Lagos announces plans to boost non-motorised transport infrastructure

The Lagos State Government has announced the construction of certain infrastructure to ensure the seamless implementation of the Non-Motorized Transport Plan (NMT).

Speaking at the State maiden edition of “Car Free Day”, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, revealed that in the construction of some of the terminals, bicycle parking has been included to encourage the citizenry to embrace NMT.

He added that his administration was making tremendous efforts to make transportation in the State more effective, efficient and sustainable through its several infrastructure, policy, and institutional reforms to curb the looming dangers of the climate change.

The governor, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde explained that the Car Free Day was an avenue for a city like Lagos to appraise the state of its road network and create an innovative way of making Non-Motorised transportation equitable, effective and sustainable in the State.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Gbolahan Toriola (white) riding a bicycle with others

He reassured that the celebration of the Car Free Day in the State would create a paradigm shift in the culture needed for the transformation of the city of Lagos.

Speaking to the press at the event, the Transport Commissioner, Dr. Oladeinde reassured that the infrastructure to support Non-Motorised Transport would be put in place to ensure seamless movement for the commuting public.

He stressed that the decision was important as transportation is the biggest culprit of carbon emissions affecting the environment negatively.

Oladeinde also re-affirmed that bicycles lanes would be created for cyclists on the road to encourage the use of bicycles which will benefit the public by ensuring pollution free environments, road safety and improved health for every individual regardless of their ages

The Transport Commissioner further stated that the Ministry of Transportation was working with physical planning to pilot the Non Motorized Transport Policy and sustain it.

Representing the Managing Director, Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Osa Konyeha, revealed that the agency had concluded the first phase implementation of the Lagos Sidewalk Pilot Project on Catholic Mission Street/Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) which has enhanced walking access to St. Nicholas Hospital, Kings College, Lagos High Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Tafawa Balewa Square, which is home to a multi-storey office/shopping complex and one of the major Origin-Destination.

He assured that plans were underway to implement a cycling pilot project that would traverse Eti-Osa LG and Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA, adding that the Design Review Sub-Committee had conducted site visits and prepared a preliminary design, which would be discussed extensively with all. key stakeholders at the next quarterly meeting.

The Managing Director also affirmed that LAMATA was committed to implementing a network of walking and cycling routes to implement a transport system that improves the lifestyle of the people and improves the economic competitiveness of Lagos.

Also speaking, Yinka Jones, who represented the Lagos Urban Development Initiative (LUDI) maintained that the level of pollution in Lagos was increasing due to motorized activities.

He encouraged all the role players to play their part in reducing pollution in the State by embracing Non-Motorised Transportation.

Dennis Kange with Oladeinde
Dennis Kange with Oladeinde

Temitope George, representing Cycology, one of the NGOs that collaborated with the state government to organize the event added that the essence of “Car Free Day” is to awaken the consciousness of residents to the fact that there are another alternative mode of transportation which is the Non-Motorised means of commuting revealing that her NGO had earlier spear-headed the “share the road” campaign in collaboration with LAMATA.

She explained that the “Share the road” campaign was aimed at sensitizing the motorized road users that the road furniture is for everyone while calling on the State government to continue its inclusive infrastructure that will ensure cyclists, bikers, skaters and other Non-Motorised road users co-habit safely.

Dennis Kange from African Cycling Federation (ACF) averred that the rate of air pollution and road crashes in the State calls for concern. He re-emphasized the need to create more awareness about the social and environmental benefits of Non-Motorized Transport mode.

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