‘Cycling Sunday’ organized to promote healthy activities, eco friendly society

ISLAMABAD, Mar 7 (APP): Adopting cycling habit for establishing eco friendly society was imperative in light of climate change and rapid urbanization in Pakistan.

These views were expressed by spokesperson of European Union Delegation Pakistan while talking to APP in an event named “Cycling Sunday” or Car Free Jinnah Avenue organized by Urban Innovation, Islamabad Capital Territory Administration and the Islamabad Cycling Association and supported by the European union.

The initiative was aimed at promoting cycling as a safe mobility in line with the Prime Minister’s Clean and Green Pakistan initiative. He said the practice had diversified health and financial advantages for individuals in particular and a country’s environment at large.

“The habit of cycling provides an excellent opportunity to clear mind and thoughts, besides its other healthy and nature-friendly benefits,” he said.

He said the reasons behind advocating to build the bike-habit here in Pakistan was certainly its long lasting positive impacts on human’s lives. The spokesperson also said it was environmental-friendly and zero-carbon emission transport as well as a great practical and almost cost-free mode of conveyance.

Every first Sunday of the month, Jinnah Avenue, the capital’s primary thoroughfare, was open exclusively for cyclists from Centaurus mall to D-Chowk, the spokesperson said.

Taking advantage of the safe, traffic-free space, cyclists participated in fun races with categories for all ages. Replying to a question he said, policy-makers were increasingly looking for ways to develop more eco-friendly, diverse and flexible transportation systems, and influence behaviors to encourage a shift away from the reliance on private cars.

On the eve of the International Women’s Day, the event particularly encouraged women to become cyclists and underlined the need to address the concerns of women in terms of safety and access to public spaces and transportation.

Naveed Iftikhar, founder of Urban Innovation and one of the initiator of the event, said, “The feeling of cycling in the city center is something which I aspired to regenerate through this event. Such events will invite people to consider cycling as a great option not only for leisure, but also for commuting and in daily life. Finally, we urge the government to create safe spaces for cyclists to encourage cycling as a sustainable means of transportation.”

Haroon, Secretary of Islamabad Cycling Association, said, “There are a lot of people who are doing cycling in their free time to stay fit. It is great to see this trend growing and we are delighted to bring it to the heart of the city.

”The European Union not only supported the initiative in light of its global priorities related to climate change, but also because cycling has become a major trend in Europe in the last years.”

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