Network of Tashkent campaigners and decision makers agree to promote clean, green, and active cities which are safe for pedestrians and cyclists
On 19th November, to coincide with World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, our EASST partners the National Automobile Club of Uzbekistan (NACU) organised a roundtable meeting calling for an integrated approach to addressing road safety in Uzbekistan.
The meeting included a formal presentation of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action on Road Safety 2021-2030, covering issues related to safer roads, road safety education, and safer vehicles, as well as focusing on NACU’s work to promote walking and cycling as viable means of everyday travel in Tashkent.
The meeting included high level representatives from the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ministry of Transport, Turin Polytechnic University in Tashkent, and the Road Traffic Safety Police of Uzbekistan as well as NGOs and members of the cycling community of Tashkent. EASST partners, Partnership for Road Safety Georgia were also invited to share their experience of how Tbilisi is transforming itself into a city for cyclists.
A highlight of the meeting was the contribution of young researchers from NACU and the Young Generation of the World who have been carrying out work as part of our FIA Road Safety Grant Project ‘Reclaiming Space for Walking and Cycling in Tashkent’. The project has aimed to mobilise young people and give them a voice in calling for safer infrastructure for active travel.
An enlightening presentation by Sabina Bakaeva, a young researcher and cycling community member, revealed that although there is cycling infrastructure in the city – this rarely corresponds even to the current technical standards. A lack of enforcement of other road behaviours, such as cars parking across cycle lanes or car drivers not yielding to right of way rules, was also raised as a key issue to address.
The Young Generation of the World shared a similar view, presenting the results of a city-wide survey of young people to find out what prevents them from switching from car travel to active travel. The main reason was found to be a lack of safe, connected, infrastructure.
The Head of the Main Directorate of Road Traffic Safety Police of Uzbekistan made an all-important contribution in calling for slower speeds. A vital element of making roads safer for active travel. He also commented that the meeting was an important step to finding the solutions to making roads safer in the city.
The meeting concluded with an agreement that all cities in Uzbekistan should be clean, green, and safe for active mobility. It was noted that clear and strict standards for cycle lanes was needed. These standards should follow international best practice while changes to infrastructure should involve consultations during the design process with all stakeholders and road users.