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Urge to use cycle as mode of transport during and post-COVID era

Bangladesh is struggling to fight COVID-19 just like the rest of the world. In here lockdown has been eased and people have started to return to their daily life. In these circumstances, safe travel is one of the important things. United Nations has declared June 3rd as World Bicycle Day. Worldwide cycle is considered as an important mode of transport considering its enormous benefits. Cycle does not require any fuel and does not pollute environment. In addition, it requires very little space. Thirty minutes cycling each day halves the risk of obesity and diabetes. We will have sustainable development in the transport sector if cycling is considered in the transport planning. Also cycling is a mode of transport that gives people opportunity to travel safely maintaining physical distancing. On 3rd June 2020, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust organized a online Facebook live discussion program on the necessary actions to create a bicycle friendly city and speakers opined such in the program.

Honorable Mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation, MD Atikul Islam said that, cycling is a great source of exercise as well as mode of transport. I want to ensure that, Dhaka will be a city for all. Currently we are working on providing cycle lane in Agargaon and Manik Mia Avenue. We hope that soon we will be able to complete the work. COVID situation is very crucial for us. It is important that both City Corporations undertake joint effort to fight the situation.

Executive Director of WBB Trust Saifuddin Ahmed said that, we need a healthy and sustainable transportation system. Many countries in the world is focusing walking and cycling and coming out of the private car centric transport planning. This is right time for us to follow the same path. Cycling can play a good role during and post-COVID period.

Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) Arch Iqbal Habib said that, we cannot return to our previous practices. We will have to consider the COVID experience while moving on. Just to put a bicycle lane is not enough to make a bicycle friendly city. We need a comprehensive plan. We have an opportunity to rethink about our cities and we must utilize it.

Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) Maruf Hossain moderated the live discussion meeting.