EDITORIAL: Use technology to efficiently manage traffic

The dust has finally settled on a very successful African Union Summit in Kigali. Most guests have already departed and the few remaining ones are still enjoying the unforgettable hospitality and tranquility that the city has to offer.

The dust has finally settled on a very successful African Union Summit in Kigali.

Most guests have already departed and the few remaining ones are still enjoying the unforgettable hospitality and tranquility that the city has to offer.

While Kigali residents pulled out all the stops to welcome the guests, they will heave a sigh of relief that the nightmare traffic gridlock created by the closure of the city’s main artery; the road from the airport to the city roundabout, is no more.

The traffic jams that ensued nearly caused a complete shutdown in a city that hardly has to deal with monster jams to the extent that the police commendably took to social media to post updates on the traffic conditions.

While many city dwellers were disrupted by the closure of the roads, it should also be seen in a more positive light. City authorities now have an idea of what needs to be done in order not to interrupt the smooth flow of traffic during high profile visits; more roads, adopt technology

The Ministry of Infrastructure, in conjunction with the City of Kigali, should design alternate routes to link all major neighbourhoods to reduce the pressure on the airport-city centre road. Otherwise, we will soon experience the traffic snarls seen in neighbouring capitals where it takes hours to navigate even a mere two-kilometre stretch.

The traffic Police could also go a notch higher in alerting drivers beyond the live tweets. With the speedy development of ICT, it would not be difficult to develop a traffic alert App that can be accessed on mobile devises.

Additionally, installing cameras at high points and establishing at traffic control center can enable officers efficiently manage flow of vehicles as well as make informed decisions on where to station traffic officers. 

Kigali is a city on the move, growing by the day. Technology can help keep the services at par with the development, putting into consideration that building new roads takes time and vast resources.

 

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