Lagos’ innovative plans for walking
Lagos’ quest for transforming itself into a more walkable city has received a boost of 200,000 Euros from the German Government backed Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI).
In an email announcing the selection of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority’s (LAMATA) entry, Daniel Moser, Management Head of TUMI, said: “Out of all the applications we picked the most innovative and your project was one of them! We are pleased to inform you that you are a winning candidate of the first TUMI Global Urban Mobility Challenge 2018.”
Engineer Abiodun Dabiri, Managing Director of LAMATA said: “This award could not have come at a better time especially now that LAMATA in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, are currently spearheading an ambitious new Non – Motorised Transport (NMT) policy for Lagos State. There is a huge reliance on walking in Lagos, but chaotic or non – existent pedestrian facilities, regulatory frameworks, and governance arrangements hamper safe, comfortable and enjoyable walking. The sidewalk infrastructure project will increase the visibility of pedestrians, identifying their needs and steering a coordinated programme of investment that focuses on reducing accidents, encouraging walking and improving their environments”.
LAMATA’s entry, entitled “The Lagos Sidewalk Challenge” detailed the importance of walking as the primary zero carbon mode of transport in Lagos, which is accessible to the young and old, rich and poor and underpins the efficacy, efficiency and financial viability of Nigeria’s transport system.
Jim Walker, Director of Walk21 said: “We are delighted to soon be working in Lagos with LAMATA to help benefit the many people who walk every day in this mega-city. This will be our first project in Africa and hopefully a very practical opportunity to deliver Nigeria’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals and a new paradigm in urban mobility planning”.
The ambitious new non-motorised transport policy was developed with the support of the UN Environment led Share the Road Programme. Carly Koinange, the Global Programme Lead for the Share the Road programme said: “it is so exciting to hear Lagos have won this grant. It’s another step in the right direction of making sure the 87% of Lagos residents who use walking and cycling as their daily mode of transport or as a feeder to public transport, can do so safely and conveniently. We look forward to supporting the State Government with this great project”. “The Lagos Sidewalk Challenge” plans to apply new innovative tools to assess existing walkability and steer investment to improving some of the most walked areas of Lagos to consistent quality standards to benefit pedestrians.
Lagos, which currently hosts about 15 per cent of Africa’s population of more than 1.2 billion inhabitants and is regarded as a pioneer of future city thinking throughout Africa, is expected to witness visible transformation in sidewalks safety, accessibility and attractiveness.
In particular, the new Ikeja Bus Terminal near the Lagos airport and the central business district on Lagos Island will be used as showcase of Nigeria’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's).
On a global scale, the project will accelerate the delivery of a safer more people-centred transport system in Lagos and indeed, Nigeria, by creating new and more adequate, safe and protected walking environments at some of the most walked places in the city to benefit women, children and the needs of the elderly and physically disadvantaged.
Specifically, “The Lagos Sidewalk Challenge” project, plans to create five kilometres of new or rehabilitated sidewalk in the most walked part of Lagos Island CBD and one kilometre area in the busy State capital’s new bus station, Ikeja Bus Terminal.
To achieve reasonable access for public transport and NMT users and stabilise the use of personal motor vehicles, Lagos State Government has acknowledged that it would need to build at least 470 kilometres of Mass Rapid Transit network and 900 kilometres of footpaths as well as adopt measures to check horizontal sprawl and promote transit-oriented land uses.
Within the next 15 years, Lagos State Government aims for the modal share of walking and cycling to increase to at least 50 per cent of all trips, public transport and para-transit trips to constitute 90 per cent of all motorised trips and all streets with a right of way of 12 metres or more have sidewalks and all street with a right of way under 12 metres having a sidewalk on one side and/or traffic calming measures.