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“Park Your Car and Ride A Bicycle” Lagos State to Introduce Bicycle Lanes on Major Roads

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Over the past few weeks since the Lagos State government placed a ban restricting commercial motorcycles popularly known as Okada from major roads in Lagos, residents have been experiencing some difficulty in commuting to their various destinations. This has been made worse by the ongoing fuel scarcity which has ensured that fewer vehicles for public transportation are available on the streets thereby causing a hike in transport fares.

Everyday, especially at the rush hours, the bus-stops are thronged with people looking for vehicles to get them to their destinations. But while some residents are calling for the reintroduction of the Okadas, the state government remains adamant on the ban and has announced plans to introduce bicycles lanes on major roads across the city.

Channels TV reports that the Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos, Mr Kayode Opeifa, made the announcement on Sunday at a cycling event called ‘Park and Ride’. Park and 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.

“The bicycle programme is on and pretty soon, you will see some roads in Lagos, marked as bike zones. What is alternative to Okada (motorcycle) is the bicycle,” the Commissioner said.

He also discouraged the use of Okada on short distances. “Anybody who wants to take a bike (Okada) from their house to the bus stop, should use their bicycles. And when they 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.

He also noted that cycling will enhance people’s lifestyle and would reduce the the emission of harmful gases into the environment. “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.

While admitting that the tropical weather in Lagos will make it uncomfortable for cyclers, the Commissioner said that it would encourage offices to provide showers to ameliorate the discomfort.

Hmm… I wonder how many Lagos residents know how to ride bicycles. And with the narrow nature of most of our roads which are often filled with such large trucks, it might be absolutely scary to ride a bicycle on major roads. However, do you think this is a laudable initiative from the Lagos State government? Would bicycles help in reducing the traffic congestion on our roads? Would you be willing to park your car and ride a bicycle?

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

24 Comments

  1. Feintoe

    October 30, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Okay o, Lagos state government wants Lagos to be like London, so help them God. So who watches over my bicycle while i’m work? Will i get a pole tag for parking my bicycle? Hope there won’t be mass bicycles stealing o. Lol

  2. BIBIE

    October 30, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Tor, Gbagaun!

  3. John

    October 30, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Trading in Okada for bicycle. Another disaster in the making. Perhaps, this Commissioner went to school in Stockholm. May I remind him that Sweden is not Nigeria. We have our own culture and this type of lifestyle has never worked for us. Not even the Americans ride bicycle to work because it is not in their culture. Soon Chinese bicycles will flood our cities, replacing the very Okada the government is trying so hard to remove from our roads. This Commissioner don drink Ogogoro.

    • bronze

      October 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      obviously you just want to criticise! do you not see that the population is heading towards a health crisis? It is better flooding the streets with bicycles than with your stupid 4×4 (empty headed showing off) or those mad Okadas

    • Jo

      October 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      It may be better flooding the streets with bicycles instead of okada, but that doesn’t mean it is the best option. The best option is to have better transport system eg trains, good road, decem=nt bus stop and educated drivers. With this alone the traffic in lagos will half, even the big man will pack his car and enter first class train to work on the island instead of waiting till 10pm b4 driving home just to avoid traffic.

      Bicycle my ass, how does that help? how far can you go with a bicycle? if you choose to take a bus ride halfway will the bicycle fit in the bus? Naija is begining to vex me oo, they want to copy france and london? can’t they see what london achieved with its public transport before encouraging bicycles? life is a stage u cant run b4 u learn to walk. Bicycles are for short distance transport, most people used okada for long distance or to get to the place they take their bus, tell me if it’s on top of the brt they’ll pack the bicycle wen they get to the busstop smh

  4. chibuzor

    October 30, 2012 at 9:55 am

    cant afford a tour the france bike as those are the only ones my lagos state roads will allow off my street

  5. tele

    October 30, 2012 at 9:56 am

    They are so foolish with the nonsense they come up with.Are the roads safe for bikes?Se with those death vehicles called trucks and they want people to ride bicycle…

  6. Berry Choco Latte

    October 30, 2012 at 10:10 am

    OMGawsh. I get their point but what about the crazy drivers in this city??? Fine, okadas are gone but the way people drive in Nigeria needs a complete overhaul and reorientation. I’m almost too scared for those who dare take Lagos government up on this offer. 🙁

    • Ginika

      October 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      Ah, as for me, what about thieves and hijackers? It will be soo easy for a thief to snatch your bag forget about smash and grab. We just took out the smash.

