This page contains two types of information: updates on Share the Road’s activities and news from around the world. The news articles are chosen from online news agencies and websites of other organizations with complimentary goals to Share the Road. If you would like share your news on our website, please contact us.
Updates on Share the Road’s Activities
YOURS Training of Facilitators
25 November – 6 December, 2013
UNEP hosted the second edition of the Training of Facilitators for Youth and Road Safety on 25 November – 6 December 2013, at the UN Complex in Nairobi, Kenya. 14 youth leaders from a range of local and national Kenyan Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) trained on key road safety theory and facilitation skills. During this year’s training, an additional session on non-motorised transport (NMT) was incorporated to help participants understand the importance of NMT, means of ensuring social inclusion, and how to support education, awareness building, social marketing & advocacy.
Kenya Civil Society Partnership Forum - Non Motorized Transport and Road Safety
31 October, 2013
UNEP hosted the Kenya Civil Society Partnership Forum, as part of the Global South-South Development Expo 2013. The event brought together 35 organizations with a remit for Non-Motorised Transport and Road Safety to discuss approaches and strategies for achieving sustainable urban mobility through collaborative and partnership working.
National Workshop to promote Non Motorised transport in Burundi
6-7 August, 2013
A national workshop to promote Non Motorised transport (NMT) took place on 6-7 August 2013, in Bujumbura, Burundi. The main objectives of the workshop was to discuss the goals of the ‘Share the Road’ initiative, current state of NMT in Burundi, and recommend steps to promote NMT infrastructure.
UNEP Share the Road Event and TEST Network Policy Dialogue
25-26 June, 2013
A UNEP Share the Road (StR) event and Transport and Environment Science Technology (TEST) Network Policy Dialogue took place on 25-26 June 2013 at the UNEP headquarters in Gigiri. The main objective of the workshop was to support transport stakeholders and policy makers in Africa to implement sustainable urban mobility through systematic investments in walking and cycling infrastructure.
Long Short Walk’ on UN Avenue, StR’s first Demonstration Project
25 June 2013, Nairobi, Kenya
The world marathon record holder and UNEP Clean Air Initiative patron Patrick Makau, joined school children, Kenya Red Cross representatives and delegates participating in the UNEP Share the Road (StR) event and Transport and Environment Science Technology (TEST) Network Policy Dialogue in a, ‘Long Short Walk’ (LSW) event that was jointly organized by FIA Foundation and UNEP.
The walk took place on 25 June 2013, at the end of day one of the workshop, along UN Avenue, StR’s first demonstration project. UN Avenue was rehabilitated by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and includes non motorised transport facilities.
The LSW is a global campaign advocating for safe roads for all. The campaign advocates 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. It is coordinated by FIA Foundation as part of the Make Roads Safe Campaign.
News From Around The World
Rio de Janeiro's Ciclo Rotas Project Brings Bike Lanes Downtown
20 February 2014, ITDP
Rio bike riders can roam a little freer, as the first 3.3 kilometers of new, ITDP designed cycle lanes opened in the city's downtown. The opening included three different cycle routes, connecting important transit stations with their surrounding areas. The dedicated lanes are the first in downtown Rio, allowing bikers more safety, comfort, and accessibility on the busy streets of central Rio. The lanes add important connectivity in the area, linking bus and metro stations with pedestrian areas, and build momentum for further biking gains to come. “It is a major achievement, and makes a strong statement about the kind of urban mobility we want for our city,” said Clarisse Linke, Country Director for ITDP Brazil. “Bikes can serve as an important connection from mass transit stations to the rest of the city”.
The new bike routes provide several important benefits to Rio residents: they will increase mobility in the neighborhoods of Lapa, Saúde and Gamboa, while addressing the 'last mile' problem from transit stations to work places, and establishing space for non-motorized transit in downtown Rio. In addition, the new lanes will be integrated with the existing cycling infrastructure, increasing connectivity of the entire network and helping to create a complete path from the city's ‘North Zone to South Zone’.
