Delhi Turns to Bike Lanes to Tame World’s Most Dangerous Traffic

delhi_street.jpgSpace is at a premium on Delhi’s streets. Photo: DaveBleasdale/Flickr

Delhi, home to over 12 million people and the seat of India’s national government, is widely considered to have the most dangerous traffic in the world. As the Guardian wrote recently, traffic safety in Delhi basically consists of "good horns, good brakes, good luck." Nationally, crashes in India killed more than 130,000 people — 85 percent of whom were pedestrians and cyclists — in 2007 alone.

As of last week, however, one piece of Delhi’s solution seems clear: bike lanes on all major roads. 

One month after a local bicycle advocacy group, the Delhi Cycling Club, sent a list of demands to the Delhi government, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced
that all major streets will be retrofitted with bike lanes. "In
a city like Delhi, cycling would be the most effective mode of
transport to combat pollution and congestion on the roads," wrote
Dikshit.

From press accounts, it’s not exactly clear whether the new network would consist entirely of physically separated lanes,
which currently exist along the city’s bus rapid transit corridors.

A network of physically separated lanes would be especially useful in a city where traffic laws go largely unenforced. There are 110 million traffic violations in Delhi every day, according to the Guardian.

Delhi’s investment in a cycling future comes not a moment too soon. Last year’s introduction of the Tata Nano, a car priced at $2,000, has threatened to flood the city’s already full streets with even more automobiles and even worse gridlock.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Update From Delhi: Separated Bike Lanes Far From Guaranteed

|
Delhi currently has separated cycle tracks along its BRT corridors. Image: BRT_Delhi/Flickr On Monday, we reported on Delhi’s decision to install bike lanes on all its major roads — an intriguing piece of news from a developing world metropolis where private motoring appears poised to potentially overwhelm the city’s streets. We noted that it seemed […]

Safer Bowery, LES Bike Lanes Clear Manhattan CB3 Committee

|
New bike routes will provide safer connections on the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, in an attempt to divert cyclists from Delancey Street. Image: NYCDOT NYCDOT unveiled a slate of pedestrian and bicycle improvements to the transportation committee of Manhattan Community Board 3 last night. Presenters asked for votes on two street safety projects: […]

DOT Exploring Better Crosstown Bike Lanes for Midtown

|
DOT is exploring options for better crosstown bike connections in the city’s busiest neighborhood, according to a letter from DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione to Community Board 4. The letter says DOT is “currently exploring the potential for protected bike lanes in Midtown Manhattan” and that “large vehicle volumes, curbside access needs and network connectivity […]