Non-motorized transport in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)

The prospect of developing NMT, such as walking and cycling, in the cities is largely dependent on the local conditions and national policies and priorities. However, concerted effort at regional level can help to strengthen the coherence of regional partnership on sustainable transport. Few rapidly growing small/medium scale cities of the region can work to enhance/develop NMT in their cities, and at the same time, learn from each other to better catalyze their implementation. Several international agencies and development banks have developed strategic framework for region specific sustainable transport and interest of cities in such intergovernmental processes could generate interest among those agencies. The learning of experience from GMS region will ensure standardization of process and technology, and can facilitate exchange of good practice.

NMT Improvement and Encouragement Strategies
Some of the possible ways to improve and encourage NMT in each city include:
  • Walking and cycling facility improvements. Improved sidewalks, crosswalks, paths, bike lanes, bicycle parking and changing facilities that accommodate all possible users, including wheelchair and handcart users, and people who cannot read local languages.
  • Non-motorized transport encouragement and safety programs. Special programs that encourage people to walk and bicycle for transport, and teach safety skills.
  • Public bikes (easy-to-rent bikes distributed around a community).
  • Roadway redesign, including traffic calming, road diets, and traffic speed controls. Traffic calming changes roadway design to reduce traffic speeds; road diets reduce the number of traffic lanes; and traffic speed controls can involve driver information, changes in posted speed limits, and increased enforcement.
  • Improved road and path connectivity. More connected roadway and pathway systems allowing more direct travel between destinations.
  • Public transport improvements. Public transit improvements often involve pedestrian and cycling facility improvements, and can reduce vehicle traffic and sprawl.
  • Commute trip reduction programs. This includes programs that encourage use of alternative modes, such as improving bicycle parking or financial rewards such as parking cash out.
  • Pricing reforms. This includes more efficient road, parking, insurance and fuel pricing (motorists pay directly for costs they impose).
  • Smart growth (also called new urban, transit-oriented development, and location-efficient development) land use policies. More compact, mixed, connected land use, and reduced parking supply tends to improve walking and cycling conditions and encourage use of active modes by reducing the distances people must travel to reach common destinations such as shops, schools, parks, public transit, and friends.
Policy Development and Implementation Scheme
Scheme for NMT policy development and implementation may include, but not limited to:
  • Consideration of the specific situation of a city. NMT design and development should take into account the local context of the city including the variations based in transport availability, travel flows and demand, scheme boundaries along with the local/national strategies influencing NMT design and development.
  • Informing and engaging stakeholders. Plan a dedicated strategy to involve stakeholders and citizens, including local authorities, private businesses, civil society organization and local people.
  • Policy announcement and dissemination. Ensure the formal adoption of NMT plan, rollout policy decisions and disseminate information to wider audience.
  • Prioritizing investments and Implement NMT activities. Develop effective measure of NMT implementation with well defined objectives, targets, funding requirement and formalize responsibility of all actors.
  • Checking the progress of implementation. Identify problems and challenges of effective implementation, and monitor outputs and outcomes.