Road Sharing in the Philippines
13 February 2014, Rappler
Renowned environmental lawyer Antonio Oposa Jr., alongside a group of young lawyers and concerned citizens petitioned the Philippines Government on Monday, February 17, to compel officials to implement road sharing in the country. “Only 1% of Filipinos own cars, yet all of the roads are given to them”, said Oposa in a press briefing. “99% have to make do with the sliver of sidewalk and bike lanes made available to them. And even these are often used as parking spaces by car owners”. The current mindset where cars are perceived as a symbol of privilege has spawned poor public transport systems. Buses are old, ill-maintained, and dangerous. Public trains are cramped and not dependable. There were more than 7 million vehicles on the road nationwide in 2011, resulting to 80% of air pollution. By the end of 2013, the level of total suspended particulates in Metro Manila was 114 ug/ncm, whereas the internationally recognized safe level is 90ug/ncm. Those who decide to walk or take a bike suffer from this pollution, and the domination of cars on the road. 10 out of 11 cases of respiratory diseases in the country are in Metro Manila, according to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje.
“The solution to air pollution and poor public transport is to limit the road space given to cars. This is called road diet, whereby the number of vehicles on the road is limited by limiting road space. If you have less road space, then people will seek to improve collective transport systems. The whole idea is not against car owners, but rather many of them would prefer to utilize public transport if they could. They would save money on fuel, and it would give them an option”. “If there are still people who want to drive their cars, no one will stop them. The only difference is they will have to share the road with the other modes of transport now available”, said Oposa.
Campaigns for New Design and Sharing of Roads Gathers Pace to Reduce Deaths
31 January 2014, Business Daily
Scholastica Omoga walks to work daily from Kibera to Westlands shopping centre. Ms Omoga says she always crosses her fingers and prays not to be hit by the vehicles moving at high speed. Other Kenyans living in busy cities like Nairobi go through a similar scenario of competing for road space, especially during peak hours. “This contest between motorists and other road users usually culminates in road accidents that kill or seriously injure someone every six seconds, resulting in a yearly toll of about 1.2 million fatalities mostly in developing nations”, said UNEP. The agency is promoting a global programme dubbed ‘Share the Road’, to address some of these challenges on the road. “Our message is simple, build roads with adequate walking and cycling facilities to save lives and propel development,” said Rob de Jong, Head of the Transport Unit at UNEP’s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE).
“Walking and cycling constitute more than 50 per cent of journeys made in urban cities like Nairobi”, said Mr. Michael Njonge, Traffic Manager at the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA). “It’s no longer a question of whether we can afford it or not. We just have to build roads with adequate space for vehicles and other modes of transport,” he added. Wilson Tikwa, Chief Road Safety officer at KURA said “it’s clear that at any point in our cities, we have more people on foot than in cars. It doesn’t make sense to implement a multi-billion shilling road project for a few motorists, but fail to construct anything for thousands of other road users”. “And it does not cost much”, said UNEP. “By setting aside less than five per cent of funds allocated to road construction, the government can build people-friendly roads”. However, Mr. Jong said that Kenya faces a more complex problem than redesign of roads, “The high population growth and the strong appetite for cars, means that the number of vehicles doubles every six years. Any new roads constructed will be quickly filled up. The country needs to begin embracing other modes of transport”.
“In this regard, KURA decided in 2011 to include facilities for both motorised and non-motorised transport modes in all urban roads it constructs or rehabilitates,” said Mr Njonge. The recently commissioned 8.4 kilometres Western Ring Road (starting from Westlands, past Kilileshwa to Yaya Centre) was the first road in Kenya to be constructed using the ‘Share the Road’ model. The new designs have encouraged more people to walk and use bicycles, which Mr Tikwa said promote healthy living by keeping lifestyle diseases associated with sedentary conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart problems at bay. “With fewer cars on roads, there will be less air pollution which is also good for health,” notes Mr. Jong. Even people who own cars, adds Mr Njonge, can immensely cut on parking fees and petrol costs if they embrace cycling or walking. The 2013 Kenya Economic Survey notes that Kenya imported petroleum products worth KSHS 326 billion, a budget that can be reduced through more cycling and walking. Kura has been incorporating people-friendly facilities as it upgrades roads to meet the standards of the new model. The UN Avenue is one where pedestrian paths and cycling lanes were incorporated following incidents of children killed or injured while crossing the road.
