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The first bicycle lane opened in Dushanbe
Dushanbe, April 22, 2012- The official opening ceremony of the first bicycle lane with total length of 5 km took place in Dushanbe today. The given event was timed to Earth Day, which is being celebrated all over the world. The initiative of this bike lane construction was made possible thanks to the Dushanbe Khukumat support within the framework of UNDP in Tajikistan project "Support to Sustainable Transport Management in Dushanbe city" implementation, which is funded by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).
The bike lane route starting from the Palace of the Nation intersection and passing on both sides of Shotemur street along the sidewalk, ends at the beginning of Druzhba Narodov street intersection (“Pivzavod” circular road). The constructors of the bike lane has provided for all appropriate road signs and ramps for easy ascent and descent, both for cyclists and skateboards owners and even for baby strollers.
As stated by the Programme Analyst, UNDP in Tajikistan, Ms. Nargiza Usmanova, “Starting from September 1, 2011 - the construction of bicycle lanes will be a requirement for all companies engaged in the construction of new roads or reconstruction of old ones, pursuant to the special Decision by the Chairman of Dushanbe city”. She has also noted that, “In the framework of this project implementation - 5 bicycle parking places, designed for 10 bicycles each, have been installed in the capital. The parking places are located in the parking lot of Tajikistan Hotel, next to the Dushanbe Branch of Moscow State University, on the territory of the Russian-Tajik Slavic University, near the mosque on Druzhba Narodov street and also near the shopping center "Poytaht".
Introduction of the first cycle lane will allow the cyclists to quickly and safely move along one of the main streets and this can be considered as the first sign to promote and expand the opportunities for non-motorized transportation within our country.
Various cultural and entertainment promotions such as games, quizzes, competitions and exhibitions of eco-friendly products presented by environmental public organizations and also commercial companies - have been conducted within the activities devoted to Earth Day celebration that day, too. All interested comers could participate in these promotions developed by the Club ofEnvironmental public organizations and the Department forEnvironmental Protection of Dushanbe Khukumat. In addition, with the participation of young ecologists and city residents a labor event on painting game and sports equipment, and also garbage collection in the Children's Park and around it, was held.
The tradition of celebrating the Earth Day on April 22 was born in the U.S. in 1970. On this day 20 of millions of Americans took to the streets demanding social justice, ending militaristic attacks, peace and environmental security.
Today International Mother Earth Day is not only large, but truly a global celebration held under the auspices of the UN – the day of our common cozy home. The holiday was established at the 63rd Session of UN General Assembly on April 22, 2009 (Resolution № A/RES/63/278, more than 50 UN member states were its contributors). It has been celebrated annually on April 22 since 2010.
Every year, scientists of the world gather for a roundtable on this day to discuss global environmental issues. A variety of events and activities are organized in different countries. They are conferences, exhibitions, closing of vehicular traffic on the busy streets of major cities, cleaning of territories and tree planting.
Project Description: Since early 2000, Tajikistan capital city, Dushanbe, has been experiencing rapid expansion in the use of private motor vehicles, alongside deterioration in public transport caused by rising personal incomes, growing migrant population, a liberal trade policy and a largely neglected public transport system. This has led to the significant increase in urban air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that 87 percent of the total air emissions in Dushanbe are associated with mobile sources.
The project aims at reducing local and GHG emissions while improving access and quality of public transport services for all residents via:
- Enhancing vehicle efficiency and setting appropriate fuel quality standards;
- Improving the service quality of public transport, in particular trolleybuses;
- Increasing opportunities for non-motorized modes such as walking and biking;
- Developing integrated land-use/transport plans to reduce demand for travel;
- Enhancing municipal institutional transformation and governance structure to embrace sustainable transport.