Although 30% of Lagos’ mobility is on foot or by bicycle, the interaction between pedestrian and motorized vehicles in Lagos is unplanned and dangerous. Historically there has been no recognition of NMT, with few segregated traffic facilities for pedestrians (such as walkways, zebra crossings, footbridges, underpasses and signs), and bicycle lanes. As a result, pedestrians and cyclists share the roadway with motorized transport. Where efforts have been made to provide facilities, these are under-used because of poor enforcement; many walkways are used as parking lots, trading and storage areas for abandoned material.
The Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA) 2013 Safety plan recognizes that NMT ‘has been usually ignored by policymakers when defining transport plans, preferring motorized transport because they regard it as technologically driven. This preference has orientated policies and actions leading to an unsafe and less attractive NMT.’
‘Unfortunately, the more people and cities progress economically, the more active transportation keeps fizzling out of existence in low-income areas. But there are still some localities in which cycling is viewed with pride.’
Share the Road Support
Nigeria has 36 states and a Federal capital; of these, only Lagos state is currently prioritizing investment in NMT through support of the Share the Road Programme. The project commenced in 2017 with Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority to develop an NMT policy for Lagos. This policy was developed further to research and stakeholder engagement with Lagos stakeholders.
A workshop was held in October 2017 by the Lagos Metropolitan Transport Authority and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy to review the proposed policy for Lagos. The workshop followed three capacity building workshops also held in 2017. The conference was attended by a broad spectrum of stakeholders and at the end of the workshop; the Lagos NMT Policy was unanimously adopted. The policy is to be formally adopted by Lagos State Government and commencement of implementation.
As well as supporting NMT policy development the Share the Road Programme has also provided technical assistance on bus corridor design and inclusion of NMT. This has included reviewing the designs for the 14 km bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor from Oshodi to Abule Egba being implemented by LAMATA. Recommendations incorporate improved station design and passenger access elements to improve passenger circulation and ensure that the system is accessible to all users.
Click here to see the Lagos Non Motorized Transport policy document.
In partnership with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Share the Road conducted a workshop in Abuja in October 2017 to review the provisions of the draft National Transport Policy (NTP) related to NMT as well as possible enhancements that would support increased NMT investment in Nigerian cities.
During this workshop, proposals were given by Share the Road technical partner; Transportation and Development Policy Africa (ITDP) on ways to achieve a more equitable approach to road space allocation in Nigerian cities. ITDP presented design principles for the NMT environment, offering crucial guidelines on how streets and buildings can be designed to give priority to walking, cycling, and public transport. “Complete streets” should include footpaths, cycle paths, and public transport priority, with special consideration in school zones to protect children from the dangers of high speed traffic.
To highlight the challenges faced by pedestrians, ITDP led a site visit to nearby streets to observe NMT infrastructure and user behavior. In spite of significant investments in the streets surrounding the conference venue, pedestrian facilities are intermittent and inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
It was agreed that the guidance on NMT in the existing NTP would need to be expanded to address the practical challenges faced by Nigerian cities. ITDP proposed a set of revisions that seek to place greater emphasis on walking, cycling, and public transport—the modes that carry the majority of trips in Nigerian cities. ITDP is currently revising the urban transport chapter of the NTP to provide stronger guidance on NMT.