The African Cycling Foundation (ACF) actively participated in the recently held, first ever, World Car Free Day celebration in Lagos. I always envied the monthly Car Free Day in Kigali, Rwanda and dreamt of having just one in my city. So, last Sunday it was a dream come true. Big thank you to Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu, the Governor of Lagos State for the approval and, the Commissioner of Transportation and the wonderful staff of the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation for their support.
The event which took place on September 25, 2022, at the Governor’s Drive Alausa, Ikeja, was attended by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu, ably represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Transportation Dr. Frederick Oladehinde. The permanent secretary Lagos State Ministry of Transport Engr. Toriolla, government officials, community members and school children were all in attendance.
With no vehicles on the road, cyclists, skaters, walkers, and runners, took to the streets to celebrate amidst music and funfair.
The air quality was notably better, and people could breathe in fresh air. In addition to improved air quality there was no fear of accidents on the road. People felt safe being on the road, people were seen talking leisurely while walking and some seated under the canopies playing games, small groups of people chatting together, young, and old alike. Nobody could feel like they didn’t belong on the road as the streets came alive.
Some highlights at the Car Free Day include, the trishaw lunch, fun rides, cycling safety tips for school children, games, and a lot of fun. The Trishaw, the first of its kind in Lagos, was donated to ACF by Cycling Without Age Copenhagen in Denmark to enable the old people to enjoy cycling in the outdoors. Mr. Per Christensen, the Consul General to the Danish Consulate in Lagos performed the launch of the trishaw in a brief ceremony and had a short ride along with the Commissioner for Transport of Lagos State.
The event was powered by the Let’s Get Lagos Moving Campaign team made up of several NGOs, CSOs, groups and concerned individuals such as the Lagos Urban Development Initiative (LUDI), African Cycling Foundation, and Cycology Cycling Club to mention a few.