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July 9, 2019

Keep bikes off the footpaths


July 9, 2019

Why bikers in many areas of Rawalpindi like Choohr Chowk, Rawal Road etc., ride their bikes on the footpaths in order to avoid traffic jam on the road knowing that they can seriously injure someone.

“It seems that the offensive activity of riding bikes on the footpaths is an endemic problem in the city as the road infrastructure is not designed to accommodate the amount of road traffic that it currently has to bear. That in itself drives bikers from the road as it is a very dangerous place to be at times,” says Aziz Alvi, a schoolteacher.

“Pedestrian crossings seem to be fair game to bikers. They are always seen standing ahead of zebra crossings at the traffic signals. Children and especially the aged persons stand big chance of being hit by a solid speeding handle bar in the ribs or when they step out of a shop, into the path of one of these inconsiderate individuals,” says Reza Naqvi, a businessman.

“I’ve been run over by people on bikes while walking on the footpath twice. The first time I got off with cuts and bruises. The second time I have three broken ribs and a cracked elbow.

The biker sped off without a word, leaving me lying on the pavement,” says Kamal Haider Shah, a retired government worker. Noor-ul-Hasan, an elderly guy, says: “Just this afternoon, I was walking along a narrow footpath, heard a clatter and a biker swerved round me and carried on down the footpath.

There really wasn't room so he was pushing his luck. Although he stopped to help me and said sorry but the coward then made sure he rode off before the police arrived.” “I have also encountered totally reckless biking when walking along with a friend. A biker rode at high speed through the gap between us as we were chatting. If either of us had moved a couple of inches, we would have ended up in hospital.

That was just uncalled-for absurdity on the part of the biker. Never mind the fact that he was breaking the law,” says Muzaffar Ali, a college student. Tanveer Zaidi, an artist, says: “I can fully appreciate that the roads can be very dangerous and some car drivers can be extremely selfish when it comes to bikes, but that is no excuse for putting pedestrians in a dangerous situation.”

“I have no axe to grind with bikers in general, only those who ride on the footpath. I just think it's dangerous to pedestrians and even when they are not hit it makes many people anxious and worried, especially the aged or disabled folk,” says Syed Mehdi, a literary critic.

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