Updates on Share the Road Activities
Training of Trainers for Youth and Road Safety
26 November – 7 December, 2012
UNEP recently hosted the Youth for Road Safety ‘YOURS’ ‘Training of Facilitators’ workshop; the training is an intensive course that supports young Kenyans in the road safety field to become effective youth advocates. The training will focus on 3 key risk-factors Speed, Helmets and Distracted Driving. More general skill enhancement includes the art of facilitation, communication skills, and how to design and run youth and road safety workshops across Kenya .
‘Share the Road’ also delivered a presentation , and discussion session. This session was included in order to provide direct linkages between road safety and NMT users, as well as introducing the participants to the additional 2 pillars of the Share the Road programme; environment and accessibility concerns.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Crash Victims
18 November, 2012
The Share the Road programme recently played a Committee role in supporting the organization of Kenya’s World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR), that took place on 18 November 2012; Kenya celebrated the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims at the Children’s Park on Nyerere Road, and this was followed by a procession to KICC where the main activities took place.
Road traffic injuries are a growing public health and development epidemic. According to World Health Organization (WHO), 1.3 million people are killed in road traffic crashes around the world each year. Significantly, road crashes are the leading cause of death globally for children and young people aged between 10 to 24 years.
Annually between 20 and 50 million people are injured or disabled by road crashes around the world (WHO). In Kenya alone, reports show that over 3000 people are killed every year. Tens of thousands of others are injured. The day is particularly significant given the apparently deteriorating situation.
The World Day of Remembrance
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR) was created as a means to give a voice to the victims of road traffic crashes and their families. It is also a day that is used to give thanks to all those involved in the aftermath of road crashes.
World Day of Remembrance was first held in 1993 in the United Kingdom and later was adopted for worldwide commemoration by the United Nations through Resolution 60/5 in 2005.The resolution calls on all governments to mark the third Sunday in November each year as World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims.
Observation of this day will be used to advocate measures which curb deaths, injuries and disabilities on our roads. It will also be used to remind government, organizations and individuals of our responsibility to make roads safer. The United Nations has further acknowledged the magnitude of this epidemic and declared a Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020).
Read More >>
Kenyan Urban Roads Authority (KURA) Promotes the Concept of Share the Road; UN Avenue Case Study
UNEP, through the ‘Share the Road’ Programme has produced a short video which demonstrates the the underlying issues associated with insufficient non motorized transport infrastructure, as well as the institutional commitment of KURA and UNEP to addressing the current shortcomings .
KURA has made significant progress in demonstrating their commitment to the integration of NMT infrastructure in all new and rehabilitated roads; this commitment has been made both verbally, and through the example of NMT incorporation on UN Avenue in Gigiri, Nairobi.
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Stakeholder Workshop for NMT Policy, and Planning for a ‘Car Free Day’
18 October, 2012
Share the Road recently supported a stakeholder workshop led by the First African Bicycle Information Organisation(FABIO). The objectives of the workshop were two-fold; firstly for KCCA to discuss the approved Uganda National NMT Policy, and secondly to plan a 2012 Car Free Day. A great number of stakeholders, from Government, NGOs and private sector, attended the workshop to gain an enhanced understanding of the policy and provide their input on considerations for enhanced NMT in Uganda.
Share the Road were grateful to be invited to present on the programme’s objectives, involvement in Ugandan NMT development, as well as discussing some of the upcoming programme priorities. Furthermore, the Share the Road programme were able to have a more in-depth discussion with the participants regarding the development of technical design guidelines; these guidelines are due for finalization by the end of the year and are a vital first step in supporting Uganda in implementing their new NMT policy.
The official government launch of the NMT policy and the Car Free Day are due to take place shortly.
View Report here >>
Kenya’s Media raise Awareness of local Infrastructure Concerns
June 2012, Daily Nation and the Star
There has been substantial effort by the Kenyan media to raise awareness on issues related to local infrastructure, including issues on deterioration, rehabilitation and development.
There has been growing mobilization of the general public by the media, particularly with reference to road safety issues; many of the casualties and fatalities of road accidents are non motorized transport (NMT) road users. Of particular concern is the Thika Highway, a major rehabilitation and development project within which NMT facilities are pending completion.
The Kenyan media has also been active in highlighting the progress made by Kenya’s road authorities, both in terms of infrastructure upgrading, and measures made to address increased environmental degradation. The Kenyan Urban Road Authority (KURA) has formed an active partnership with stakeholders including local resident associations to address local air pollution through afforestation. The realization of environmental implications associated with infrastructure development is one of 3 key factors, with safety and accessibility as the other 2; these factors form the pillars of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Share the Road initiative.
Read More >>
The World’s Newest Biking Advocate: United Nations New York Bike Ride calls for enhanced Sustainable Transport Focus in Cities
June 2012, United Nations (UN) News Centre
The Netherlands Mission to the UN organized a New York City bike ride which attracted UN officials, Diplomats and civil society. Many cities globally have implemented bike share schemes; however the Netherlands has a historic link with advocating enhanced bike usage.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations, who has previously been referred to as ‘The World’s newest biking advocate’, reaffirmed the importance of low carbon transport both for environmental sustainability and human health. Mr. Ban went on to highlight the importance of the sustainable transport agenda in the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Brazil.
