Stop killing cyclists – Prioritize Cycling Safety
21 November 2019
The Namibian cycling fraternity is shocked to learn that yet another cyclist has fallen victim to reckless driving on the road in the Windhoek area.
After numerous incidents this year, we will be remembering a cyclist who has died after being hit by the driver of a motor vehicle.
To prevent more collisions of this kind, we are demanding that a bicycle sign be painted at regular intervals on the left shoulder of this route (western bypass) and that caution signs for cyclists be similarly placed.
Further we request that vibrator strips are placed along the yellow line to discourage motorists from crossing onto the shoulder, since this is the source of danger to cyclists. NCF would be willing to fund the production of a stencil, and to provide paint and labour for such signage.
For many years the Namibian Cycling Federation has been involved in creating awareness that cyclists as road users have the same rights as any other road user.
- a) There were awareness campaigns (in conjunction with The Namibian newspaper) that drivers of cars should respect a 1.5 meter distance when passing a cyclist on a road.
- b) The Namibian Cycling Federation is a stakeholder in the discussions for the long term development of Non-Motorised Transport (NMT), which is being developed by the City of Windhoek (CoW) in partnership with GIZ as part of the implementation of the Sustainable Urban Transport Master Plan.
- c) In 2017 the Namibian Cycling Federation organised a cycling safety event at the Grove Lifestyle centre in Kleine Kuppe. In a petition the NCF collected more than 2000 signatures within a period of six weeks, lobbying that more must be done to create cycling lanes and increase safety of cyclists on public roads. The petition was handed to Windhoek’s mayor in April 2018.
- d) Non-Motorised Transport promoted by the City’s first-ever Open Streets Day. The Open Streets Day aims at imparting a mind-set change, encouraging vehicle owners to start seeing city streets as public spaces and consider alternative modes of transport – leading to a greater focus on non-motorised transport (NMT) opportunities.
The NCF recognizes that the City and the country are currently experiencing financial constraints. However we would like to see rapid progress in establishing infrastructure for cycling, particularly in the western suburbs of Windhoek.
The NCF therefore proposes that an immediate start be made in establishing the identified cycle lanes and paths, starting in the western suburbs, through a Public-Private Partnership.
The NCF offers to be instrumental in mobilising such a Partnership, which could, for instance, cooperate with the City in making the routes known, putting up signs along the routes, painting markings on the road where appropriate, safety education, and putting up secure bicycle parking stands at strategic points, including the offices of the City of Windhoek.
We believe that the cycling community of Windhoek, with sympathetic private sector entities, as well as schools, would be willing to collaborate with the City in making such a partnership both popular and effective.
(NCF acting president)
Mobile: 081 223 6100