An assessment on the impacts of on-street parking on traffic flow in Kampala central business district. Case study of Kampala road.
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This research is about an assessment of the impacts of on-street parking on traffic flow; a case study of Kampala road in Kampala CBD. It was stimulated and inspired by a tremendous instances of traffic delay due to unregulated and illegal scourge of on-street parking on Kampala road. This immense problem came about as a result of limited off-street parking spaces provided by KCCA in the light of the ever-increasing vehicular ownership in the city which has triggered an increased demand for parking spaces. Increase in demand for parking spaces arise out of the fact that many people travel by cars to do shopping, business related visits and recreational purposes. The choice of most individuals to go to their preferred destination by car and not by public transportation, bike or on foot is based on individuals’ autonomy, privacy, and more comfort in their cars. However, the provision of parking facilities has been ignored hence compelling most motorists to park anywhere and any-how on-street where they can physically fit yet adversely affecting traffic flow. The main objective of the study was to evaluate on-street parking in Kampala city, and the specific objectives were to map out, assess the operational capacity of the current on-street parking spaces, and examine why motorists prefer on-street parking on Kampala road to parking lots, to investigate the current challenges facing on-street parking management and the impacts they pose on the continuity of traffic flow, and to propose planning strategies to improve on on-street parking management and traffic flow on Kampala road. The study was based on both qualitative and quantitative methods of research approach. The qualitative approach enabled the researcher to gain a deeper insight and an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions and motivations that provides views into the problem of on-street parking of vehicles within Kampala CBD. The quantitative approach on the other hand was used to quantify the on-street parking problems by way of generating numerical data and data that would be transformed into usable statistics. The data collection methods used for the research included observation and photography, interviews, questionnaires, mapping, and the on-street parking surveys. The results indicated that on street parking is causing a lot of negative impacts on traffic flow for example it causes traffic congestion, accidents, misuse of pedestrian facilities, and others like crippling of businesses since the illegally parked cars tends to block goods on display. Some of the mitigation measures suggested include pricing policy, use of CCTV cameras to monitor motorists’ behaviors, use of traffic control signs showing where to and where not to park, regulating on-street parking durations, construction of parking complexes in the outskirts of the city especially along major roads, as well as building an effective parking enforcement system among others. Conclusion and Recommendation. On-street parking only contributes towards traffic jam if it is not well managed but if it is controlled well, it is of a great benefit to the city like easing traffic problems, increased safety, good social interaction, and improves livability. Therefore, there is need for provision of more off-street parking, adopting the original parking design, use of CCTV cameras, setting strict parking regulations, and imposing heavy penalties on street parking defaulters.