Read More >>
Ongoing Progress on UN Avenue Showcase Road
Rehabilitation work along UN Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya is nearing completion, and the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) are now liaising with relevant government authorities such as the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and the contractor assigned to undertake the road works, to finalize key outstanding elements. Some of these elements include relocation of a few electricity poles that are obstructing the cycling lane and provision of a parking area for taxis and motorcycle (boda boda) operators. These issues were the focus of stakeholder discussions during a meeting that UNEP organized in collaboration with KURA, on 7 June 2012 at the UN Complex in Nairobi.
Pedestrian Walkways and Cycling Lane along UN Avenue.
Photo Credit: UNEP
The meeting also discussed other pending infrastructure/physical elements, enforcement and awareness raising issues with related actions/solutions, and the planned launch of the new and improved UN Avenue road, once fully complete. The launch will be a media event with awareness raising and high-level promotion of non-motorised transport (NMT) facilities.Click here to view minutes of the stakeholders meeting
An informational brochure to promote the road has been developed, and is being used to create awareness and educate the public. Further, a traffic count, road user survey and accident data collection exercise was conducted along the avenue to assess the impact of the new facilities. A short 5 minute film on StR accomplishments in Kenya is being produced to tell the story behind UN Avenue, the first success of the Initiative, and how this has affected policy change in the Kenyan government on urban road investments.
Read More >>
Rwanda working towards Development of an NMT Pilot Project
Pedestrians walking along a Street in Kigali, Rwanda.
Photo Credit: UNEP
UNEP is supporting the Rwanda Transport Development Authority (RTDA) to conduct a detailed technical design study and an environmental, economic and social impact assessment for the proposed 1.5km non motorized transport (NMT) pilot corridor that stretches from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)/Serena to Centreville roundabout. RTDA tendered for the project both locally and internationally and submission of bids was scheduled to close on 15 June 2012. The demonstration project will aid in the development of an NMT policy for Rwanda. The emphasis of the policy will be on the Kigali metropolitan area and focus on the infrastructural, design and financial/investment aspects in relation to improving and promoting walking and cycling.
Read More >>
Non Motorised Transport Policy Development in Uganda
Photo Credit: FABIO
Participants during the Workshop organized to discuss the Draft NMT Policy for Uganda
UNEP has been closely working with partners in Kampala to support development of a non motorized transport (NMT) policy for Uganda. A Steering Committee chaired by the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) was formed to oversee the process. Other key partners in the committee include the kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the First African Bicycle Information Organisation (FABIO).
A workshop was held on Thursday 10 May 2012, at the Triangle Hotel in Kampala, in which partners presented and discussed the draft NMT policy with relevant stakeholders. Assistant Commissioner Charles Opio Owalu, Policy and Planning Department, MoWT, gave the opening speech during the workshop. Key outcomes of the workshop included incorporation of stakeholder comments in the situation analysis and draft policy document. A second stakeholder’s workshop is planned in July/August 2012 to present the finalised policy. For more on this meeting, click here to view the policy development update, and here to view a presentation done by Dr. Paul Starkey on the process. UNEP has also been requested by KCCA to support development of Detailed Designs and an Impact Study for the proposed Namirembe Road pedestrianisation pilot project, while FABIO have requested for support to execute a car free day for Kampala in September 2012.
News From Around The World
The Bike-Share Planning Guide
5 December 2013, ITDP
ITDP has released the ‘Bike-Share Planning Guide’, a tool for transport planners who recognize the value and viability of a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly mobility solution. In addition to reducing congestion and commute times, bike-share improves air quality and provides an active mobility option.
"A bike-way is a symbol that shows a citizen on a $30 bike is equally important as a citizen in a $30,000 car." - Enrique Peñalosa, Former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia & ITDP Board President.
The guide evaluates international best practice in bike-share, and helps to bridge the divide between developing and developed countries’ experiences to provide guidance on planning and implementing a successful bike-share system regardless of the location, size, or density of the city.
UN Brief on Sustainable Transport for the SDG Process
29 November, 2013
12 UN agencies, with co-leads United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and UNEP, worked together to develop a brief document on sustainable transport. The brief combines their different views, and provides concrete recommendations and proposals for development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Key messages contained in the brief recognize that while transport is central to development, many people do not have access to affordable, safe and clean transport. Transport is central in shifting to sustainable low carbon societies but needs to be decoupled from impacts like air pollution, congestion, road traffic injuries and climate change. Key sustainability issues include urban transport, air quality, road safety and energy & climate.
Road Safety ‘Vital’ to the Post-2015 Development Agenda
21 November 2013, Road Safety Fund
In his message for the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, called attention to annual crashes that take the lives of almost 1.24 million people, and injury 50 million more. He welcomed action by cities to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users, and called for more concerted action on road safety. The Secretary-General said that road safety would be a vital component of efforts to improve health and save lives in the years ahead.
