Cycling in the City: Andrew Maki in Lagos

Cycling in the City is a special Transport Month 2013 feature interviewing cyclists about their experiences as a cyclist in different communities and cities.

  • Name:Andrew Maki
  • Profession/Job/Title: Staff Attorney, Social and Economic Rights Action Center (Lagos, Nigeria)

Q: In which areas do you cycle and why?
A: I cycle everywhere — as a means of transportation, for pleasure and international travel.

Q: Which three things, can government do to help your cycling experience?
A: Bike lanes! Lagos is the largest city in Africa and has some of the the worst infrastructure I’ve ever witnessed. There is no cycling ‘culture’ here. In fact, getting on your bike in this city is probably pretty close to a death wish. Main roads have ‘pot holes’ big enough to disappear into. There is no such thing as a ‘bike lane’… frankly, outside of upper-class neighbourhoods, there aren’t even side walks for pedestrians to walk on (that aren’t taken over as parking lots, or market places). In my year of being here, I’ve probably seen about 10 other people on bicycles in the city, most wearing knee pads and elbow pads.

Q: What role can citizens play in promoting cycling and inspiring others to cycle?
A: The best way to promote cycling is to cycle — anywhere, preferably everywhere — as it demonstrates what is possible.

Q:  Which one cool or innovative idea, with no budget constraints,  would you like to see to support cycling and cyclists?
A: Exclusive bike lanes/overpasses/tunnels on which no motorbikes are allowed.

Q: Why do you love cycling?
A:Cycling is experiencing a place as you’re moving through it, that I love more than anything else.


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