Following the footsteps of Ciclovia, Bogota, Raahgiri Day is set to expand
New Delhi | February 20, 2014
By Kanika Jindal
From Sunday, 23 Feb, 2014, Raahgiri Day will be 2.5 times bigger. An additional 6.5 km will be added to the already existing 4.8 km loop thereby making it a 11.3 km long corridor. The Gurgaon Traffic police came to this decision, based on the popularity of the event, in association with founding organizers including – EMBARQ India, Pedal Yatri Group, Heritage School, I Am Gurgaon and Duplays Gurgaon with support from DLF.
Raahgiri Day has had an overwhelming response since its inception in November 2013, with more than 200,000 people having already participated in the event. Behind all the fun and games, Raahgiri Day’s objective has always been clear– to make Gurgaon’s roads safe for everyone, especially cyclists and pedestrians while raising concerns around pollution and physical activity and with an overall objective of improving the quality of life in our cities.
The growing popularity of Raahgiri Day clearly demonstrates that people are willing to walk and cycle provided they are given safe infrastructure.
Sarika Panda, transport planner at EMBARQ India, says, “Our aim is to follow the Ciclovia model, which started small, but today includes a 120 km long path being made available every Sunday and public holiday in Bogota. Our idea is that people coming from nearby residential colonies should be able to cycle or walk all the way to the Raahgiri Day venue every Sunday”.
A big credit for this extension goes to the residents of Gurgoan. Their demand for more led the authorities and organizers to consider and implement the expansion. Clearly, getting a taste for a car-free life on certain corridors makes people thirst for more. It brings back life to such neighborhoods, making them vibrant and thus improving the quality of life.