and healthy. Many large cities worldwide, realising its potential to reduce overcrowding, traffic accidents and pollution, have either invested or planned to invest huge amounts to develop their cycling infrastructure to encourage people to take cycling as a viable urban transportation option.

People in Assam, as well as the country, also took to cycling in a big way. There have been several demands for cycling lanes and cycle parking spaces, but hardly any politician is seen speaking about it during their election campaigns, although cycle rallies have been taken out.

Also read: Pedal Power: Meet four more Guwahati women promoting cycling

Even though departments like the Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and Guwahati Smart City Limited had mentioned that cycling will be developed in the city their policy documents a long time back, and AMRUT had funds for developing cycling infrastructure, nothing much has been done except the 1.5 km bicycle track constructed by PWD at Dakhingaon in Guwahati.

Currently, road traffic accidents, mainly involving youngsters in fast-moving motor vehicles, are on the rise, pollution levels from motor vehicles are rising, leading to an increase in cardiovascular diseases and people are spending long hours on the roads stuck in traffic to reach their destination but we have not heard from political parties or aspiring candidates speak about these issues.

A lot can be done by political will and interventions. There is a need to know about candidates who are genuinely cycling and environment friendly as they can push for a cycling-friendly city. “It is time for politicians to talk about investing and developing cycling infrastructure when they talk about various developmental issues,” read the press release.

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