A magnificent love-heart formation by cyclists, on valentine’s day, in an open field in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, marked the beginning of what could be one of the biggest public led advocacy for a holistic national policy on Non-Motorised Transport in Kenya.
The 14 cyclists, covered 14 kilometres, on 14th of February 2020, to call on the government to prioritize the safety of Kenyans who walk and cycle.
They noted planning and construction of roads should be inclusive for all road users to enjoy the infrastructure.
The over a dozen young people from the cycling group Critical Mass Nairobi, converged at Uhuru Park before making loops through the central business district, cycling through parliament road, perhaps to pass a message to legislators that the safety of pedestrians and cyclist depend on their decisions as well as call on them to support a progressive law that will protect all road users.
“Cycling is Alive and thriving, but we need our policymakers and road agencies to open their eyes and see what people are showing them, ears and hear what people are saying. Please give us love and give us safe cycling spaces. Bicycles are a solution to so many problems this city and its residents are experiencing. To get more people to cycle We need safe non-motorised transport systems.” Cyprine Odada – Member, Critical Mass Nairobi
According to experts most roads in Kenya don’t cater for pedestrians and cyclists while most cities and towns are characterized by car-dominated, unsustainable and unhealthy infrastructure.
With traffic as one of the biggest contributors to air pollution, they say it is important to have Infrastructure that help cut down on emissions and which encourage green transport solutions like cycling and walking.
This, however, cannot be achieved if there are no systems in place to ensure the implementation of inclusive and safe roads.
“Not just roads but ‘Just road Systems’ where I can walk and ride safely and in my own small way reduce my carbon footprint. The prioritization of sustainable road infrastructure is one of the gateways towards a New Deal for Nature and People where duty bearers support and adopt nature-based solutions that are good for the one place we all call home and people in cities and the rural areas.” Nancy Githaiga – Policy Lead, World Wide Fund for Nature-Kenya
The 14 ended the cycling event in style at an open field off Ngong road where they drew a love heart virtually using a GPS enabled social fitness app- Strava and an actual one using their bicycles.
Some social media reaction evoked
#MyLane2 is one initiative that should be supported by all. I have a dream that one day my city will be safe for cyclists.
— Kenfrey Kiberenge (@KenKiberenge) February 14, 2020
That clip of a cyclist being side swiped by a car is really distressing to watch…..hope the cyclist is okay..pedestrian and cycling lanes should be mandatory in all our highways..and other motorists should learn to respect other road users..#mylane2
— Bernard Ndong (@BernardNdong) February 13, 2020
— Judy Kosgei Ekwam (@JudyKosgei) February 14, 2020