Pilot NMT Corridor in Kampala

Kampala Capital City Authority is currently undertaking the implementation of a pilot Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) corridor along Namirembe Road and Luwum Street whose objective is to provide dedicated facilities for non-motorized mobility in an emblematic section of the city.

The 3.5km pilot corridor is incorporated with a broader vision to achieve sustainable urban transport in Kampala and it is integrated with the reorganization of public transport and with the plans for a future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system across the central business district.

Due to expected disruptions in the current travel patterns, detailed assessments of the impacts were performed to create awareness among the entire population of the overall benefits of providing facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. UN-Habitat is supporting the public consultation and marketing activities of the project.

The corridor in the central business district was selected due to the high visibility and its intensity of use. The site in terms of urban character is divided into three segments, first one comprising Namirembe Road at the intersection with Fort Road until before the new bus station. Second section is the one in between both taxi parks. Finally the site finishes with Luwum Street at the junction with Entebbe road.

The area is busy and heavily occupied with strong commercial activity and a vocation as a transit node. Particularly the second section is the most intensively used area as it is a transfer area between two central minibus stations and adjacent to the stadium.

On the contrary, the first and third sections are used less intensively. The first section has several services, cultural and educational facilities while established retail shops mostly comprise the third section. Both are commonly used as parking areas for minibuses during off-peak hours and long-term parking for shop owners and customers.

The potential of the corridor is related to the amount of pedestrians using the road. Being the commercial and transit node within the city centre, it is per say a destination within Kampala’s CBD. Its strengths are therefore related to the current levels of activities, the attraction of the site as a destination and its use as a transit centre.

The corridor appears challenging but if it can have good results, the benefits will be multiplied by its high visibility and elevated number of users and several opportunities exist to enlarge the benefits of the project beyond the direct benefits.

The project will present to the general population the concept of non-motorized transport where the needs of pedestrians and cyclists are considered and set the basis for its replication linking it to the city-wide vision for improved urban mobility.

And it’s good the project is conceived along with a plan for urban mobility in the city centre and effectively links the NMT corridor with public transport projects such as the ongoing BRT design proposal which can effectively modify the mobility patterns in the entire CBD. The opportunity can also be extended to define a park-and-ride policy that will constrain parked vehicles especially minibuses that are waiting for the rush hour as well as private vehicles away from the congested areas.

This project will also give the opportunity to the city authorities involved in implementation to set the standards for evaluation and allow for identification of issues to be improved in subsequent projects.

Finally this will be highly beneficial for Kampala since this project is intended to define a mobility strategy for the CBD which includes a vision for preferential car-free areas, a public transport strategy as well as parking management policy. 

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