Breaking

Researchers Call for Cycle Lanes in Push for Organized Transport in Kampala

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago says that city authorities are now struggling to change structural designs of roads to accommodate different road users to guarantee safety but even then, the pedestrian lanes so far put in place are being abused.
Dr. Olive Kobusingye, the Principal Investigator

Audio 5

Ugandans still do not find cycling viable, even though COVID-19 had somehow pushed people to think of new ways of mobility including cycling and walking. 

The discussion came up as Makerere University researchers were releasing findings of a study in which they were assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility patterns in the Kampala Metropolitan area. The study was conducted among 595 commuters including health workers and market vendors in addition to 280 transporters consisting of bodaboda motorists and taxi drivers operating within districts of the Kampala metropolitan areas.   

The findings of the study indicate that several commuters resorted to walking and cycling at the height of the first lockdown. And when restrictions on transport were slowly lifted, many kept walking partly because transport costs had been hiked four times from pre-lockdown rates.

Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago says that city authorities are now struggling to change structural designs of roads to accommodate different road users to guarantee safety but even then, the pedestrian lanes so far put in place are being abused.

//Cue in; “We are now struggling…   

Cue out…lack cycle lanes.”// 

He said cycle lanes are still missing in their designs even for the newly constructed Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Projects (KIIDP) roads despite advocacy for them as a form of active mobility that’s also important for health.

//Cue in; “This culture this…  

Cue out... to emphasize it.”// 

So far, Lukwago says that only 616 kilometres of the about 2,110 kilometres of roads in Kampala are paved which is why other than focusing on aspects of road use and respecting lanes, they are preoccupied with constructing more infrastructure.  

//Cue in; ”Many people step…

Cue out…attention and efforts”. // 

The researchers led by Trauma Surgeon Dr Olive Kobusingye warn that Kampala roads remain very unsafe for especially non-motorized users. And yet, Amanda Ngabirano an urban planner and advocate for non-motorized transport say data shows them that 60 per cent of people use walking as a means of transport, often involuntarily because they can’t afford the cost of motorized transport.

Only 10 per cent of all Ugandans use private cars, she says, and adds that there’s a need for behavioural change interventions such that people can learn to use the road properly and safely. She said, for now, Boda Bodas are using vehicles and walkways which is why there are a lot of road traffic accidents mostly affecting pedestrians and motorcyclists.

//Cue in; ”Our main findings…

Cue out…Planning in place.”// 

Kobusingye says going forward that government needs to plan for mobility for especially essential workers in case of disasters advising that the pandemic is not yet over and in an event of another lockdown, people need not encounter the same challenges in movement as the initial lockdown in 2020.  

//Cue in; ”The pandemic is…

Cue out… else that commutes.”//  

Images 1

Entities

Keywords