‘Safety First’ Campaign
8 November 2013, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Kenya
The Cabinet Secretary within the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure in Kenya, Eng. Michael Kamau, delivered a speech on behalf of the Ministry during the launch of the second phase of the ‘Safety First’ Campaign that took place on 8 November 2013, at the Crown Plaza Hotel. In his speech, Eng. Kamau highlighted interventions that the Ministry has put in place to improve road safety, including the creation of the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), and the on-going process of developing regulations to govern management of non-motorised transport.
Pedestrian Power to Shape Cities
18 October 2013, BBC
Modern city growth has been led by the car. But new walking apps – and maps that help journeys seem more walkable – may lead to healthier, happier urban environments. Walkable City author Jeff Speck said it best in his recent TEDCity2.0 talk: "Sustainability – which includes both health and wealth – may not be a function of our ecological footprint, but the two are deeply interrelated. If we pollute so much because we are throwing away our time, money, and lives on the highway, then both problems would seem to share a single solution, and that solution is to make our cities more walkable."
A Million Voices
September 2013, UNDG
The UN Development Group, that is facilitating consultations on the post-2015 agenda, released its latest report on the process titled, ‘A Million Voices: The World We Want’. The report collects perspectives on the ‘world we want ’from over 1million people around the globe through 88 national and 11 thematic consultations, and the My World global survey. The findings contain important messages from governments as they seek to agree on a new development agenda that can build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
People have clearly said that the first job of the new development framework is to finish the unfinished business of the MDGs, while strengthening the ambition and urgency to reach the reminder of the world’s people who are still living in poverty. Consultations in Sub-Saharan Africa for example drew attention to considerable human development challenges. Most stakeholders called for a move towards manufacturing and industrialization coupled with investments in selected sectors, but also recognized that poor infrastructure including road and rail is still a major constraint to the transformation. Environmental sustainability and climate change were frequently cited as concerns, especially since Africa relies heavily on its natural environment for production and growth, including for transport and energy. The continent is pooling efforts and resources in infrastructure development for transport networks and energy within countries and across the region. In Asia, there were persistent calls for greater attention to economic growth to ensure employment generation, and measuring/evaluating progress using metrics that go beyond growth. The consultation process in Timor-Leste for example highlighted the interplay between weak governance, poor infrastructure and underdeveloped human capital. There is disparity in the quality of infrastructure with regards to roads, electricity, water, sanitation, transport and healthcare.
Of the 11 thematic consultations, that on Population Dynamics recognized urbanization as a powerful driver for sustainable development - liveable and sustainable cities have a knock-on effect in terms of providing rural populations with greater access to services, and can produce energy savings particularly in the housing and transportation sectors – whereas that on Environmental Sustainability concentrated on the interlinkages between environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development - with two thirds of the global population set to live in cities by 2050, the post-2015 framework will need to drive sustainable and healthy urban environments with action on slum improvement, sustainable transport and urban living, including clean air and green spaces. More on the report can be viewed here.
Patrick Makau, world marathon record holder and UNEP Clean Air Initiative patron, is pictured on page 3 of the report alongside school children, while participating in a, ‘Long Short Walk’ (LSW) event in Nairobi, Kenya. During the event, participants called for action by displaying LSW signboards containing messages advocating for safer roads for all, and duly filled My World surveys containing information on what they deem as priority for a better world, including better roads and transport.
Mobility for a Sustainable City
9 Aug 2013, EV World
Canadian Michael von Hausen has just been handed the challenge of a lifetime, design an entire sustainable city for 1.1 million inhabitants. Situated north of Guangzhou, itself a gigantic megacity of 20 million, the new city will bring urban design full circle back to where it was before the automobile. The goal of von Hausen and his Chinese partners is to turn the current urban mobility pyramid on its head, placing pedestrians at the top and personal automobiles at the bottom. 'Live and work' is the key to the concept behind the plan.
The goal isn't just to improve air and water quality, but to re-invigorate the social function of a city. In his view sustainable mobility starts first with the pedestrian, making the places they most often go and things they most often need, within walking distance of where they live. Next he sees transit systems as second in priority followed by cycling, then delivery vehicles that bring in the supplies that the city needs. Finally, at the bottom of his mobility priority pyramid is the single occupant automobile.
Read More >>
Nairobi Commuters embrace Pedal Power
16 July 2013, greenfutures magazine
Car owners in Nairobi, Kenya, are choosing to cycle rather than face the capital’s congested roads. “There is a very big increase in the use of bicycles in Nairobi for many reasons. They are cheap, retailing at about 1,200 shillings ($15) per bike, however the main reason is that motorists want to escape the large volumes of traffic jams in the city.” said Germano Mwabu, Professor of Economics at the University of Nairobi. The need to improve road safety is another important factor. According to the Ministry of Transport, more than half of road fatalities in Nairobi are vulnerable road users; pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. “Originally, when the highways were being constructed and the bike lanes and pedestrian paths were built, major considerations were to avoid accidents and minimise congestion”, said Mugo Kibati, current Director General of the Vision 2030 Secretariat. However, he was quick to recognise the environmental benefits too, “Studies show that greenhouse gas emissions have been decreasing as a result”.
