4 Apr

Why Don’t We Cycle More?

Scandinavians love to cycle and the fact that there are many cycling tours available there only shows how much the tourism is evolved. While all of Scandinavia does their bit for the ecosystem, Copenhagen in Denmark tops the list with as many as 50% of working inhabitants taking to cycling. Yale economist, Robert J Shiller purports that Danes cycle out of moral principle even though it is inconvenient for them.

Here’s why people in Copenhagen find cycling a better alternative to other modes of transport.

It’s faster – 55%

It’s healthy – 32%

It’s cheap – 29%

It’s convenient – 33%

Great way to start the day – 21%

Good for the environment – 9%

Shortest route to work – 10%


Image Source: Google

While the above factors may or may not appeal to Indians, we have a long way to go in creating conducive policies. Despite the fact that more than 50% of traffic in Indian cities is non-motorised, urban planners haven’t taken this into account while constructing roads, leading to poor laying out of roads. Plus, every city has its own mandate on cycling; Kolkata has banned cyclists even though cycles outnumber cars in the city, Delhi and Chennai have inadequate cycle lanes despite the highest number of cyclists in the country. Other cities are also slow in implementing amenities and keeping in mind the safety aspect of these commuters.

Every car off the road saves 5.1 metric tonnes of CO2 a year. By these metrics, even a 5% increase in cycle trips around the world will save 100 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. There are cities around the world that are doing their bit for a better future. It’s time we take note and emulate these for a better tomorrow.

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