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Thread: Ricksahaws in trouble everwhere

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    Thumbs down Ricksahaws in trouble everwhere

    In Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, most journeys are made on foot, and bicycle rickshaws are the main form of vehicular transport. Rickshaws are an efficient, non-polluting way to move around, and for many people without job skills, pulling a rickshaw is the only option other than begging or crime.

    Under pressure from the World Bank, Dhaka City Corporation announced that from December 17 it plans to ban rickshaws and non-motorised transport from an important road in Dhaka - Mirpur Road from Russell Square to Azimpur . But this is only the test case in a much larger World Bank plan that would eliminate rickshaws from eight major roads (120 km) in this city of ten million people. Pushing rickshaws off the main roads would allow motor vehicles to become the dominant mode of vehicular transport in the city. At the same time, the World Bank is pressuring the Bangladeshi government to pass a law freeing the bank of legal liability for any harm that results from its policies.

    Increasing limitations on rickshaws in Dhaka are causing untold hardship to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society, reducing the mobility of the middle class (particularly women, children, and the elderly), and contributing to air pollution and motorisation. Meanwhile, roads that have completely banned non-motorised transport are still some of the worst affected by traffic jams.

    World Carfree Network, concerned organisations in Bangladesh and around the world, and Dhaka's many rickshaw unions are all prepared for action to save the rickshaws. If the most vulnerable members of the population are to go hungry, it will not happen without a fight. Banning rickshaws and building highways while people face starvation is nothing short of a war on the poor.

    Why Rickshaws should not be wiped out :

    Rickshaws are in many ways the ideal form of transport: they provide door-to-door transport at all hours and in all weather, emit no fumes, create no noise pollution, use no fossil fuels, and employ large numbers of the poorest people.
    It is not the rickshaws that are clogging the streets; it's the cars. In 1998, the less than 9% of vehicular transport by car required over 34% of road space, while the 54% travelling by rickshaw took up only 38% of road space. The solution is not to reduce rickshaw transport, but to prevent the growth of car use, by minimising the road space and parking space allocated to cars.
    In addition, there are many simple solutions that could benefit both the rickshaw-riding majority and the car-owning minority. Instead of banning rickshaws, the World Bank and local authorities could be (a.) providing dedicated lanes and cycle rickshaw stations that would prevent conflicts between modes, (b.) implementing a programme to help improve the quality of the rickshaws, (c.) supporting cycle rickshaw drivers with training, uniforms, tariff standardisation, etc., (d.) creating cycle lanes throughout the city, and (e.) supporting public transit through bus-only lanes, bus-only turns, etc.
    Many rickshaw pullers fled from starvation in the villages. With exceptionally bad floods this year, many villages lack sufficient food and seeds. Cutting back on rickshaw income means directly attacking the ability of the poorest and most vulnerable to survive - not just the rickshaw pullers themselves, but the families and entire villages that they support.
    The Mirpur Road is a disastrous choice for a rickshaw ban, as there are no alternate roads for rickshaws, and it is extremely difficult to walk on this road because of the prevalence of street vendors.
    Accommodating the automobile over other modes is undemocratic, supporting a wealthy elite while the majority suffers. In the long run, even the rich will not benefit from rickshaw bans, as current policies will lead to more traffic jams, dirtier air and increased noise pollution.
    World Bank policy in Dhaka is inconsistent with the spirit of the World Bank's urban transport strategy, Cities on the Move (2001), which is highly progressive and supportive of non-motorised transport.
    Rickshaws are the main source of vehicular transport for the middle class. Since there are often not alternatives within their means, a rickshaw ban is a restriction of their freedom of movement, and therefore a violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (People Action Alert and World Carfree NetworK, The Bangladesh Observer, December 20, 2004)

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    Agree totaly.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    In Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, most journeys are made on foot, and bicycle rickshaws are the main form of vehicular transport. Rickshaws are an efficient, non-polluting way to move around, and for many people without job skills, pulling a rickshaw is the only option other than begging or crime.