  7. grapes

    October 30, 2012 at 10:33 am

    from frying pan to fire. from okada to bycicles. this one is a no no for me

  8. grapes

    October 30, 2012 at 10:34 am

    bicycle*

  9. me for instance

    October 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Can’t wait.what about fat people,will there weight carry it?……..Lol

  10. purplepearl

    October 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Hahahahaha, tis is really funny, i can imagine people on bikes with suits and agbada…LMAO

  11. Ifiok

    October 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    This would be a welcome development but for the way Nigerians drive i think it would be too scary to try

    • Layo

      October 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Agreed. So many other issues like making sure people going through formal driving school, somehow removing robbers from the streets have to be dealt with before they can introduce something like this. I don’t think people realize just how bad the environment is doing.

  12. frank

    October 30, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    PLS, lagos state govt, all i wnt is the contract to supply these bycicles, `cos ALL things work together for good`

  13. otas

    October 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    It’s ok n we all wld consent to it if our leaders lead by example, mr opeifa should trade in his official car for a bicycle and all those in govt, after all dey need d exercise more wit dir bulging stomach, also dir immediate families, then lagosians wld listen………..nonsense! Don’t dey know it isn’t bicycles dat makes europe europe but d people living in it, very soonif u can’t afford to get a specific type of car u would be forced by law to take a bus….govt of d people indeed

  14. omega2

    October 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    ds is madness byc wat, pls mr commissioner i wish u best of lucky for urself n ur family bt remember to buy ur oga one too (Mr Fashola)

  15. Akan

    October 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Our leaders have run out of ideas. Okada banned for being unsafe, now you want people to pedal bikes, in Lagos! Are u sure this news is authentic or someone is trying to pull legs. If true, it’s the dumbest idea coming from politicians in years.

  16. fidelia

    October 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    why not make more good roads,make sure all the roads in lagos are drive-able (if theres a word like that) before bringing in bicycles.who would want to ride a bicycle to work an d then take a shower and how many coporations would provide that.hmmmmmmmm

  17. Ralph

    October 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Is the best thing to do….Lagos is a great place to visit let us look at the bad side of the bike….the bad side is too much….they kill a lot of people they even have there own ward at the hospital…if u go to the hospital you gonna see a lot of people who lost his/her leg cause of okada man….it was introduce in Abuja and it work fine…I know is gonna be little bit hard for a lot of people but we gonna get use to it soon. Nigeria is a great country pls let build our children future from now.

    Is

  18. jane

    October 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    First of all,this is a case in point for not understanding how the economic situation affects the lifestyle of people. okay you ban okadas. what happens to the livelihood of those riding the bikes. this will surely increase the crime rate because it is not as if there are jobs lying around for them to support their families. Two, bicyles,how tangible are bicycles,people travel long distances to get to work. who knows how to ride bike,and is lagos that safe that you can leave your bike lying on some pole? Instead of bicycle lanes,why not okada lanes? create training programs for the okada association so that you reinforce good driving standards for them.Also, if you fine somebody a couple of times,im sure they will eventually get the hint. this new foreign and incompatible rule is just going to increase congestation of traffic..and make things harder for low income earners. smh

  19. Pd

    October 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Abeg ooo….u neva safe inside car….shei na on top bicycle when dem fit throw me punch i suppose dey ride comot….phewwwww

  20. nura ibrahim

    June 9, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    am asking of wholsale

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