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RTA launches racks for parking bicycles

Shafaat Ahmed / 8 January 2011

Encouraging more people to use bicycles as an alternative mode of transport for short journeys, the RTA has designated special parking racks across 100 different locations.

The move comes as part of the Roads and Transport Authority's (RTA) Dubai Bicycle Master Plan under which the authority plans to set up an expansive infrastructure for the growth of cycling culture in the emirate.

Khaleej Times had reported in November 2010 that under the Master Plan, the RTA would lay a network of 500km of bicycle tracks across Dubai by 2020, but the authority has now upgraded the plan to extend the network to 900km.

The project is scheduled to be completed in five phases and the parking racks come as the phase one of the Master Plan, which also includes building of bicycle tracks on some key roads like Jumeirah Road, Mankhool Road and Khalid Bin Waleed Road. The trial run of the project has started in some key areas in Dubai such as the streets of Jumeirah, Dubai Academic City, Nad El Sheba and Al Mankhool in addition to the Creek Corniche. Laying of a 12km stretch of cycling tracks has been completed at Jumeirah Street and the work is in progress to complete 32km of the tracks under the trial phase.

Announcing the launch, Director of Strategic Planning, RTA Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector, Nasir Abu Shehab said the RTA intends to provide parking spaces for bicycles near all metro stations in a bid to enhance the integration of the train services with other transit modes in the emirate. “In an advanced phase of the project, all metro stations will be integrated with the dedicated cycling tracks.”

Parking slots have also been set up in several other congested and busy areas.

“All areas served by the cycling tracks will be fitted with bike stands including key areas such as the Gold Souq, abra marinas, Al Shindagha area, Al Fuhaidi Museum and Al Bastakiya area,” Abu Shehab said.

The RTA plan also includes setting up bike racks in other prime locations such as malls, recreational clubs, schools, colleges, and hospitals as well as public and private entities.

Provision of cycle stands will address a key problem of bicycles parked haphazardly near lampposts on streets, trees, traffic signals etc.

The second stage of the project will see the completion of the initial phase comprising cycling tracks extending 122km along key streets. Priority will be on completing the project in densely populated areas, especially those populated by cyclists or bustling with activities and public amenities with the aim of easing the transit of cyclists to the metro stations.

“The project involves diversification of transit modes, particularly towards advocating the use of environment-friendly means.” It also provides a safe environment for cyclists and improves the health of the cyclists as well as other Dubai residents with less air pollution by fewer motor vehicles, he added.

The cycling tracks will be in three designs, dictated by the nature of the streets like main or internal roads and in terms of traffic volume and speed limits. Though cycling tracks will share the existing roads, they will be demarcated with clear markings. The higher the speed and traffic flow, the wider will be the cycling tracks.

As regards the main roads with high driving speed and traffic volumes, the width of the cycling track would range from 1.5m to 4m. The tracks will be painted in a distinctive colour and fitted with reflective ground markings replicating the shape of the bike such that they will be recognisable and visible at all times. Moreover, the tracks will be equipped with directional and traffic signage illustrating the exclusivity of using these tracks by cycles.







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