A growing concern
With a car ownership on the increase, particularly in Addis Ababa, it has become increasingly difficult to move around the streets of the capital. Road safety has also become a big issue. Improvements in cycling infrastructure, such as the introduction of cycling lanes, has the potential to address some of these issues and bring about a transformational change in the configuration of urban transport. City residents are gradually starting to understand the benefits of cycling both to their environment and to their own health.
Fast growth brings new challenges
The city contributes to approximately 8 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), with an annual GDP growth rate of around 15 percent. These unprecedented growth rates have resulted in a rapid expansion of the urban area, which in turn has generated many transport, housing, and infrastructure deficits, as well as alarming environmental degradation. Over the past thirty years, the urban footprint has quadrupled, resulting in longer distance trips and contributing to other transport challenges.
Non-motorised transport strategy
The Addis Ababa Non-Motorised Transport Strategy outlines a set of measures to make walking and cycling safe, convenient, and easy to use. This strategy envisions the construction of 600km of footpaths and 200km of cycle tracks, the introduction of a modern, IT-enabled bike-share system and safer access to public transport through traffic-calmed pedestrian crossings. Greater use of non-motorised transport is expected to bring several benefits, including better access to jobs and educational opportunities; improved public health due to active lifestyles; reduced emissions of dangerous pollutants; and a reduced burden of injuries and fatalities from traffic crashes.