In June 2009, Parisar undertook a survey of cyclists in Pune with the help of Prof. Shruti Tambe of the Sociology Department of the Pune University, and her students. From Parisar's side Ranjit Gadgil was responsible for driving the project. The idea was to understand the demographic profile of cyclists in Pune, and their real needs and requirements. This survey was only a pilot survey with a small sample size of about 100 cyclists. But it still resulted in valuable insights about cycling in Pune and attitude towards cyclists. Click on the image to the left to download the full report (900KB).The survey was based on a questionnaire kindly provided by Dr. Rajendra Ravi of the Institute for Democracy and Sustainability, Delhi. Just over 100 cyclists were surveyed at 14 different locations in May 2009. This survey was restricted to cyclists who were not school students, since they form a separate demographic profile. A summary of the findings are given below:
Not surprisingly, an overwhelming number of the respondents (102 out of 104) were men. So, Parisar may undertake a separate survey of women cyclists to understand their issues. Perhaps the most interesting finding was that the 107 respondents covered fully 47 different professions! They included government employees, small and medium traders, daily wage workers, factory workers, travelling salespersons, shop owners etc.
About half of them were from fairly low income families (monthly income of less than Rs. 5000), with the highest being in the region of Rs. 40000. Nearly half the respondents had been cycling in the city for less than a decade, though there were about 4 citizens who had been cycling for more than 4 decades in the city!
Cycling facilities and issues
One good finding was that most of the cyclists did not have to pay to park their cycles - only 2 out of the respondents indicated that they had to. But 40 of them had had their bicycles stolen at least once and 16 of them had been victims of accidents, three of them being seriously injured. The single biggest culprit of the problem was motorcycles.
Saving money and not causing pollution were seen as the greatest benefits of cycling, though quite a few other causes were also listed. Not surprisingly, most felt the biggest problems facing the cyclist today are the unsafe conditions for cycling as reflected in the statements that they were afraid of being hit by other vehicles and that they found it difficult to cross intersections. However, in spite of this, a healthy 92 out of 104 respondents said they would like to continue cycling! Most cyclists felt that separate bicycle lanes and better enforcement of the same would go a long way in making cycling more pleasant in the city.