Improving infrastructure to enhance pedestrian safety in Egypt
The Egyptian Society for Road Safety (ESRS), established in 2004 by a group of concerned citizens, has been involved in advocacy work with the Government and the public to increase the safety of pedestrians in cities across the country. The Maadi Role Model Project focuses on one area of Egypt at a time, securing the needed signage and crossings and making residents aware of safe walking and driving practices. In its first phase, the project secured the placement of 80 stop signs in Maadi.
ESRS works primarily through school students in order to educate parents and raise awareness about the importance of understanding traffic signs, behaving safely on and around pedestrian crossings and following traffic rules. To support these activities, ESRS published a handbook on safe driving. ESRS then lobbied for placement of six pedestrian crossings along the Maadi Corniche at several key locations.
A major focus of the project has been to rally support for construction of a pedestrian crossing across a notoriously busy intersection on the Autostrad Road. ESRS played a key role in managing and monitoring the project's research and development phase, which determined that a bridge was more advantageous than a tunnel. ESRS ensured that the project stayed on track, that relevant approvals were obtained from Government ministries and the road authorities, and that funds were provided through donations from a number of private companies. It also used the media to report to the public regularly on progress.
Once the bridge was completed, ESRS worked to promote its use by the local community as a way of keeping people safe on the roads. ESRS is currently liaising with relevant ministries to ensure that surplus iron and steel are used in the construction of other pedestrian bridges instead of being sent for recycling.