Read More >>
How should Cyclists Protect against Pollution?
13 July 2013, BBC News
Blocking out gases such as carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide, as well as fine particulate air pollution - all contained in the exhaust fumes from buses, taxes and lorries - is a tall order. But these are the harmful elements that can get into the lungs and into the bloodstream, and have a negative impact on our health. Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, says cyclists and pedestrians can get exposed to quite large doses of air pollution, particularly in big cities like London.
Cycling face masks are an obvious remedy in polluted urban streets. A wide range is on offer, but it is not clear how effective they all are. Another way for cyclists to reduce their exposure to air pollution is to choose to travel on quieter routes with less traffic, away from diesel-powered buses and lorries. Dr Cathryn Tonne, lecturer in environmental epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, agrees that wherever possible, cyclists should be separated from traffic and avoid sitting at major junctions behind belching vehicles. Overall, everyone agrees that the health benefits offered by cycling outweigh any potential harm from pollution exposure; cycling saves on bus fares, it is great exercise and it helps clean up the air by reducing the number of cars on the road.
Read More >>
First EU wide ECF Cycling Barometer Launched
6 June 2013, ECF
The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) launched a groundbreaking new benchmarking report which provides a multi-dimensional view on cycling in all 27 European Union (EU) countries. Remarkably Netherlands and Denmark were inseparable at the top of the table after assessing daily cycling levels, cycle tourism, advocacy activity, bicycle sales and cyclists’ safety. Countries in the south and east of Europe showed they have a lot of potential for improvement. ECF Cycling Barometer Project Manager Chloe Mispelon said “The main purpose of launching the ECF Cycling Barometer was to get people talking about international comparisons in cycling. The ECF Cycling Barometer is our way of prompting a debate around five dimensions of cycling we are prioritising”. Chloe added that the barometer shows the need for reliable statistics on cycling in the EU to enable governments and advocates to assess progress on cycling and to allow collaborative working between countries to improve cycling for European citizens.
Read More >>
22-24 May 2013, ITF
Ministers from the 54 member countries of the International Transport Forum (ITF) are calling for more investment in strategic transport infrastructure and services. “Funding transport is a major challenge for transport policy today. The demand for mobility through high-quality transport networks and services is growing fast”, Ministers state in a joint Declaration on Funding Transport agreed during their 2013 Summit in Leipzig, Germany. Within the, ‘Defining funding priorities’, section of the Declaration, ministers agreed that priorities should include improving the overall quality of transport infrastructure and services, particularly as concerns safety, reliability, accessibility and environmental impact.
Read More >>
‘Long Short Walk’ in Nairobi, Kenya
7 May 2013, ASIRT - Kenya
The Long Short Walk was launched as part of the Zenani Mandela Campaign, led by the Mandela Family, the Make Roads Safe Campaign and the Road Safety Fund. Long Short Walk activities were carried out in partnership with the WHO, UNEP and NGOs around the world in support of UN Global Road Safety Week that was earmarked for 6-12 May 2013. The Long Short Walk campaigns for the rights of pedestrians and children on the road to be recognised and urges greater investment in safe footpaths, cycle-ways and crossing points, on streets with lower speed limits especially around schools.
In Nairobi, ASIRT – Kenya organized a Long Short Walk along Mombasa Road on 7 May 2013. The walk took the form of a short procession by corporate representatives, civil society partners, students and UNEP staff, who carried banners and posters highlighting messages on pedestrian safety.
Read More Here >>
and Here >>
Jamaica and UK Partner to Improve Road Safety
11 April 2013, ITF
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the International Transport Forum (ITF) are joining forces to foster a twinning initiative between Jamaica and the United Kingdom, to promote the implementation of best practices in road safety data collection. The goal of the initiative is to help Jamaica align its road safety data to international standards as an important step towards more effective road safety policies. With the help of the twinning programme, Jamaica will be put in a position to share best practices and knowledge with other countries in the region. The first aspect of the twinning initiative is currently being carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL). It involves a comprehensive review of how data relevant for road safety analyses are collected, stored and analysed in Jamaica, and how they are then used to inform road safety strategies and interventions.
Read More >>
Valuing the Health Benefits of Cycling
3 April 2013, ECF
Cycling is the wonder drug of the transport world. It provides solutions to so many problems and unlike most forms of transport; it has lots of positive side effects. The more people cycle, the healthier they are. This means that cyclists don’t just ease congested streets, but they ease congested health systems. Higher levels of physical activity translate into reduced morbidity (ill health) and reduced mortality of cyclists. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed a calculator, ‘HEAT’ (Health Economic Assement Tool) for cycling. The tool is based on data obtained from studies which found that in any given year, regular cyclists (i.e. cycling 3 hours/week, 36 weeks/year, or 108 hours/year) were on average 28% less likely to die than non-cyclists. The evidence of these studies has been deemed strong enough by the WHO to create the HEAT tool.
