Improving conditions for walking and cycling in our cities is critical if we are to achieve safe and accessible mobility for everyone in our cities. Walking and cycling have multiple benefits for cities – they improve the health to its users (and do not damage the health of others as well as not causing any harm to the environment and providing a means of transport that are free or low cost. The UN Environment Share the Road Programme has been supporting governments in developing countries to develop policies that recognize the integral role of walking and cycling in any sustainable transport system. Designating road space for pedestrians and cyclists in proportion to the demand for non-motorized transport is crucial. It is also one of the most cost-effective actions for saving hundreds of thousands of lives. The programme has supported countries including Kenya, Uganda, Brasil and Mexico.
Developing a policy for non-motorized transport is a first step along the path of prioritizing pedestrians and cyclists. Another critical step is designing streets better.
Some key resources available to support designing safe and accessible streets include: The Share the Road Programme design guidelines for NMT in Africa
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy developed a guidebook for ‘Streets for walking & cycling; a guide for designing for safety, accessibility, and comfort in African cities’