Towards a pedestrian – friendly environment (Part 2)

By Gbenga Onabanjo

For a pedestrian-friendly environment to be established, conscious efforts should be made to introduce policies and in our planning laws to entrench this as a way of life. The following are to help in achieving this objective.

  • As a rule, every street or road should clearly demarcate a path for pedestrians, separate from the path for .
  • A template to have a raised pavement of least 1200mm in width to serve as a sidewalk must be put in place for every new road.

  • In densely populated areas with heavy human traffic, such areas could be designated as pedestrians- only street, with shuttle services to move pedestrians as the need arises.
  • Adequate crosswalks convenient intervals should be provided for pedestrians to cross from one side of the road to the other, preferably traffic junctions.
  • Where necessary, footbridges should be provided, particularly along very busy highways.
  • School, church, mosque and market zones should be clearly identified, and sized walkways should be provided to cater for the students, worshippers and shoppers.
  • All sidewalks should be regularly maintained to avoid accidents that may occur as a result of bad surfaces.

  • signal junctions, priority must be given to the pedestrian crossings, and dedicated signals for pedestrians should be made available and fitted with cameras to detect wrongdoings.
  • Our high streets should be redesigned to have very wide walkways fronting the activity areas and shop fronts.
  • No cars or vehicles should be allowed on the sidewalks, special parking lots should be provided in a way that will not impede the movement of pedestrians.
  • Where streets are narrow, vehicles should be allowed to park only on one side of the road, whilst the opposite side left for pedestrians. This should however be alternated periodically.

  • Parking of vehicles on sidewalks should be declared illegal and made a bookable offence.
  • Appropriate ramps at road junctions should be constructed on the sidewalks for pedestrians on one form of wheel or the other but should be done in a way to enable them navigate through.
  • All sidewalks should be free of impediments or obstructions such as electric poles, signage poles etc.
  • There should be public enlightenment and advocacy on the need for a pedestrian-friendly environment.
  • Drivers should be educated on the need to give pedestrians the right of way once they step on the crosswalk.

*Onabanjo the founder of GO-FORTE FOUNDATION, an organisation dedicated to the restoration of the environment.