Formerly, in addition to the use of animals such as donkeys, camels and horses for transportation and/or facilitation of the carriage, some wealthy people used bicycles to move from one point to another. There may be one or two people who have the resources to buy a bicycle at that time in a town.
However, when civilization arrived, the use of the bicycle as a pleasure ride was lost due to the fact that it was not as fast as the new invention: the automobile. The facilities that are enjoyed in a car are not available in any bicycle that allows more than 1 or 2 people on board. It has a roof that provides shelter from both the sun and the rain in its seasons. Its exposure to risk such as accidents is also minimal compared to the bicycle which is open to many dangers.
Traffic congestion on our roads, where Lagos residents are subject to gridlock for a minimum of 2 hours, both in the morning on their way to offices/markets/shops and on their way back in the evening, leaves a lot to be desired. In an attempt to stop the unpleasant situation, the state government decided to create exclusive lanes on the main roads of the state, acquired new state-of-the-art luxury buses that take passengers from one place to another with the trip properly regulated, resulting in a journey from Ketu to the CMS terminals, for example, taking no more than 30 minutes on average. So far, the government has seen some success with this innovation, but there is still more to be done because we are still experiencing serious traffic in the non-dedicated lanes and this requires serious thinking about exiting. All hands must be on deck.
The next area that I would like the government to look into is the possibility of encouraging Lagosians to start using the bicycle as a means of transportation in the state with the consequent benefits for the physical and economic aspects of our being.
However, as can be obtained with every company/process/effort in life with advantages that must have disadvantages, the bicycle as a means of transport in our urban cities, despite its exposure to accidental risks on highways and/or internal roads, It has many advantages that far out the disadvantages. They can be categorized into physical/health, economic and environmental benefits.
The physical benefits of cycling as a means of transportation in our urban cities could be in the form of physical fitness. Due to the fact that most of the bicycles used in this part of the world are manual, it serves as a form of exercise for the cyclist where unnecessary fats are burned from the body, thus ensuring that he/she is in good physical shape. This further extends to the stability of the mind and soul. A sound mind will always be ready to fulfill any assigned duty with effectiveness and efficiency due to its physical and mental fitness.
1. The economy of any state is guaranteed by the effectiveness and efficiency of the provision of services within various organs of its system. Wherever there is loss of time, such an economy loses a lot of money. The bicycle as a means of transport will ensure that there is little or no traffic jams on our roads; people will be able to execute their business plans without stress on the roads as has been experienced for many decades with thousands of motorized vehicles heading towards the same place at the same time.
2. The cost of purchasing a bicycle is much cheaper and more affordable than the cost of owning a car. It is equally cheaper to maintain a bicycle than a car. Similarly, lower class people have the opportunity to own a motor/mobility machine, such as a bicycle, more easily than owning a car, which makes it easier for them to move in and around the city.
3. Bicycle owners no longer have to worry about fueling, especially when there is a shortage of fuel.
4. Bicycles require little to no serious maintenance compared to cars that need regular engine tune-ups and service at least two to three times a year.
5. The spaces occupied by bicycles are so minimal that 8 to 10 bicycles could be parked in a space that would fit a car (ie, a space of approximately 7.2 m2). These more people transact business in the city of Lagos without worrying about how to get back on transport to their destinations at the end of the day.
6. Children are not left out of this endless list of benefits in that parents can afford to buy bikes for them without spending a lot of money. They are allowed access to the roads even before they turn 18 (allowed by law to drive a car) under the close supervision of parents.
Riding a bicycle on our roads will prevent the uncontrollable emission of carbon monoxide, CO from thousands of vehicles that circulate on our roads daily. This poisonous gas is dangerous to the health of our people and has always contributed to the high death rate in society. The same goes for the effect of CO on the ozone layer in the sky.
TO DO LIST
In order to achieve success in the proposed system, the Lagos state government has to implement some measures that address the inherent dangers of cycling on our roads. The benefits, while numerous and plausible, will be nullified if the Government refuses to guarantee the following:
1. As can be achieved with dedicated government bus BRT lanes on most of our major highways, the government should create dedicated cyclist-use lanes to avoid collisions with motor vehicles.
2. The government should enact laws that require cyclists to wear protective helmets before embarking on any trip with their bicycles.
3. Compliance “right of way” of the Traffic Code to ensure that other road users obey the code at our “roundabouts” and “junctions” at all times.
Considering the above, the roads of Lagos will be very safe to drive and we will all be proud to be part of the history of Lagos. Then, Lagos will be a state of LONGEVITY AND GOOD HEALTH.
Eko or not come down ooooooooooooo!