    Under pressure from the World Bank, Dhaka City Corporation announced that from December 17 it plans to ban rickshaws and non-motorised transport from an important road in Dhaka - Mirpur Road from Russell Square to Azimpur . But this is only the test case in a much larger World Bank plan that would eliminate rickshaws from eight major roads (120 km) in this city of ten million people. Pushing rickshaws off the main roads would allow motor vehicles to become the dominant mode of vehicular transport in the city. At the same time, the World Bank is pressuring the Bangladeshi government to pass a law freeing the bank of legal liability for any harm that results from its policies.

    Increasing limitations on rickshaws in Dhaka are causing untold hardship to the poorest and most vulnerable segments of society, reducing the mobility of the middle class (particularly women, children, and the elderly), and contributing to air pollution and motorisation. Meanwhile, roads that have completely banned non-motorised transport are still some of the worst affected by traffic jams.

    World Carfree Network, concerned organisations in Bangladesh and around the world, and Dhaka's many rickshaw unions are all prepared for action to save the rickshaws. If the most vulnerable members of the population are to go hungry, it will not happen without a fight. Banning rickshaws and building highways while people face starvation is nothing short of a war on the poor.

    Why Rickshaws should not be wiped out :

    Rickshaws are in many ways the ideal form of transport: they provide door-to-door transport at all hours and in all weather, emit no fumes, create no noise pollution, use no fossil fuels, and employ large numbers of the poorest people.
    It is not the rickshaws that are clogging the streets; it's the cars. In 1998, the less than 9% of vehicular transport by car required over 34% of road space, while the 54% travelling by rickshaw took up only 38% of road space. The solution is not to reduce rickshaw transport, but to prevent the growth of car use, by minimising the road space and parking space allocated to cars.
    In addition, there are many simple solutions that could benefit both the rickshaw-riding majority and the car-owning minority. Instead of banning rickshaws, the World Bank and local authorities could be (a.) providing dedicated lanes and cycle rickshaw stations that would prevent conflicts between modes, (b.) implementing a programme to help improve the quality of the rickshaws, (c.) supporting cycle rickshaw drivers with training, uniforms, tariff standardisation, etc., (d.) creating cycle lanes throughout the city, and (e.) supporting public transit through bus-only lanes, bus-only turns, etc.
    Many rickshaw pullers fled from starvation in the villages. With exceptionally bad floods this year, many villages lack sufficient food and seeds. Cutting back on rickshaw income means directly attacking the ability of the poorest and most vulnerable to survive - not just the rickshaw pullers themselves, but the families and entire villages that they support.
    The Mirpur Road is a disastrous choice for a rickshaw ban, as there are no alternate roads for rickshaws, and it is extremely difficult to walk on this road because of the prevalence of street vendors.
    Accommodating the automobile over other modes is undemocratic, supporting a wealthy elite while the majority suffers. In the long run, even the rich will not benefit from rickshaw bans, as current policies will lead to more traffic jams, dirtier air and increased noise pollution.
    World Bank policy in Dhaka is inconsistent with the spirit of the World Bank's urban transport strategy, Cities on the Move (2001), which is highly progressive and supportive of non-motorised transport.
    Rickshaws are the main source of vehicular transport for the middle class. Since there are often not alternatives within their means, a rickshaw ban is a restriction of their freedom of movement, and therefore a violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (People Action Alert and World Carfree NetworK, The Bangladesh Observer, December 20, 2004)

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    Thumbs up Too important for off topic

    Hi,
    I think this tread it relevent for peddle rickshaws, as it's relevent against arguments used by pro-motor lobbys. Information regarding the state of our citys should be brought up with local goverments when applying for a license.

  4. #4
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    Lots of rickshaws in Dhaka and its still the most poluted city I have been to. Most chaotic aswell. A real shitpit.

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