According to a Wilbur Smith report, 52 per cent of Chennai trips cover less than 5 km and most of these are made on foot or by motorised transport. This has proven to create needless chaos and pollution, which is hardly quantified in the city’s context. To tackle this problem, the Chennai Corporation has decided to design a cycle track.

In the first phase of the project, the Chennai corporation asked NGO City Connect and ITDP to design a cycle track for Anna Nagar, the survey and analysis for which was conducted by Civitas Consultancies Private Limited. The survey was conducted in seven schools, located in a 14 km radius of Anna Nagar. Anna Nagar was divided into nine zones and areas other than Anna Nagar were noted as ‘0’ zone. Civitas chose students from classes VI to XII, who were asked to identify the place where they began their travel from, and mode of transportation to school (walk, bicycle, school van, autorickshaw, private van, drop by parents (car), drop by parent (bike), MTC bus, personal vehicles and in-house campus).

The cycle track design is proposed between the footpath and car parking area, with two-way traffic on the same side of the road. These tracks will focus on the safety of students, who ride to school and back. Most parents are uncomfortable with their wards riding bicycles to schools, for fear of safety. Keeping this in mind, a separate track for cyclists has been proposed, thus alleviating parents’ fears, while helping reduce noise and air pollution.