The ongoing redesign and construction of Namirembe-Luwum streets into a non-motorized stretch is slowly but steadily impacting on the public and businesses in Kampala prior to its commission, chimp corps writes.
The major impact has been on the traffic flow, especially the central business district and down town Kampala, where the motorized system has already started to be diverted.
The impact of the project was this this week felt when a demonstration sparked off from Kikuubo business community.
Although the traders were neutralized by police, they were demonstrating against a blockade of heavy trucks from accessing their business premises due to the ongoing construction work.
The work has cut off a major entrance of heavy goods into the central business district (Kikuubo).
Previously, goods would access the CBD through a junction between Nakivubo place and Namirembe road which has been totally cut off by the project.
The traffic flow including heavy truck goods from Nakivubo place have been directed to Allen road and exit through Kyagwe road.
This therefore indicates that the NMT system has technically eliminated heavy trucks from accessing the city centre since it does not accommodate them.
Sources told this website that authorities from KCCA and ministries of works and Kampala met with the traders and discussed the changes in the traffic flow, especially of heavy truck goods.
The ministries also said that consultation and sensitization of the business community along the route has been ongoing at the transport sector working group which is chaired by ministry of works and transport.
“The business community should not worry that this will negatively affect their businesses, actually it will enhance their businesses through reduction of congestion, improved safety and security for all and creation of easier access to the area for pedestrians,” authorities said.
About the Project
KCCA received a grant from United Nations Environmental Program, UN Human Settlements program and Iganga foundation.
A Dutch company called Gauddapel Coffeng was then tasked to design a pilot NMT corridor in the central business district to promote walking and cycling in the city.
This was meant to create provision for more space for pedestrians and cyclists along this corridor and there by showcase how a city that devotes more space to pedestrians and cyclists functions better.
The construction work started from Bakuli Mengo and will go through to Luwum Street up to Entebbe road and is expected to be complete in December this year.
From Bakuli to Jaguar bus terminal, two directional flows of vehicles will be permitted. The section between jaguar and pride theatre, vehicular movement will be restricted to allow access for the residents and businesses of the area.
Pride theatre to Mackay road (New Park) and Kisenyi road vehicles will be allowed in one direction from New Park to Ben Kiwanuka and Burton street vehicles will be restricted, while from Burton street to Entebbe road vehicles will be allowed in one direction from Entebbe road.
Traffic from Ben Kiwanuka and Burton Street will be allowed to cross the NMT route but with signalized control at Ben Kiwanuka junction.
However according to the plan, the NMT will not totally ban motorized vehicles from the entire route, but will restrict them at certain sections of the route.