Image Credits: Kikomeko Jackson/The City Fix.
In picture above: Cyclists in Kampala, Uganda, during COVID-19 lockdowns. Photo by Kikomeko Jackson/The City Fix
The Lagos State Government wants to make Lagos roads friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists.
Towards this end, it has inaugurated a Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) Committee to drive the existing Non-Motorised Transport Policy (NMTP) towards a conducive and enabling environment for walking and cycling in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Committee, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, posited that the Non-Motorised Transport Policy adopted in October 2017 will address the dangerous and poorly planned interaction between pedestrians and motorised vehicles in Lagos State.
He stressed that the prioritisation of the policy will curb the complex social economic and environmental challenges including traffic congestion, urban sprawl and pollution caused by the rapid urbanisation of Lagos State over the past few decades.
Oladeinde also revealed that the State Government will be guided by contemporary street design management principles that support safe, active and ample space for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport for efficient movement of people and goods, in line with the vision of an inclusive city for all.
The Transport Commissioner explained that the critical role of NMT needs to be factored into road infrastructure investments, as investing will lead to massive benefits including reduced emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, in addition to protecting vulnerable road users from speeding motor vehicles.
He further assured that the potential of NMT as an efficient and cost-effective transport system will essentially connect people to daily life activities in Lagos, as a large percentage of the population either walk or cycle, hence NMT policies will provide essential services for the majority of the people.
Oladeinde opined that the policy will make walking and cycling more attractive as the necessary transport infrastructure such as sidewalks and cycle lanes will be created to encourage affordable clean urban transport systems and further decongest the road.
Affirming that the State Government will convene meetings of the Non-Motorised Transport Committee to review proposed NMT designs, guided implementation and monitor performance over time, Oladeinde said “The regular meetings will enable the Committee to reverse the unacceptable state of affairs to create an enabling long-term physical and a regulatory environment conducive for walking and cycling in the State”.
Some of the newly inaugurated 39 NMT Committees and Sub-Committees, who were basically drawn from the Public, Private establishments and other stakeholders in the transport sector, include representatives of the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) (as the Chairperson), LAMATA (Secretary), Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA) Transportation Committee, and Ministry of Works & Infrastructure (MOW&I), amongst others.