Dhaka needs to be more people-friendly, speakers say during a webinar on the occasion of World Car Free Day
It is important to prioritize cyclists, pedestrians, rickshaws and public transport in city planning to make Dhaka more friendly to the people, speakers at a webinar have said.
About 93% of people in Dhaka travel primarily by walking, cycling, rickshaw or public transport, they added.
The webinar, titled “Back to walking and cycling for liveable cities,” was organized to commemorate World Car Free Day at the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) on Tuesday, according to a press release.
The webinar was presided over by DTCA Executive Director Khondoker Rakibur Rahman with Prof Md Shamsul Hoque from the civil engineering department of BUET as the keynote speaker.
Guest speakers included Additional Secretary of the Department of Road Transport and Highways Nilima Akhter, Chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority Nur Mohammed Mazumder, Chief Engineer of Dhaka North City Corporation Brigadier General MD Amirul Islam and Joint Secretary of the Department of Electricity Nasir Uddin Tarafder.
Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning Musleh Uddin Hassan, General Secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) Adil Mohammed Khan, Executive Director of WBB Trust Saifuddin Ahmed, Chairman of POBA Abu Naser Khan and Joint Secretary of BAPA Mihir Biswas were also guest speakers at the webinar, among others.
In his keynote speech, Prof Md Shamsul Hoque said: “It is important to have alternatives to private cars. It is not enough to have public transport only. We need an integrated transport system prioritizing walking, cycling, rickshaw, water transport and rail. We must focus on road infrastructure to have functional mega projects.”
Nilima Akhter said developed countries prioritize walking and cycling in urban transport planning and it helps them control traffic congestion.
Nur Mohammed Mazumder stressed the need for coordination between the BRTA and DTCA to ensure safe routes to school and control the number of cars used for trips to school, among other things.
MD Amirul Islam said: “We have 18 new wards now. We will make these areas walking, cycling and environment friendly.”
Khondoker Rakibur Rahman said discussions would soon be held with both Dhaka city corporations on the road network, as well as with RAJUK on land use and traffic police on traffic management.
“We will make specific plans and implement them in coordination with the relevant organizations,” he added.