The Ministry of Works and Transport has asked Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA to enforce Non-Motorized Transport along Namirembe road.
In 2018 KCCA started construction of Uganda’s first non-motorized transport corridor which stretches from Namirembe road through Luwum street to Entebbe road. The corridor was meant for cyclists and pedestrians while cargo trucks would be allowed only between 10pm and 6am to load and offload goods.
The corridor was commissioned last year amidst anticipation that it would reduce congestion along the stretch and ease access to shops downtown.
However ever since the road was completed and commissioned, it hasn’t operated any different from other roads in the city center, it has vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. The stretch also hosts hundreds of street vendors making it congested.
State Minister for Works and Transport Fred Byamukama today told KCCA that they should implement the Non-Motorized Transport along that corridor if they are to entice government and donors to fund further projects of that kind. KCCA plans to have another such project along Makerere Hill.
The Minister who was speaking at a sensitization event organized by World Resources Institute and other cycling advocates in Kampala said that the non-motorized transport is a good way to decongest the city and protect the environment from dangerous emissions and hence should be made accessible and safe.
The mayor of the Central Division of Kampala Salim Uhuru says that the NMT corridor was neatly constructed but does not serve the purpose for its existence. Uhuru faulted the KCCA technical leadership for failure to ensure that the corridor is properly used as bad been planned.
The Director of Engineering and Technical Services at KCCA Eng Justus Akankwasa acknowledged the existing gap in implementing the Non-Motorized Transport.
He says the intensity of business downtown has made it difficult for them to enforce Non-Motorized Transport as had been planned since thousands of people flock the area to do shopping and travel.
He however, said the Authority shall continue sensitizing people about the mode of transport.
Ras B Ssali the leader of cycling for Fun organization says Kampala roads are dominated by vehicles and motorcycles known as Boda Bodas who often do not respect other road users including cyclists and pedestrians.
He identified the need to make the roads more inclusive to accommodate cyclists but also sensitize the public on proper and safe road use. Many of the roads being constructed in Kampala now have walkways for pedestrians but are yet to cater for cyclists.
Ssali says cyclists have to be extra vigilant while on the road and wear protective gear to ride safely on roads in and outside Kampala.
Another cyclist from Tropical Heat cycling tea, Hilda Nabulya says that cycling on many Kampala streets and roads is never safe as cyclists compete with vehicles and motorcyclists.
He adds that the congestion that exists on city roads including the only road that had been left for just them and pedestrians makes it difficult and unsafe to navigate the roads. She hopes that KCCA enforces proper use of the Non-Motorized Transport which is currently dominated by motorized transport and street vendors.
Ramathan Makoha another cyclist also decried the lack of road sign posts on some streets and roads of Kampala which makes it hard for road users to use, sometimes even breaking traffic rules.