Pedestrianism as an Effective Tool for Sustainable Intra-City Commuting in Calabar, Southern Nigeria

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The promotion of walking has become a global strategy in sustainable urban transportation planning. This is with the aim of reducing the urban commuter’s problems that result from the dominance of motorized urban transit, especially in developing countries with an increasing rate of urbanization. This study is carried out in Calabar, Southern Nigeria with the aim of assessing the conditions under which pedestrianism is enhanced. Research questionnaires were administered to household heads in all 22 localities with political delineation (wards) in the city. Respondents were sampled using the stratified sampling technique where every 10th residential house is sampled after the initial listing of houses. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to predict the conditions under which about 382 household heads (about 98% respondent rate) in Calabar could undertake utilitarian walking using factors such as motorized traffic, weather conditions, lack of safety of pedestrians and socio-economic variables as category predictors. A test of the full model against a constant single model was statistically significant, indicating that the predictors, as a set, reliably distinguished utilitarian walking and non-walking (chi square = 60.544, p < .001 with df = 17). Nagelkerke’s R2 of .232 indicated a moderately strong relationship between prediction and grouping. Prediction success overall was 70.5% (53.5% for non-walking, and 81.5% for walking). The Wald criterion demonstrated that only pedestrian conflict, lack of safety of pedestrian and the age of the pedestrian made a significant contribution to the prediction in model 1 (p = .000). Furthermore, about 99.2% of pedestrians indicated walking distances of not more than 5km while on the other hand, they can afford 0.8km to bus station, 3km to school, 5km for shopping, and about 20km for recreation trips. The study recommended counseling strategies for promoting pedestrianism among which is the development of pedestrian walkways and complementary facilities to enhance pedestrian safety and comfort.

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