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Accra mayor’s low-tech remedy for easing sidewalk congestion

Painting a red line and asking vendors to stay on one side of it was a simple way to clear sidewalks in Accra, Ghana, but some locals say the simple solution isn't working. (Accra city photo)

Accra Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuije has drawn a line that he doesn’t want crossed. Victoria Okoye reports for Africa Rizing that the mayor ordered red boundaries to be painted on sidewalks to create a special zone for vendors.

Pedestrians stay on one side while street entrepreneurs manning food stalls and kiosks remain on the other. The goal, the mayor says, was to find a simple solution to unclog impassable sidewalks.

During an appearance at The Atlantic’s CityLab 2015 summit in London, the mayor explained that the red line made a big difference immediately. But some residents of Accra are skeptical about the new policy, Okoye writes. They note that the presence of police officers — rather than freshly painted lines — appears to explain compliance by vendors. The boundaries also are limited to only a handful of sidewalks and the paint is already beginning to fade.  

Click here for a video of Mayor Vanderpuije’s remarks at the CityLab Summit. 

Africa Rizing

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