November 14, 2018

Paving the Way for Cyclists in Cairo

Actual photo of downtown Cairo (top) and a rendering with proposed pedestrian and cycling walkways (bottom).

Greater Cairo, a megacity of approximately 18 million, faces daunting traffic jams and severely polluted air. Responding to the city’s transport challenges, the Cairo governorate (an administrative region, similar to a state or province), in partnership with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Drosos Foundation, and ITDP Africa, are planning a bicycle sharing system for central Cairo. In its first phase, the system will have approximately 700 cycle lanes spread across the downtown area. Bicycle sharing has the potential to improve accessibility by extending the reach of the metro and bus systems and provide a low-cost option for short trips.

Critical to the success of the bicycle sharing system is the provision of safe cycle routes in the downtown area. Toward this end, the Cairo governorate has begun the planning process for a network of protected bicycle lanes and safer intersections. On August 16, 2018, the governorate, UN-Habitat, and ITDP organized “Towards Integrated Mobility in Cairo,” an interactive stakeholder workshop aimed at developing bike lane designs for central Cairo. The workshop brought together officials from the Traffic Departments in the Cairo and Giza governorates, New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), Ministry of Housing and Urban Utilities, traffic impact consultant SETS, and other agencies together with street design expert Michael King.