Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA has started installing bike racks along the Non-Motorized Transport-NMT corridor to ease parking by cyclists.
The two-kilometre corridor which stretches from Namirembe road through Luwum street to Entebbe road was constructed in 2018 and became operational in Match 2020. Although it was designed for pedestrians and cyclists, the corridor did not have parking spaces for bicycles until this week when KCCA installed racks for about 80 bicycles along Luwum Street.
Eng Joel Wasswa, who is in charge of roads and traffic at KCCA told Uganda Radio Network that they intend to install more bike racks at different spots along the corridor. He says that although the installations were part of the initial plan for the corridor, KCCA experienced delays in delivering the consignment.
But, a watch mechanic operating along Luwum Street asked the city authorities to orient the public on the right use of the racks. He says many of his colleagues and passersby mistook the racks for tools for physical exercise.
Robert Kafeero a BodaBoda cyclist who was found occupying part of the space wondered why they are too small for motorcycles.
Martin Kigobero, a Bodaboda cyclist wonders if people will be required to own their own bicycle or the government plan to introduce rental services.
Abubaker Mayanja, a dealer in electronics says he can’t wait to see how they are used. However, Mande Nsubuga who deals in textile fabrics along Luwum street is sceptical that KCCA shall provide the required security for bicycle parking. He is equally pessimistic that just like solar street lights that are often vandalized, the racks too shall not be saved. To him, the racks are only consuming more space, after all, there are not many cyclists in the Central Business District.
Meanwhile, although the corridor, the first of its kind was constructed for pedestrians and cyclists, it is largely dominated by Bodaboda riders who ride and park there.
Cyclists say that the four billion Shillings corridor doesn’t serve its intended purpose. Last year, the state Minister for Works and Transport Fred Byamukama told KCCA to 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 road.