By RACHEL SMITH, AP Public Transport EditorTODAY is a day when the city of Johannesburg takes on a new form.
The city is a “bicycle and pedestrian” city, in which people and bikes are not allowed to mix.
In the past, the city was home to several bike lanes, but those lanes were removed in 2015 to make way for the main highway.
Now, the new South African city has two new bike lanes.
The first lane opens to traffic on Saturday, May 3.
“The new cycle lane will allow cyclists and pedestrians to cross South Africa’s urban landscape safely, without the fear of being hit by a car,” said Muhanadou Mkhize, a senior city planner.
The second lane, for the first time in the city’s history, will open on Saturday.
“We are committed to building a more sustainable urban environment for all,” Mkhise said.
A bicycle lane is the most effective way to promote cycling in Johannesburg.
“Cycling is the best transport mode in South African cities because it has a lot of safety benefits,” Mjuszewski said.
“But it also has a high cost because of the number of people and the number and volume of vehicles that need to be protected.”
He said the city plans to install 1,200 bike parking spots.
The bike lane is located in the central business district and will have four lanes and will be opened by 10 a.m. on Saturday morning.
A bike lane on the main road in Johannesberg.
The cycle lane in Johannesbos.
A cycle lane has been installed on the city streets for the second time in three years.
The lane was originally installed in the capital city of Pretoria.
It was also installed on one of the main roads in the small rural town of Mpumalanga.
The road was reopened in December 2016.
Mkhizewa said he expects the new bike lane to have a “positive impact on pedestrian and cyclist safety” because it is separated from traffic.
“This will encourage people to use the cycle lane, because it will provide safe access for pedestrians and cyclists,” he said.
The new lane will be a permanent fixture, which means it will remain open during the night and on weekends.
South Africa is not the only African country that has seen a dramatic increase in bike ridership.
New York City added a new bike-sharing network in 2014, which has doubled the number who use bikes to more than 15,000.
In South Africa, there are about 1.8 million people cycling.
A recent report by the South African National Transport Authority said that the number had doubled over the past three years, from 3,300 in 2014 to more a quarter of a million people in 2015.
Mjauszewski says the city is looking to add more bike lanes to the city, which could include a new section in the main thoroughfare, as well as an additional lane along the Mpunga-Mkokuli Highway.
“It will be very important to get more people using the bike lane,” he added.
The bicycle lane on Mpenga-Kokuli Road in South Cape Town.
(Ricardo Morais/Associated Press)A bike lane will not just help South Africa meet the needs of a growing population, but it also is environmentally friendly.
Mwanga-based company Rupa says the bike lanes in Johannesburton will help reduce emissions and traffic congestion by providing space for cyclists to cycle.
“In addition, there is a good potential for it to benefit the environment,” Rupae said.
But Mwange said that even though the bike and pedestrian lanes will have green space, it will not make South Africa the best place to ride a bike in the world.
“I think we should not think of cycling as a zero-carbon transport mode,” he told the AP.
“There are a lot more bikes out there than we know about.”