Analysis of the effect of the Northern bypass on traffic flow within the CBD of Mbarara town.
Nyamwiza, Maria Lisa
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Planning of bypasses particularly the highway system and integrating it with the local traffic plans helps relieve congestion in both big cities and local communities. By rerouting traffic around the main streets of small towns, highway bypasses can provide a number of direct transportation benefits, such as diverting unwanted traffic, increasing roadway safety, reducing travel delays, and improving local access for people and goods. While these traffic impacts are well-understood, bypasses also have the potential to impact local economies. Understanding the potential economic impacts is particularly important since local stakeholders often raise economic considerations to support or oppose proposed bypasses. This research investigated the impact of the Northern by-pass on traffic flow within the Central Business District of Mbarara town looking into issues of local traffic generation, safety and the local business community. The report provides literature review and empirical findings related to bypass roads and transport development. The report draws the scenario of the Northern bypass impact in Mbarara town by using before and after methodology, assessing of traffic counts to assess its effect. Some of the aspects that were looked into include the origin destination of the difference users of the transport facilities, the traffic flow within the town before and after and the changes that the bypass has caused in Mbarara town with reference to the different land uses within the Central Business District. The Northern bypass has already had its pros in Mbarara town. The following are the major findings from the research. The positive effect of the bypass is that it has reduced the traffic congestion within the city center through providing an alternative diversion route. However, infrastructure development along the road has just started and will gradually improve with time. This will increase on the number of motorists using the bypass. These volumes are therefore still low as compared to those using the original route. Vehicles using the bypass are many only high during peak hours when congestion is high within the City center. Some of the reasons provided by respondents, limiting the use of the bypass by motorists include: lack of support facilities and infrastructure along the bypass such as lights, police pots, hotels, filling stations among others. The main recommendations were development of infrastructure and support facilities along the bypass, providing amenities such as lighting, development of police, improving sensitization of the people on the role of the bypass posts among other