Mapping for Nairobi’s Public Transit
28 January 2014, digitalmatatus
The Kenya Alliance of Resident Associations (KARA) in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD) of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, organized the launch of a new comprehensive Nairobi Public Transport Map and Data. The aim of the mapping exercise was to standardize and opening transit data for Nairobi’s Matatus, the informal and de facto city bus system, by using Nairobi’s active mobile phone community. Building on past Kenyan-based digital mapping efforts and open source transit software, the team produced a comprehensive framework for collecting, opening and mapping Matatu transportation data toward a mobile and equitable Nairobi.
Experts from University of Nairobi, School of Computing and Informatics and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Civic Data Design Lab, collected the data and built the map through a project on public transit which also involved CSUD and Groupshot. The event was intended to make public one of the most updated public transit maps and related data for bus/matatu and rail routes for Nairobi. It will highlight how the map and data is critical for improvement of transport planning for the city, technology development and commuter information. The map will be made freely available to the County and its residents.
Driving to an Early Grave
25 January 2014, The Economist
Every 30 seconds someone, somewhere, dies in a road crash, and ten are seriously injured. The toll is rising; the World Health Organisation (WHO) expects the number of deaths globally to reach nearly 2m a year by 2030, up from 1.3m now. Over one in three road-accident victims are under 30, with crashes as the leading cause of death for 15 to 29 year olds worldwide. Most of the casualties are men and boys, who use roads more, and take more risks. That means that many were breadwinners, or could have expected soon to be. But the pain will fall far from equally. Rich countries are making roads safer and cutting casualties to rates not seen for decades, despite higher car use. Poor and middle-income ones will see crashes match HIV/AIDS as a cause of death by 2030. In the very poorest, the WHO expects deaths almost to triple. Where incomes are low, for example in Bangladesh and Kenya, pedestrians top the body count. Laws and safety measures are failing to keep up with population growth, urbanisation and rising car use.
Where safety has been put first, the results have been remarkable. Though a tragic run of crashes has killed three pedestrians and a cyclist in New York in recent days, speed bumps, pedestrian countdown lights and slow zones around schools mean that the city now has fewer deaths each year than when it started counting in 1910. Sweden has halved road deaths since 2000, and cut them by four-fifths since 1970. Crashes take a huge financial an emotional toll. A victim’s family is often plunged into poverty for two or even three generations, says Avi Silverman of the FIA Foundation, a London-based road-safety charity. The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), an engineer-led road-safety charity, calculates that road deaths and injuries cost 2% of GDP for high-income countries and 5% of GDP for middle- and low-income countries, including medical bills, care, lost output and vehicle damage—$1.9 trillion a year globally.
SDG Process – Seventh Session of the OWG
6-10 January 2014, New York, USA
The 7th session of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) took place on 6-10 January 2014, at the UN Headquarters in New York, USA. The session dealt with sustainable cities, human settlements and sustainable transport; sustainable consumption and production (including chemicals and waste); and climate change and disaster risk reduction. During the session on ‘Sustainable Transport’, FIA Foundation, a key partner of the StR Initiative, presented a paper that called upon the objective for the post-2015 agenda to be one that restores the human dimension to transport policy, promotes the design of transport systems that do no harm, and integrates transport policies with wider development objectives in a way that supports delivery of the SDGs.
Asirt Kenya - a Civil Society Organization and partner of the StR Initiative - also presented a paper and PowerPoint slides during the session, that focused on StR’s key pillars (environment, safety and accessibility) while reiterating construction of road infrastructure that prioritizes the needs of vulnerable users, and showcasing NMT resources available to governments and partner organizations such as the NMT Design Guidelines and country pilots such as UN Avenue , in Nairobi, Kenya.
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.