Read More >>
World-First Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake Revealed in Geneva
5 March 2013, Automotive World
Doug Speck, Senior Vice President Marketing, Sales and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group, introduced Volvo’s new safety feature, ‘Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake’ - a technology that detects and automatically brakes for cyclists swerving out in front of the car by entering the stage on a bicycle - during the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The new functionality is an enhancement of the present detection and auto brake technology, and all cars equipped with pedestrian detection will also incorporate cyclist detection.
According to accident data, about 50 per cent of all cyclists killed in European traffic have collided with a car. New advanced software, including more rapid vision processing, has made it possible to extend the present detection and auto brake technology to cover certain cyclist situations. Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with full auto brake consists of a radar unit integrated into the car’s grille, a camera fitted in front of the interior rear-view mirror and a central control unit. The radar’s task is to detect objects in front of the car and to determine the distance to them. The camera determines the type of the objects. The auto brake system requires both the radar and the camera to confirm the object. With the advanced sensor technology, it is then possible to apply full braking power immediately when necessary.
Read More >>
Walking and Cycling more Risky than Driving
1 March 2013, Vancouver Sun
It's more dangerous to be a pedestrian or cyclist in British Colombia than to drive a car, a Simon Fraser University study has found. The study, published in the February edition of the Canadian Journal of Public Health, found more people die in cars than on bikes or on foot. But adjusted for trip frequency and trip time, researchers found the risk for cyclists and pedestrians was roughly the same: For every 100 million trips, 15 deaths are expected among pedestrians and 14 deaths among cyclists, compared to 10 for drivers. Adjusted for distance, it's seven deaths for every 100 million kilometres walked, three deaths for every 100 million kilometres cycled, and less than one death every 100 million kilometres driven.
"Cycling and walking fatality rates and injury rates were quite similar to each other and they were more dangerous than driving, so they could be considered vulnerable road users and our data supported that," said Meghan Winters, a health sciences professor who studies mobility and health in cities. "Consistently, studies show the health benefits of walking and cycling far outweigh the health risks of injury. So, on the whole, from an individual and public health perspective, cycling and walking should be promoted and encouraged," she said. Winters said there are public policy methods to make walking and cycling safer, such as slowing down vehicles, making drivers more aware, adding more sidewalks, adding more street lights, installing crosswalks at frequent intervals and building segregated bike lanes.
Read More >>
Cyclists 'Must be First' as Car Use Passes its Peak, says The Times
6 November 2012, BikeBIZ
The theory of Peak Car is a significant one for those who wish cities to be designed for people, not purely for motor vehicles. If car use is declining, there is less need to build expensive 'white elephant' highways for motor vehicles, and more need to build wider pavements and install bike lanes built to high standards. Transport correspondent Philip Pank writes: "consistently falling traffic volumes suggest that car use has passed its peak and there is a belief held by many that car use has passed its peak. The implications for how cities are designed and streets are used are enormous if car use really has passed its tipping point. Supporters of “Peak-Car” theory see a future in which the inner cities are given over to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, and café culture replaces car culture”.
Phil Goodwin, professor of Transport Policy at the University of the West of England said: “The distance travelled by car peaked in 2006 in the UK and has subsequently fallen by 8 percent in a decade. The number of cars in London peaked in 1990 and has fallen by 37 per cent since 2000. The trends started changing before the recession, and given the right policies they can continue after. It gives us the choice to change. With less traffic pressure we can improve the reliability of buses, the safety of cycling and the comfort of walking, as well as encouraging pavement cafés and more attractive shopping centres”.
Read More >>
First Anniversary Meeting of the International Road Federation (IRF) Group of Experts on Road Safety
17 October 2012, IRF
The first anniversary IRF Group of Experts meeting was held in New Delhi India on 31 October 2012, and coincided with the major IRF Regional Conference: ‘Enhancing Road Safety in Urban and Rural Areas’, which took place on 1-2 November 2012. Comprehensive Terms of Reference have been agreed and specialist sub-groups established to complement global efforts under the UN Decade of Action. The occasion marked the launch of the Group's first technical resource in the form of a set of authoritative Guidelines for Road Safety Master Plans. The inaugural publication draws on a wide range of experience and best practice from around the world, and features practical illustration in the form of case studies. The publication is available for download from the www.irfnet.ch website. It is anticipated that the Guidelines will be complemented over the coming months by a succession of further technical resources and policy recommendations.
Read More >>
UNEP Evaluation of 2010 World Cup's Green Performance; an Example of South Africa Successes and a Template for Brazil
9 October 2012, UNEP
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report on the environmental performance of South Africa during the 2010 World Cup. This independent review showed that South Africa’s (2010) carbon footprint was far lower than projected. "The report points to many great initiatives, but perhaps the most important finding is that South Africa could have achieved more if sustainability measures had been brought in sooner rather than later," said UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. "Indeed, it underlines that achieving the full potential of greening such tournaments is likely if sustainability is factored into the planning, design and construction from the word go."
