Drivers in Uganda’s capital Kampala experience significant pain and frustration in their quest to find a parking spot.
Many spend the longest amount of time looking for a parking place, a situation worsened by disagreements over parking space.
But despite the pain and frustrations, Kampala Capital City Authority is moving at a slow pace in creating enough parking spaces.
Although the situation is linked to the increasing number of cars, some blame it on mushrooming city arcades, built with no parking space. KCCA designed a five- year strategic plan for 2014 to 2019 and among the key areas of concentration was the management of public parking.
KCCA then proposed to enter into Public-Private Partnerships to construct modern transport terminals with Multi-storied parking facilities in the city as a strategy to decongest the narrow city roads.
Unfortunately this was not achieved. Kampala lord mayor Erias Lukwago says the project was frustrated by lack of resources.
Lukwago said although the authority’s policy is to only approve structures for high capacity buildings with parking space, some arcades and commercial malls have not enough parking spaces for clients.
Not only do inefficient parking systems result in congestion and increased carbon emissions, they also waste commuters’ time, lead to lost productivity.
In Kampala today, a driver spends an average of nearly 30 minutes in pursuit of a coveted spot, thus the need for parking towers. In some cases, some drivers fear parking along some streets that they deem insecure.
Dr Charles Koojo, the executive director Urban Research and Training Consultancy said the short-term alternative will require the public to change their lifestyle and use public means and KCCA to increase parking fees.
But while concern is on the narrow roads, human traffic has as well complicated the situation, thus the need for the government to also develop places outside Kampala to reduce the number of people entering the city daily.
Currently KCCA has 4,127 public parking spaces under the management of Multiplex.
The 1500 spaces were eaten up by the construction of Kampala Fly Over, the motorised transport lane along Luwum Street and the many mushrooming Boda Boda stages in the city among others.