After banning plastics Kigali now wants to ban private vehicles

According to the plan developed in 2013 and expected to run until 2040, parts of the newly expanded roads will be dedicated to public transport vehicles by mid-2018.

Rwanda plans to phase out the use of private cars in the capital Kigali and instead use public transport as a way of curbing traffic congestion in its plan to restructure public transport.

“We want to make Kigali a public transport oriented city.

‘‘Prioritising a modern public transport system is the best way to tackle congestion,” said Kigali City engineer Alphonse Nkurunziza.

City Officials hope by banning roadside parking it would encourage the use of buses and also lead to private investments in parking lots across the city for those using private transport.

“Parking is going to be big business in this town and the city has opened up many opportunities for investors, but they must provide for them in the master plan,” he said.

Rwanda is considered Africa’s cleanest and greenest city and in 2009 completely banned the use of plastics, should the private vehicles ban see the light of the day then Kigali will be one of the most attractive cities to live in.

“We want to make it possible for residents to leave their vehicles at home and cycle, walk or take a bus,” Mr. Nkurunziza added.

“Part of these roads will be dedicated bus lanes and our technical team is working on whether to make the selected routes dedicated lanes for a whole day or only during peak hours,” said Bruno Rangira, communications director for Kigali City.

In the long term the city is looking at creating five corridors covering about 92 kilometres, which will be fully dedicated to bus transport by 2026.

However, there a few bumps officials need to maneuver first in their grand plan, one of the headaches developers are contending with is lack of available land to build commercial parking bays.

“The Kigali master plan provides for very few parking lots. Therefore, city officials need to factor in parking projects,” said Charles Haba, managing director of Century Real Estate and chairman of the Real Estate Association of Rwanda.

Landlords and property developers have also faulted authorities for banning roadside parking without providing alternative space for parking lots.

New buildings too such as Kigali Heights, which owners had planned to have 400 parking slots, only has 300.

According to experts, the ideal is to have one parking slot for every 45 square metres, however, an average commercial building in Kigali has one parking slot for every 100 square metres.

The cost of the project is currently being evaluated.

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