The role of Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) in meeting the daily mobility and accessibility needs particularly among the middle to low income households cannot be overemphasized. Apart from affordability reasons, the mode is fast gaining a lot of attention among transport planners, engineers and policy makers. Some reasons behind the change in ethos from heavy focus on motorized vehicular transport to NMT include environmental sustainability, rising fuel prices, traffic congestion, etc.
The City of Polokwane has over the past few years recognized the important role played by the NMT mode in meeting the transport and travel needs of the local communities. The recent local Household Travel Survey has indicated that walking is the most dominant mode in Polokwane, constituting about 52% of household modal split. The City has through the 2030 Smart City Vision and Smart Mobility Goal streamlined NMT provisioning as a critical element in redefining the way urban space is utilized. A number of strategies has since been developed with the aim of providing a safe and secure environment for walking and cycling within the city.
This paper interrogates the approach that the City of Polokwane adopted in realizing its goal. It focuses on the NMT programs that are being rolled out whose aim is to change the mindset of different road users regarding NMT, as well as creating a safe and secure environment for users. The paper further draws important comparisons between City of Polokwane?s approach and experience from other cities where NMT programs have been successfully implemented. The paper largely depended on available secondary data, including NMT policies, strategies and plans of the different cities which were reviewed.
Paper presented at the 34th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 6-9 July 2015 "Working Together to Deliver - Sakha Sonke", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.