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The City of Harare Texted Me About Cycling


I got a text from the City of Harare asking me to complete a survey on cycling. Given the health, social, financial (both personal and regional) and environmental benefits of cycling, I’m happy that they’re looking into this.

Personally, I’d love not to drive but public transport is atrocious. As for cycling, I’m really fat so cycling is hard for me to do though I might get better at it if I put in the effort. That’s what the $200 bike was for.

Anyways, my suggestion to Harare is not to consider cycling on its own but rather as a part of an overall system of transport and city design. In my time living here, I’ve only seen about 5 bike lanes where only 1 of them makes any sort of sense as it’s mixed residential and commercial. As for the rest, they aren’t connected to anything. That’s if they aren’t being used as extra parking or overgrown. To their credit, they’re protected and separated from traffic.

If they want to encourage cycling and walking, Harare has to look into encouraging density. I don’t mean that you should build apartments in suburbs (yet anyway), just that you should try to bring business and residential closer together so things are much closer together, reducing the need to drive.

Also, Zimbabwe has some of the most dangerous roads1 in the world and I’m thankful whenever I drive and remain alive. Given all the dumbass drivers, not only should driving laws actually be enforced, roads should be designed to encourage slower and more careful driving.

  1. One thing that annoys me with Zimbabwe is that we have so many problems even though we aren’t in a fucking war. ↩︎