Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu of Lagos State has announced the construction of infrastructural facilities aimed at ensuring seamless implementation of the Non-Motorised Transport Plan (NMT).
He said already, in the construction of some of the terminals, bicycle parking has been included to encourage citizens on the need to embrace alternative means of transportation.
The Governor, who disclosed this at the maiden edition of ‘Car Free Day,’ said the event was an avenue for the state to appraise its road network and create an innovative way of making non-motorised transportation equitable, effective and sustainable in the state.
Represented by the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, the governor reassured that the event would create a paradigm shift in the culture needed for transformation in the city of Lagos.
Oladeinde also re-affirmed that bicycle lanes would be created for cyclists to encourage the use of bicycles, which will benefit the public by ensuring pollution-free environment, road safety and improved health for every individual, regardless of their age.
He added that the ministry was working with physical planning to pilot the non-motorised transport policy and sustain it.
Representative of the African Cycling Federation (ACF) Dennis Kange, stressed the need to create more awareness about social and environmental benefits of the non-motorised transport system.
Kange, who expressed concern over the rate of air pollution and road crashes, said this calls for serious concern.
The Captain, Cycology Cycling Club, Temitope George, recalled that during the COVID-19 lockdown when cars were restricted, people used the opportunity to cycle or walk.
George, however, expressed concern over the number of road crashes in 2021 alone, adding that many of those who sustained injury were pedestrians and cyclists.
“The road belongs to all of us, it is not just motorists that deserve to be on the road; we all deserve to be on the road, but proper infrastructure must be in place to ensure that,” she said.
While commending efforts of Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), in implementing the non-motorised transport policy, George said it is good to remind people of safer means of transportation and promote carbon-free emission environment.
She added that the essence of “Car Free Day” is to awaken the consciousness of residents to the fact that there are other alternative modes of transportation, adding that her group 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 infrastructure is for everyone, while calling on the state government to continue its inclusive investment that will ensure cyclists, bikers, skaters and other Non-Motorised road users co-habit safely.
Representative of the Managing Director, LAMATA, Osa Konyeha, said the agency has concluded the first phase of 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.
The Managing Director also affirmed that LAMATA is 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 is increasing due to motorised activities. He encouraged all role players to play their part in reducing pollution in the state by embracing non-motorised transportation.