World Bicycle Day: Why are cyclists feeling unsafe on Hyderabad roads

The cyclist community is happy about the announcement of the 21-km solar track. However, they are concerned about their safety on the roads within the city. “The government thinks that cycling is only for fitness. However, it is important that they realize that many people also use cycles to commute to offices and more,” Santhana says.

By Amrutha Kosuru  Published on  3 Jun 2022 6:23 AM GMT
World Bicycle Day: Why are cyclists feeling unsafe on Hyderabad roads

Hyderabad: Cyclists have expressed concern over growing road accidents that have claimed precious lives in Hyderabad.

On World Bicycle Day, cyclists said two of their compatriots died in the accidents this year so far. Nitin Agarwal was killed in a hit-and-run case. Nitin was riding to the left when the incident occurred.

A week ago, Khushbu Singh riding a pillion on her husband's bicycle was killed after a speedy RTC bus rammed into them in Trimulgherry police limits.

The incident took place when her husband Bharat Bhushan Singh, a native of Uttar Pradesh, was taking his wife Khushbu Singh to work on a bicycle. When the couple crossed MCEME Signal, an RTC Bus dashed into his bicycle. They fell and the bus ran over the woman. She died on the spot. Her husband too received wounds in the accident

"Both the accidents could have been avoided if there was a separate lane for cyclists and if other vehicular drivers realize that cyclists too are a part of the road," says Bicycle Mayor of Hyderabad Santhana Selvan.

The cyclist community is happy about the announcement of the 21-km solar track. However, they are concerned about their safety on the roads within the city.

"The government thinks that cycling is only for fitness. However, it is important that they realize that many people also use cycles to commute to offices and more," Santhana says.

Prasad Vallabhajosyula, a city-based cyclist and IT employee say that these accidents have not only instilled fear among the cycling community but also among their families.

"My family requests me now and then to stop cycling. They ask me to switch to indoor cycling or go to the gym instead. Sometimes I don't want to give them such trauma," he says.

However, Prasad loves cycling too much to stop it.

The situation might be a little grimmer for female riders. Dr. Niharika, a senior cyclist in the city, says that she has been cat-called and several times motorists have honked at her even though she was not in their way.

T Anjani, another cyclist is working towards creating a platform solely for female cyclists in the city. "There are around 60 active female cyclists from various professions and age groups. Most of us cycle together for safety concerns," she says.

Anjani says that all cyclists- both men and women, are discriminated against on the road by other vehicle drivers. "It's like we don't exist for them," she says.

The members of the cycling community say that at least 20 accidents (not including deaths) have taken place involving cyclists this year alone.

Ravi Sambari of Relief Riders Hyderabad opines that there need to be better spaces for parking cycles around the city. "It would be great if there is dedicated parking space at metro and bus stations," he says.

He expresses concern over the fire at Pala Pitta Park last month. The fire gutted down several cycles.

"The park authorities (Telangana Forest Department) are floating a tender to get a new vendor for taking care of the Bicycle Rental Business in Pala Pitta Cycling Park, Hyderabad. However, so far, no work has begun. These places are important to promote cycling amongst children in particular," he says.

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