Dedicated cycling track ready to welcome riders at F-8 park; residents hail initiative

ISLAMABAD, Jun 28 (APP):The dedicated track, built in a mini-park of the sector F-8 to promote cycling culture in the federal capital, is ready to welcome the riders from Monday.

The 900-meter long track, costing around Rs 0.9 million, is expected to attract a significant number of bikers, especially kids and new learners, the local authorities hoped on Sunday while sharing news of its opening for general public.

“The initiative a joint venture of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration and Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI), is aimed at ensuring a positive activity for locals in a healthy green environment ,” said ICT Admin Director General Sayeda Shafaq in an exclusive chat with APP.

She said the track, set up within a greenbelt, would also serve as a learning platform for the new peddlers and young cyclists in a risk-free comfortable environment.

“It will surely help promote a culture of discouraging motorbikes and cars for short-distance traveling, besides augmenting the number of cyclists in the capital city,” she remarked.

The DG said from now on, the public could ride their bicycles on this track. Only installation of signage and marking of track were yet to be done which had been initiated by the ICT administration workers recently.

Commenting on the development of the track in sector F-8 , the Co-founder of ‘See You In Pakistan’ Ina Mamchanka said, it was a great opportunity for the children and budding cyclists as most of the skilled peddlers can be seen daily along the Margalla Hills roads, which was inspirational for the young children.

Such initiative would definitely attract young enthusiasts towards cycling as this travel-cum-exercise activity along the risky roads required extra training and practice, said the co-founder of a travel and culture group -See You In Pakistan. “Our youth must be engaged in constructive activities like this to make them useful citizens” she remarked.

Asma Irfan, A 12-year old girl flanked by her friends cycling in a street of F-8 sector, commenting on the creation of a special track for the cyclists said,“Now we will be allowed by our parents easily as peddling at streets is quite dangerous and a couple of our friends have sustained injuries in collisions with rashly driven motorcycles.”

Kamran Khaliq, another cyclist from sector F-6, said the local administration should also focus on creating more dedicated lanes for cyclists at the major roads of Islamabad like Expressway and Islamabad Highway so that the reliance on public traveling machines could be minimized.

He said the authorities had set up characterized lanes on a few roads which had been used by the motor- bikers for last couple of months and traffic police could not manage to restrict them for using this line. ” Strict implementation of the traffic rules is vital to encourage more people to adopt cycling” he remarked.

“The MCI is planning to dedicate a track alongside the major roads for cyclists. But I will not venture till I am sure, we have basic SOPs in place and people exactly know how they ought to use these lanes,” a top official of MCI told APP in response to the addition of more lanes at major avenues of the capital.

He, however, admitted that there was a need to create more awareness about the benefits of cycling to establish a culture as embraced by the western societies.