At a cycling event, ‘Park and Ride’Lagos held recently in Lagos, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa announced the Lagos State government’s plans to introduce bicycle lanes on major roads across the city. The event aimed to encourage Lagosians to ride bicycles for an enhanced lifestyle. The announcement coincides with the recent restriction of okadas on certain routes on Lagos roads. 
 
A London-based young Nigerian reacts to the news this way: 
“On a serious note, I wouldn’t advise we just jump in without proper preparation, education and adequate processes put in place. Let me give a small comparison with London. The current mayor of London massively invested (in collaboration with Barclays bank) in encouraging Londoners to take up bicycle and ease traffic congestion. They bought thousand of bikes that are packed at designated locations where you can pick them up by paying for their use over a specified period. New bicycle lanes were drawn all over London. It worked and people actually picked up bicycle as a form of transportation, but with it came a slight increase in bicycle-related accidents. This hasn’t discouraged the scheme and it’s still seen as very successful.

Now compare Lagos with a place where it has worked:

Lagos has poor traffic enforcement. London has excellent enforcement.
Lagos has adequate supply of lunatics at the back of the wheel. There are lunatics in London too, but they have transport police who are always a few metres away.
Accident rate (without bicycle) is horribly high in Lagos. With Bicycle, just multiply by 20 (hypothetical, it could be more, definitely not less)Its’s extremely low in London, but with bicycle riders on the increase, it went up very slightly.

In London, traffic laws favour the pedestrians, motorcycle and bicycle riders. A vehicle driver is HARDLY EVER RIGHT when there’s accident with a pedestrian, bicycle or motorcycle. This automatically make them to be more careful and never drag right of way. In Lagos, it favours those inside 4 wheels and other fancy cars. The danfo guys do not even recognize or understand traffic laws.

Conclusion: Accident will definitely skyrocket in Lagos if this is introduced with the existing mindset of Nigerians and the poor traffic rules and regulations, coupled with poor policing and bad judicial process. But, it can work, if properly implemented.
Dedicated bicycle lanes on highways are expressway to hell. Actually, any road where above 60mph is allowed should be a no-go area for bicycle. This does not need any further analysis or mention.

But, the inner city streets that we have do not really require any dedicated lane anyway because they are mostly dilapidated and cars hardly do more than 20-30mph. We only need well-trained traffic officers. But the major roads that connect the towns, districts e.g Mobolaji Bank Anthony, etc where traffic can easily do 40mph can be made to have dedicated lanes.

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