Share the Road supports active mobility in Mexican cities
No one should die walking or cycling to school when low-cost infrastructure improvements are achievable for all cities. Despite the prevalence of pedestrians and cyclists in Mexico, non-motorised transport is still under-researched, underfunded and underestimated. So, the Share the Road programme in collaboration with World Resources Institute Mexico (WRI) has supported the government of Mexico to finalise non-motorised transport policies in the cities of Aguascalientes and Oaxaca.
The Share the Road programme, launched in 2008 by UN Environment and the FIA Foundation, is a partnership designed to facilitate and support stakeholders and governments in developing countries to prioritise non-motorised transport policies, by investing in infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists. This development and investment in active mobility policies is a solution to many of the environmental challenges which arise from highly motorised and urbanised areas.
Pedestrians and cyclists in Mexico are the most vulnerable of all road users, not only physically but socially and economically. On average, Mexicans spend one-fifth of their income on transport, despite nationwide travel times being reasonably short, with most trips reportedly taking less than 30 minutes. The negative externalities of congestion, local pollution, noise, emissions of greenhouse gases, and automobile crashes have generated a social cost equal to 4% of the GDP of Mexico’s five largest metropolitan areas.
WRI Mexico’s Active Mobility team and the Share the Road programme supported the General Coordination of Mobility of the State of Aguascalientes (CMOV) and arranged a workshop for the development of an Active Mobility Public Policy for the City. The workshop aimed to initiate discussion and agreement on public policy for improved walking and cycling using the city’s Metropolitan area as a point of reference. Further engagement and data collection have led to the development and finalisation of the policy. Active mobility projects in Aguascalientes include implementation of mobility and traffic regulations, planning of the cyclist infrastructure network and the planning and design of the first phase of a bike-sharing pilot program. With political will and collaborative efforts between stakeholders, safer walking and cycling will be a reality.
In Oaxaca, WRI Mexico and Share the Road supported the development of an active mobility policy. The initial stakeholder meeting took place last year with the Secretariat of Infrastructures and Sustainable Land-Use Planning of the State of Oaxaca (SINFRA). The city planned the implementation of a pedestrian and cyclist corridor to connect the city centre with the Archivo Nacional at 1.5km and traffic calming measures including a 20km/hr speed limit around the historic centre. Additional projects include designing the cyclist network for the Metropolitan Area of Oaxaca and a safe bicycle parking system.
As a convening authority working with countries around the world to prioritise the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, the Share the Road Programme alongside WRI Mexico has been vital to increase the availability of tools, policy guidelines and best practice to finalise NMT policies in Oaxaca and Aguascalientes and set the foundation for further NMT investments in the future.