Durban backs pedal power

2014-10-06 00:00

DURBAN could soon have a bike share system in a push to get people out of cars and using “human power”.

City mayor James Nxumalo launched the metro’s non-motorised transport (NMT) initiative last week, boldly stating “this is a city for people, not a city for cars”.

Nxumalo, speaking at the Green Hub at Blue Lagoon, said the city would place “a priority” on walking and cycling, skateboards and even wheelchair travel, while also including “animal-powered” transport such as such as horses and carriages.

He said the city would also launch a “bike share system”, first for municipal staff as a pilot project with the ultimate goal of this being rolled out to several areas in the city.

“The full potential of NMT networks is often lost in the focus on the recreational and environmental benefits but we believe that the city’s NMT is a basic infrastructural right for all our citizens,” said Nxumalo.

The NMT is to be rolled out in conjunction with GO!Durban, the city’s Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network, which will start operating in 2016 and grow in phases thereafter over a period of 15 years.

“We are committed to providing lanes for commuter cyclists and walkers beyond the tourist precinct that has already been developed. We will be creating NMT networks across the City that will include Umlazi, KwaMashu, Chatsworth, Inanda, KwaXimba, uMbumbulu and Buffelsdraai. The long-term goal is that as these intracity mini networks grow they will exponentially connect the various areas of the city.”

Cycling networks have been developed since 2006, when the eThekwini Transport Authority developed a cycle policy. The 2010 Fifa World Cup and the Cop17 conference allowed for various cycle routes, including the beach promenade, to be developed. — Witness Reporter.

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