While the ecosystem will benefit from this new strategy, owners of private cars may not enjoy the same luck.
Although, the city is no longer on the list of the world's worst 15 cities with traffic, residents can attest to the fact that we still have a problem.
As such, the government is constantly looking for new ways to deal with this issue. The latest solution is being proposed by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), the Lagos Urban Network, and Heinrich Boll Stiftung Foundation (Nigeria).
The Guardian reports that this new solution is the Non-motorised Transport system (NMT), a system that creates more space on the roads by constructing sidewalks, bike lanes, and pedestrian-oriented development.
Sounds good, right? Unfortunately, drivers may disagree since this system involves removing private cars from the road in order to make space for walking, and cycling!
I do not own a car, but I imagine that this might be heartbreaking for those with vehicles. Thankfully, this plan has not been approved yet.
LAMATA, and the other parties are currently trying to get support from the stakeholders.
In an attempt to enlighten the public, a seminar titled: “The Move to NMT” was organised by Heinrich Boll Foundation and Lagos Urban Network.
At the seminar, Obafemi Shitta-Bey, the Head of Transport Safeguards Research and Development, LAMATA, said: “LAMATA is basically interested in planning and managing rapid transit systems. The first plan is to put this policy in place to make sure this policy becomes a law; we are still at the preliminary stages. We have had three workshops that LAMATA projects awarded last year supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), what we called ‘share the road global programme’, motor vehicles are too selfish, they need to share the road with the pedestrians and cyclists and trying to get this draft policy finalised.
“All the key agencies contributed towards this draft policy by providing data, they also took part in the deliberation so we are going to gather in another month or two, and have a stakeholder’s conference where we deliberate on the issues again then come out with the final draft so that we can make it a law”.
The Africa Regional President, International Federation of Landscape Architects, Dr. Tunji Adejumo, also spoke at the event.
“Everybody is talking about safety and so it is necessary for the LAMATA to bring in other ministries which include physical planning, works department, ministry of environment to sit down and deliberate on standard for the idea, the public has to be carry along; the market women, NURTW, Okada riders, Maruwa association, call in PHCN to ask them when are they going under, redefine the road. They must think through. Let us have Nigeria standard. It may not be in the next two years, maybe in next five years or in another seven years before we will now start," he said.
Damilola Teidi, the CEO GoMyWay.com, also gave her two cents: “there is no sense in everyone owning a car,we can share our cars with people to ease traffic and stop congestion in the state.”
Monika Umunna, the programme coordinator, highlighted the benefits of the proposed solution saying, "NMT policy is good for reducing pollution because you put emphasize on pedestrians. It is very encouraging to allow biking, biking is all over the world and it is also a sign of a modern city."
According to Climatetechwiki, the NMT policy does a lot of good such as providing clean urban transport, and improving public transport.
It is reportedly a very cost-effective plan. But is it the right fit for Lagos state?