As a part of the Commissionerate of Municipal Administration’s (CMA) initiatives to promote Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) in the state of Tamil Nadu, ICLEI South Asia has been given the task of assessing the status of NMT in Coimbatore. Of all the local trips in the city, 29% are made on foot and 7% on bicycle. To assist the Coimbatore Municipal Corporation in prioritizing this large group of NMT users, the study aims to understand the gaps and issues at city level to implement facilities for Non-Motorized Transport. Two busy city junctions were surveyed to understand traffic and activity patterns. At this stage of the project, along with the completed surveys, conceptual street and intersection designs were presented to city government officials and the CMA to showcase an ideal retrofit design to benefit NMT users.
The Coimbatore Corporation has expressed keen interest to implement the proposed strategies with the help of the state government. Other items flagged as priority by the corporation were a phase wise plan for citywide street improvement and exploration of a potential public bicycle sharing project for Coimbatore’s large student population.
At the state level, efforts are being initiated by ICLEI South Asia to develop a framework for a state urban transport policy, which will be funded by the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, as a step towards bringing Non-Motorized Transport in Tamil Nadu cities under the spotlight. This framework will be supported and informed by a brief mobility status assessment of two smaller Tamil Nadu cities to ensure that the mobility concerns of smaller cities are represented in the state policy strategy. Being carried out by ICLEI South Asian experts over the next 6-8 months, the project will involve the key government agencies and larger stakeholder groups at the state and city level to build a strong framework for the urban transport policy.