Mobility in Myanmar (bicycle friendly Yangon)

Chris Bartman and Richard ter Avest went to Yangon on behalf of Iganga (the MVO foundation of Goudappel Coffeng) from the 24th of November till the 2nd of December. Yangon is the old capital of Myanmar, a city with approximately 7 million inhabitants. They collaborated on the planning and design of a cycle friendly city. The design of a selected street will be executed as a pilot in March/April 2020.

Together with the local social enterprise Doh Eain (our home) they created a design for a protected bike lane. They did this in different workshops with various stakeholders, including users, interest groups and the local government. One of the most important outcomes of the workshops is that all the participants name safety as base for the designs. Because of the growing car traffic the space for pedestrians and cyclists becomes scarcer. That combined with parking problems, huge amounts of taxi’s and mainly bus drivers that terrorise the streets of Yangon.

In a couple of workshops and design sessions they achieved the following design: This pilot project will realise the first bicycle lane in Myanmar. Like many Asian countries, Myanmar has a renowend history of cycling for decades it was the main mode of transport. But since the economic growth of the country, the last few years show a major increase in car use and corresponding growth of car infrastructure. Those cycling now are the ones that “dare to cycle”, where the design of the protected bike lane contributes to a feeling of “invite to cycle”. In the pilot project they combine the protected bike lane with:

  • Improving the pedestrian crossability
  • Using the public spaces next to the bike lane for amongst others a bike shed and meeting place
  • Integration of a bus stop
  • Solutions for street parking

Along with the design, Chris and Richard together with the users and planners of the local government sketched a bike network. This network will form a proper base for an integrated and multi-modal netwerk for the whole city region.

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