The report highlighted specific examples of success; these included construction of a 94-kilometre Bus Rapid Transport network in Johannesburg; and similar networks, cycle paths, Park and Ride systems and walkways in Nelson Mandela Bay, Mbombela, Polokwane, Mangaung and Rustenburg. All of these measures contributed to cutting the event's carbon footprint. Ensuring a long-lasting environmental legacy will require a consistent focus on the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and public transport. The improved transport system should be considered the legacy project of the event, although efforts are needed to expand the network, ensure roadworthy vehicles and improve the image of public transport.
Read More >>
EU Mobility Week 2012 Launches Initiative to Accelerate Uptake of New Transport Technology
18 September 2012, IISD RS
European citizens celebrated European Mobility Week 2012 under the theme “moving in the right direction,” to encourage public transport. During the week, the European Commission launched an initiative to strengthen the coordination of transport research and innovation, in order to accelerate adoption of technologies in Europe. The new initiative on transport and innovation aims to develop roadmaps for innovation and development in ten areas; including low-maintenance and climate-resilient infrastructure and innovative urban mobility and transport.
Read More >>
The European Commission Launches First EU Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Award for Local Authorities
3 September 2012, Eltis
Cities can win an award of €10,000 with the European Commission's novel Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan award. This year’s inaugural theme is ‘stakeholder and citizen participation’. Within the framework of its recently launched Sustainable Urban Mobility campaign which has the slogan “Do the right mix ”, the European Commission has launched the EU’s first award to encourage the adoption of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). The European Commission recognises that sustainable urban mobility planning is key to creating sustainable urban transport systems which meet people’s varied needs. In order to achieve awareness, acceptance and ownership at all stages of SUMP development, and to ensure that a plan has legitimacy and is of high quality, stakeholders and members of the public should be consulted.
Read More >>
Rockefeller Foundation Gives Official Endorsement to The BRT Standard
23 August 2012, ITDP
The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) is pleased to announce The Rockefeller Foundation’s endorsement of The BRT Standard, ITDP’s bus rapid transit scoring and certification system. Currently in its pilot year, The BRT Standard awards points for benefits such as off-board fare collection, frequency of service, at-level boarding, safe and comfortable station design, passenger comfort and access, and good integration with cycling and walking. The Rockefeller Foundation believes that ITDP’s BRT Standard will help ensure that people understand what true BRT really is and how it can transform their communities in a fast and cost effective way”, said Benjamin de la Pena, Associate Director, The Rockefeller Foundation. The BRT Standard Version 1.0 pilot is available for download in English, Spanish, and Portuguese at BRTStandard.org
Read More >>
Cycling Because It’s Faster: How Long Does Your Commute Really Take You?
2 August 2012, ECF
It is not common knowledge that in most cities throughout the world, cycling is a more “speed effective” mode of transportation than the car, when you are dealing with all aspects of “effective speed”. Dr. Paul Tranter, geography Professor at the University of New South Wales, explored just how fast cars really are by crunching data on travel times and other influencing factors such as income. Effective speeds for car speeds varied from 18.3 km/h in Canberra, Australia, to a mere 3 km/h in Nairobi. When the external costs are taken into account, the effective speeds for car drivers range from a high of 15.9 km/h (Canberra) to a low of 2.2 km/h (Nairobi). “We then used these estimates to calculate how slow cyclists could cycle and still be effectively faster than a car. When both direct and indirect costs are considered, cyclists in Canberra would need to average only 18.3 km/h to be faster than a car driver. In New York, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hamburg, cyclists would not need to travel faster than 13 km/h to be faster than a car,” said Tranter.
If city governments wish to invest wisely in transportation, they need to understand that increasing the average trip speeds of private motor vehicles doesn’t actually save time. Dr Tranter proposed that, “Those cities that invest most effectively in cycling infrastructure will find that their cities in the long run become the fastest cities in the world”.
Read More Here >>
and Here >>
World’s largest Development Banks join together at Rio+20 to invest $175 Billion for the creation of more Sustainable Transport Systems
June 2012, SLoCaT
The eight largest multilateral development banks (MDBs) announced today that they will invest US$175 billion to finance more sustainable transportation systems over the coming decade, boosting equitable economic development and protecting the environment and public health across the developing world. The pledge by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and six other MDBs was made at the start of United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (also known as Rio+20). The voluntary commitments are an outcome of the Rio+20 campaign of the Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), a multi-stakeholder partnership including UN-organizations, MDBs, NGOs and private sector organizations. The SLoCaT partnership will help develop the results framework and annual reporting on the implementation of the voluntary commitments. The Joint Statement of the MDBs acknowledges this role: “Together with 68 agencies that form the SLoCaT Partnership, we have initiated work on definitions, setting targets and choosing indicators for sustainable transport/mobility and assistance provided to support sustainable transport/mobility, with a view to finalizing these within 2012.”and on the Voluntary Commitments that StR is involved in: Dutch Cycling Embassy and FIA Foundation.
