City to reconsider material used for bicycle lanes

Staff Writer

The City of Windhoek is reconsidering the material used to construct bicycle lanes, as they must now repair lanes that were done less than a year ago.

According to city spokesperson Harold Akwenye, the city will simply replace the damaged cones while also considering other options.

The construction of the bicycle lanes started last year September and was meant to be completed earlier this year.

“At this stage we are definitely just going to replace the cones that have been damaged, but the city is deliberating on some other material,” he said.

Despite the city announcing in a statement last year, that the cycle lane construction, was almost complete, according to Akwenye only the first phase was completed and is awaiting for the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development to approve its budget for phase two.

“The first phase has been completed; we are just waiting for some finances to start with the second phase any time soon. We are also waiting for the budget approval from the ministry,” said Akwenye.

Last year, the municipality in a statement said three sections out of the five sections of the project are 70% complete, with the remaining two sections currently still in progress.

“The work still pending includes the installation of cones, painting of the bicycle lanes on the road and ripping and re-compacting the sidewalks at some sections and we are looking forward to the project’s completion within the next two months,” they added.

The ground-breaking ceremony of the Ebikes4Windhoek cycling lanes was held by the City of Windhoek in September last year to promote bicycles as an affordable mode of transport in the capital.

Former mayor Job Amupanda then said private cars and taxis are rapidly increasing in Windhoek and soon the roads will be completely congested.

Amupanda also said this was their effort to make economic opportunities more accessible to middle and low income residents, to reduce peak hour congestion and car accidents and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution associated with cars. He stated that future city roads will only be approved if these include cycle lanes.

The project to establish cycle lanes in Windhoek started when the City participated in the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) challenge with the EBikes4Windhoek initiative in 2018 and was chosen as the winning candidate for the year 2019.

The project is implemented in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Ndakalimwe Investment, Suncycles, Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the University of Namibia (UNAM)

By Observer