By Moses Akaigwe
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’s maiden edition of “Car Free Day”, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed that in the construction of some of the terminals, bicycle parking has been included to encourage the citizenry to embrace NMT.
The governor added that his administration was making tremendous efforts to make transportation in the state more effective, efficient and sustainable through its several infrastructural, policy, and institutional reforms to curb the looming dangers of the climate change.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the 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.
He reassured that the celebration of the ‘Car Free Day’ in the state wouldl create a paradigm shift in the culture needed for the transformation of the city of Lagos.
Also speaking to the press at the event, the Transport Commissioner reassured that the infrastructure to support Non-Motorised Transport would be put in place to ensure seamless movement for the commuting public.
Dr Oladeinde stressed that the decision was important as transportation is the biggest culprit of carbon emissions affecting the environment negatively.
He 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 is working with physical planning to pilot the Non Motorised Transport Policy and sustain it.
Representing the Managing Director, Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Osa Konyeha, revealed that the agency has concluded the first phase implementation of the Lagos Sidewalk Pilot Project on Catholic Mission Street/Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS).
This, he said, 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-Destinations in the state.
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 will be discussed extensively with all key stakeholders at the next quarterly meeting.
The Managing Director also affirmed that LAMATA is committed to implementing a network of walking and cycling routes to implement a transport system that improve the lifestyle of the people and improve 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 is increasing due to motorised activities.
He encouraged all the role players to play their part in reducing pollution in the State by embracing Non- Motorised Transportation.
Temitope George, representing Cycology, one of the NGOs that collaborated with the state government to organise the event added that the essence of “Car Free Day” is to awaken the consciousness of residents to the fact that there are other 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 is aimed at sensitising the motorised 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- emphasised the need to create more awareness about the social and environmental benefits of Non-Motorized Transport mode.