Cyclists on the cycling track on Tolerance Bridge at Dubai Water Canal . Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: Downtown Dubai, Expo 2020 site and Jumeirah Beach are among several locations that will have cycling tracks soon as Dubai aims to be among the most cycling-friendly cities in the world ahead of Expo 2020.

Adding to the existing network of 250km of cycling tracks, which is set to grow to 300km by the end of this year, the new plan aims to extend the tracks to 560km by 2022, passing through areas such as Al Warqa’a, Jumeirah Beach, Nad Al Sheba, Expo 2020 site, Downtown, Jebel Ali, Al Quoz, Al Karama, Oud Metha, Hor Al Anz, Al Ghusais and Al Barsha.

According to a senior Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official, some of the proposed tracks will be ready ahead of the Expo 2020, while the rest will be completed by 2022.

“The RTA’s master plan includes providing dedicated cycling and running tracks covering the entire emirate, allowing people to use it as environment-friendly mobility means as well as fitness and recreational facilities,” said Maitha Mohammad Bin Adai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.

She added that RTA constantly reviews its transport and infrastructure plans and updates them based on changing ground realities.

“Dubai currently has over 250km of dedicated cycling tracks and the RTA has plans of constructing more tracks in the coming years, with the total length of the tracks set to reach 560km by 2022. We constantly review our plans based on population density, appeal to cyclists and pedestrians, suitability of locations and the traffic safety level, which has resulted in drastically expanding the network from just 10km in 2006 to the current level,” said Bin Adai.

Among the plan is also a track linking Al Mamzar to Jumeirah, passing through several areas.

Bin Adai said the details of the proposed cycling track will be made available in due course of time.

The RTA is continuously striving to improve cycling facilities in Dubai and increase the number of cycling tracks in the city. The city is host to major cycling events including the Dubai Tour and the Cycle Challenge Dubai and new projects that are being constructed are increasingly becoming better and safer for cycling. All these make Dubai a cycling-friendly city,” said Bin Adai.

She added that the RTA gives highest priority to safety and security of the residents, keeping in mind their comfort while designing the tracks.

Over the last few years, the RTA has constructed 218km of cycling tracks, with a 32km track opening earlier this year in Mushrif, Mirdif and Al Khawaneej.

The other areas equipped with cycling tracks include Seih Assalam/Bab Al Shams/Al Qudra Street, Dubai Water Canal, Jumeirah Street, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street and Al Mankhool Street, Al Quoz 3, Al Rigga and Emirates metro station, and in Bur Dubai on roads such as Al Fahidi, Al Falah, Al Ghubaiba and Al Hisin.