The Lagos State Government, in collaboration with the Lagos Urban Development Initiative (LUDI) will, on Sunday, September 25, 2022, observe the first ever ‘Car Free Day’ in Lagos to encourage road users and motorists to set aside their cars for a day and take up active and inclusive means of transport such as cycling and walking known as ‘Non-Motorised Transport’ (NMT).
Speaking on the initiative, the State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said traffic will be diverted around Alausa/Ikeja as cyclists will utilize the Governor’s Office Road, through Mobolaji Johnson Avenue, Billings Way, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Aromire, Adeniyi Jones and Oba Akran Way to mark the event while about 400 Meters of the Governor’s Avenue will be closed for the event.
He explained that the programme aimed to create awareness about the benefits of Non-Motorised Transport, including reduced environmental pollution, adding that the initiative will also reduce insufficient physical activity and sedentary behaviour to promote the health of the people regardless of their ages.
The Commissioner cited the significant drop in air pollution recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, when movement was curtailed and many private cars and public vehicles were off the roads, resulting in a reduction of vehicular carbon emissions into the atmosphere, thereby improving the quality of air as well as an increase in physical exercise and improved health practices
“Vehicular emissions have now become a global issue. In Nigeria as well as other developing countries, 25% of the air pollution problems are a result of automobile exhaust. This is very evident in the number of unroadworthy and smoky vehicles plying our roads on daily basis, causing not just health issues but visibility problems and sometimes accidents”, Oladeinde stated.
He also mentioned that the event provides cities and governments opportunity to do more in advancing public transport systems which can be run more efficiently through the provision of a viable and reliable alternative to the cars in the urban areas, as well as implementing NMT whereby walking, cycling and inclusive mobility are given priority.
Oladeinde further stated that the event, which was being coordinated by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, in conjunction with other Ministries, Departments, Agencies and LUDI, was necessary to continuously enlighten the citizenry on the importance of environmental health.
While urging motorists to prepare to join the rest of the world in observing the Car Free Day, the Commissioner disclosed that hundreds of people are expected to convene at the Alausa, Ikeja venue on Sunday where many fun and exciting activities such as cycling, cycling training, cycling competitions, skating, stretches, music and dance will also take place.
Oladehinde assured that Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) personnel would collaborate with the men of the Nigerian Police Force to manage vehicular movement on the diversion routes, urging the motoring public to cooperate with the interventions put in place to minimise inconveniences.