I would like to react to a letter to the editor entitled “Watch out for traffic jam in Kigali”, by Wanjiku Mungai in your Tuesday issue.
In the letter she was worried about traffic jams in some cities in our region and was concerned that Kigali would get stuck in the same jams.
I would like to inform this concerned resident and the general public that Kigali city has strategies to deal with traffic jams as the city grows.
As for the areas she mentioned-Sopetrad and Kisimenti, with the support of the central government and funding from the Chinese government there are plans to expand the road from Sopetrad to the city centre opening up a fourth lane on that road.
This will eliminate the bottleneck that has been tying up traffic on that road. Works on this road are supposed to start in June this year.
The city also plans to develop a roundabout at the Kisimenti intersection. This will smoothen up the flow of traffic and of course reduce the tendencies of jams that are common in the peak hours.
Roundabouts have previously been applied to address the problems of jams at the Sonatube and Kanogo intersections. The city together with the districts are developing alternatives routes to decongest some of the main roads.
For example we are developing Gikondo-Zion Temple-Kicukiro road to act as a bypass for the Gikondo-Sonatube road. And many of these bypasses are going to be developed in different parts of the city.
As a means of enhancing the flow of traffic on the city road, we also have plans of introducing pedestrian bridges on busy roads and these will also increase the security of pedestrians and most especially children on our roads.
The city has also worked with public transportation companies on addressing the problem of a traffic jam at Kwarubangura by decongesting that place and introducing more bus stops and a bus parking lot in the city centre. Presently travellers in Kigali are experiencing a positive difference.
However, a more sustainable solution to traffic jams will be provided by the implementation of the city master plan which encourages mixed land use.
The master plan stipulates that commercial and residential facilities be developed together and this will reduce the phenomenon where residents of the city have to commute to the city centre every morning and return to the suburbs every evening.
This strains public transport and also disproportionately increases traffic on certain roads. With mixed land use satellite cities will be developed and there will be no need to access services and amenities only in the city centre.
We appreciate the concern of this particular reader and thank her for raising such pertinent issue in your paper. With the support of all the residents of the city, travelling in Kigali will definitely remain a pleasurable experience.
Director of Media and Communication
Kigali City Council