Lagos state government to introduce bicycle lanes on major roads

In a bid to give Nigeria’s most populous city an effective transport system, the state government has announced plans to introduce bicycles lanes on major roads across the city.

This announcement was made by the Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos, Mr Kayode Opeifa, on Sunday at a cycling event ‘Park and Ride’ which urge Nigerians to park their cars and ride bicycles for an enhanced lifestyle and cleaner environment.

Speaking at the event as the special guest, Mr Opeifa noted that “the bicycle programme is on and pretty soon, you will see some roads in Lagos, marked as bike zones.”

According to the Commissioner, “what is alternative to Okada (motorcycle) is the bicycle.”

This is coming at a time when the state government is still embroiled in controversy with the Okada riders over their restriction to ride on some highways in the city and a recent clampdown on them for defaulting the new Lagos Traffic law.

Discouraging the use of okada on walkable distance, the Commissioner stated that “anybody who wants to take a bike (okada) from their house to the bus stop, should use their bicycles.”

“And when they (commuters in Lagos) get to the bus stop they should tie their bikes to the poles provided at the bus stop and join the BRT buses.” “The poles we are providing at the bus stops are not for decorations but for people to tie their bicycles” he added.

“All over the world, from London to Stockholm to Buenos Aires, people now ride their bikes to work because it saves the environment of the gaseous emissions that is harmful to the environment.”

He also noted that cycling will enhance people’s lifestyle and thereby improve their productive and lifespan which he claims will also have a resultant effect on the nation’s GDP.

Acknowledging that the tropical weather in Lagos will make it uncomfortable for cyclers, the Commissioner noted that “yes, the weather will make people sweat but offices will be urged to provide showers” to ameliorate the discomfort.

This he claimed is done across the world.

Park n Ride is an annual event organized by On Air personality, Mannie of CoolFM Lagos, which urges people to park their cars and ride bicycles in a bid to address climate change and improve people’s lifestyle.