Resources Himalaya Foundation (RHF) successively organized a talk program on “Sustainability Mobility Planning: Bicycle Policies” on November 08, 2022 in collaboration with Environmental Graduates in Himalaya (EGH), Cycle City Network Nepal (CCNN), and Nepal Cycle Society. The program was organized at Dr. Pralad Yonzon Conservation Chautari and moderated by Mr. Nivesh Duggar, Vice President of CCNN.
With the general introduction of the program by Mr. Nivesh Duggar and welcoming remarks by Dr. Dinesh Neupane, Executive Director, RHF, the talk program moved towards the presentation on the need of bicycle policies by Mr. Duggar. He stated that cycling has various positing impacts be it in environment, economy, air pollution or human health. He further discussed the concept of five factors needed to establish a cycling culture which included engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement and planning, evaluation and planning. Likewise, he noted that the bicycle policy can help to open the door for the integration of cycling and public transport to promote inter modality and development or expansion of a national cycle route network. National policies like that of the Philippines have been real successes and various projects across European countries like “Denmark on Your Bike” have established a national cycling culture. The presentation was followed by the interactive discussion session with the audience including representatives from the Ministry of Urban Development, Department of Roads and Ministry of Federal and General Administration. After sharing his personal experiences on the subject, Dr. Tara Lal Shrestha, Lecturer at Tribhuvan University, led a discussion with other representatives and audiences. He further added that if we were to advance towards progressive mobility ideas, cycling culture needs to be implanted among the public. It was discussed how the community’s leaders needed to shift their perspectives away from complex and unsustainable lifestyles and move toward a sustainable one. The individuals from CCNN and NCS highlighted that the lack of a national policy on cycling and the national development plans without a sustainable strategy is the main hindrance if the local government is willing to take some actions on cycling culture. Mr. Khumba Raj Rai, representative from the Ministry of Federal and General Administration mentioned that they have been providing sample acts and laws to support the local government. Mr. Aasish Khadka, representative from the Department of Road pointed out the lack of inclusiveness of the cycling infrastructure during the planning phase of national transportation projects.Ms. Asha Panta, representative from the Ministry of Urban Development reported that the ongoing smart cities around the nation are planned to have cycle friendly mobility planning and not only motorized vehicle centric cities. She added that it was almost impossible to make Kathmandu a manageable city in the context of cycling. Dr. Dinesh Neupane mentioned that the cycling culture should be introduced through Environmental Impact Assessment and Initial Environmental Examination for sustainable mobility planning.Further, the need of bicycle rental stations in different places of Kathmandu city was seen as an option in order to give services and knowledge to the public about the transportation medium by Narayan Dhital, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at Patan Multiple Campus. Mr. Nivesh Duggar concluded the program by thanking all the participants for their participation and for being concerned about cycling.