Read More >>
10 Most Dangerous Roads in NYC Area for Pedestrians
25 February 2013, Transportation Nation
According to a report issued by the Campaign today, a transportation policy watchdog group that crunched traffic data numbers from 2009-2001 for the New York City area, one type of road stands out as particularly dangerous for pedestrians. The analysis found that arterial roads – roads with two or more lanes in each direction that are designed to accommodate vehicle speeds of 40 mph or higher – are the most deadly for pedestrians, with almost 60 percent of pedestrian deaths in Connecticut, New Jersey and downstate New York occurring on this type of road. “Arterials were traditionally designed to move vehicles from one destination to the next without regard for other road users like pedestrians and bicyclists. We continue to see that designing roads like this results in needless loss of life,” said Renata Silberblatt, report author and staff analyst with the Campaign.
State complete streets laws exist in New York and Connecticut and the New Jersey Department of Transport endorsed a complete streets policy in 2009. In addition, over 40 municipal and county governments in the tri-state region have adopted complete streets policies. These local policies will help ensure that the roadways under local and county jurisdiction are designed and redesigned with all users – pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists in mind.
Read More >>
African Sustainable Transport Preparation Grant Approved by Climate Investment Funds
22 February 2013, AfDB
The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) has approved a grant of US $950,000 to help Nigeria prepare for a proposed project to revamp Abuja’s mass transit system. The request for the project preparation money was submitted to the CIF by the Government of Nigeria and the African Development Bank (AfDB). This is the first time the CIF has approved a sustainable transport project preparation grant within Africa, and marks the way forward for the transport sector as part of the AfDB and CIF work to help Africa move toward low-carbon and climate-resilient development.
When project preparation is complete, the proposed project is slated to create a multi-modal integrated transport system, including acquiring and operating high-capacity articulated low-carbon emission buses throughout Abuja. The approved US $950,000 project preparation grant will allow Nigeria, with AfDB support, to conduct necessary background analyses to fully prepare the project for submission, approval and ultimate implementation. The analyses will bolster the project by providing engineering design including assessment of conditions along the corridor for busways, stations and terminals, defining bus rapid transit (BRT) requirements, and examining the required ancillary facilities including consideration for pedestrians and cyclists.
Read More >>
Mobility Rights are Human Rights
21 January 2013, ITDP
ITDP board president Enrique Peñalosa addressed a standing-room crowd of more than 80 at United Nations headquarters on the pressing need to promote sustainable transport as a means to poverty eradication. Mr. Peñalosa spoke on the need for a rethinking of transportation priorities, particularly in developing cities, where the majority of the population are often subject to unsafe and inefficient transportation options, while resources are diverted to build roads and highways for private car owners. “Sidewalks are the most important element of a democratic culture, said Mr. Peñalosa. Good sidewalks are the most important thing a city needs to have, but the most [politically] difficult to make happen.” Building cities for people instead of cars is essential to keeping cities moving. “The only way you can keep cities moving is to take space away from cars, and move more people with surface transport.”
The event, “Lunchtime Discussion on Sustainable Transport: Poverty Eradication through Sustainable Transport”, is part of an ongoing effort to ensure recognition of sustainable transport’s vital role in sustainable development in the post-2015 global development agenda, and to leverage the $175 billion committed to more sustainable transport by the world’s 8 largest multilateral development banks at Rio+20.
Read More >>
Legal crusaders Lead Quiet Fight for NMT
2 January 2013, thestar.com
It’s never a fair fight when a car collides with a cyclist or pedestrian, says Toronto personal injury lawyer Patrick Brown. He believes the onus for ensuring road safety has to fall more heavily on drivers. Albert Koehl, an environmental lawyer, says that, ‘it’s an injustice that cyclists and pedestrians are being squeezed to the curb when they’re doing the right thing to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions’. The two Toronto lawyers have joined forces in a common cause, creating safer roads for all.
Read More >>
Airbags to Protect Pedestrians and Cyclists
27 December 2012, EXPAT
A special Bike Crash Airbag, designed to protect pedestrians and cyclists who are hit by cars, was demonstrated recently at the Automotive Campus in Helmond. The airbag, positioned on the windshield, was shown to properly protect the head and upper body of a dummy mounted on a bicycle and hit by a car driving at 40 km per hour (the average accident speed).
Read More >>
12 Ways to Make Roads Safer for Pedestrians
22 November 2012, ITF
Walking is inexpensive, emission-free, uses no fossil fuel, offers important health benefits and, for those without substantially impaired mobility, is accessible regardless of income. Walking is the most fundamental form of mobility. But walking can often also be challenging. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable in traffic crashes. The number of pedestrians killed on roads is estimated at above 400 000 per year, i.e. around a third of annual road fatalities around the globe.
Pedestrian Safety will be the focus of the United Nations Road Safety Week from 6-13 May 2013. A report released by the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD highlights the role of national governments in improving pedestrian mobility and proposes 12 sets of measures to create safer walking environments. The study, entitled “Pedestrian Safety, Urban Space and Health”, was prepared by a Working Group of transport experts and urban planners from 19 countries and the World Health Organization under the leadership of the ITF.
Read More >>
Impacts of Natural Disasters, a Focus on Transportation
7 November 2012, ITDP
Over the past week, as the New York and New Jersey metro areas recover from ‘Superstorm Sandy’, the largest and most costly natural disaster to hit this major metropolitan area, the main obstacle to a full recovery has been transportation. More than a week after the storm hit, New Yorkers and New Jerseyans are seeing just how important the region’s extensive transportation network is to their daily lives.
News reports featured stories of commuters waiting many hours for buses and ferries, standing in lines to enter subways with partial service, and, of course, spending hours waiting at gas stations. Of course, the storm has also encouraged more New Yorkers to choose a two-wheeled commute . In the week following the storm, the steady stream of cyclists over the East River bridges and through Manhattan was much larger than normal, and as The New York Times reported, many were trying a bike commute for the first time. Fortunately, the city was ready, having invested heavily in traffic reduction and bike lane infrastructure over the past several years.
Read More >>
Getting Transport Ministers to take Cycling Seriously: The International Transport Forum
May 2012, ECF
As 53 national Transport Ministers gathered to discuss how to make transport “Seamless”, The European Cyclists Federation (ECF) presented cycling as the “Seamless Choice” when it comes to global transport policy. “We know that cycling is playing an important role in Seamless transport,” said Manfred Neun, ECF president, “and what we are doing here [in Leipzig] is to introduce how cycling can help… how cycling is part of the solution.” Neun referred to an ECF produced manifesto, and informed ministers that congestion wastes 3% of GDP per year in OECD countries, and shifting just 10% of traffic from cars to bicycles can reduce car travel times by more than a fifth.
Read More >>
BYPAD Improves Cycling Policy in Cities
May 2012, Eltis
Four years after co-funding by the European Commission, the BYPAD (Bicycle Policy Audit) project is still active in helping cities, towns and regions to improve their cycling policy. Since the development of the BYPAD method more than 170 cities, towns and regions in 25 countries have been certified. BYPAD is an instrument which enables local authorities to evaluate and improve the quality of their cities’ cycling policy.
Read More >>
Cycle Fashion as an Agent of Change: One Company's Story
May 2012, Eltis
Budapest’s Bagaboo bike bag company typifies a small but growing local industry centered on cycling fashion. Not only has it given a modest livelihood to a small group of people, it also contributes to an emerging culture of green commerce and sustainable mobility, particularly among young, fashion-conscious people.
Read More >>
Hamamonu District Street Rehabilitation Programme
May 2012, Eltis
The Hamamonu district of Ankara, known for its old traditional Ankara houses, was the focus of a “Street Rehabilitation” project launched in 2007 by the Ankara Altındağ Municipality. A number of narrow streets that had previously been open to vehicular traffic have been pedestrianised.
Read more >>
UN Decade of Action for Road Safety: Policy and Donor Forum marks first year Progress
May 2012, Road Safety Fund
The recent Policy and Donor Forum held in New York marks the first years’ achievements of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety. The event attracted a wide range of stakeholders; including policy makers, NGOs, philanthropies and the corporate sector; media also represented a key stakeholder group through the Guardian collaboration with the Road Safety Funds’ media partnership, an initiative designed to enhance global reporting of road traffic injuries. As well as exploring progress made through both legislative and practical initiatives, the event also acted as a platform to launch the new ‘Zenanai Mandela’ road safety campaign; a global campaign instigated by the Mandela family in memory of Zenani Mandela.
Read More >>
Road Deaths: Latest Traffic Safety Data Released
May 2012, ITF
The IRTAD Road Safety Annual Report 2011 has been released by the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD. The report analyses the road safety performance of 32 countries in 2010 and also includes the latest provisional data for 2011. The report was prepared by the Forum’s International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD). Country data collected by IRTAD for the year 2010 shows that Road deaths continued to decrease in most IRTAD countries and several countries reached new record lows in road fatalities. Latest provisional data for 2011 shows a continuing downward trend for many IRTAD countries. However, half of the EU countries observed an increase in the number of fatalities in 2011.
Read More >>
Sustainable Mobility on the Road to Rio+20, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
March 2012, Carnegie Endowment
The UN Secretary-General’s new five-year action agenda identifies sustainable transport as one of five building blocks of sustainable development. Carnegie hosted a panel of experts to discuss how sustainable transportation policy can be incorporated into international agreements.
Read more >>
New World Health Organisation (WHO) Report considers Evidence regarding Health Co-benefits, and Risks of Climate Change Mitigation Strategies for Transport
February 2012, gTKP
A recent report by WHO highlights the importance of measuring the health benefits made by promoting cycling, walking and rapid transit systems; the study calls for a more systematic study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the assessment of transport mitigation measures.
Read More >>