Non-motorised transport (nmt) infrastructure along selected roads in the city of Lusaka: status, experience and policy

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Lukomona, Raymond
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University of Zambia
The majority of residents in the City of Lusaka rely on non-motorised transport (NMT) for their daily movement within the City. Paradoxically City authorities have concentrated investments on road infrastructure which favours the minority motorised transport (MT) users through construction and widening of City roads. This has had the effect of reducing transport options for the majority as their NMT environment remains in a poor state. Therefore, this study sought to examine NMT infrastructure along selected roads in the City of Lusaka with a focus to its state, challenges faced by users, integration in City policies and potential. A case study approach was used and four City roads studied were purposively selected. The selected roads were Alick Nkhata, Burma, Dedan Kimathi and Independence Avenue. Data was collected through direct observations and in-depth interviews with key informants and NMT users. Key informants were identified from institutions dealing with road transport in the City of Lusaka while convenience sampling was used to select NMT users. The resultant sample was 40 people comprising 9 key informants and 31 NMT users. Data was mainly analysed through narrative and content analyses. Simple descriptive statistics were also used where appropriate. The study revealed that NMT infrastructure on the selected roads is inadequate. It showed that the roads under study only have a total of 8047 metres of paved walkways compared to 18,180 metres of paved carriageway. As a percentage of carriageways on the selected roads, walkways make up only 44.3 percent. Other NMT infrastructure is virtually inexistent on the roads under study. NMT users are thus subjected to the dusty, disjointed, and uneven foot tracks which are barely passable after heavy rains. The study has also shown that NMT users face challenges such as difficulties in crossing the roads due to inadequacy of crossing facilities on the selected roads. Furthermore, NMT users make up 57 percent of all road traffic accidents, a situation which is not only undesirable but also avoidable. Therefore, NMT usage on the selected roads is unsafe, inconvenient and unattractive making it a less preferred but only available option to the less privileged majority of users on the selected roads. The study has revealed that some Lusaka City Plans, road projects and legislation have made provisions for NMT infrastructure. Nevertheless, such provisions are inadequate and largely unrealistic. City policies have completely left out hand carts which were found to be a common feature on Dedan Kimathi Road and playing an invaluable role in the City‟s freight transport system. Ultimately, the study demonstrates that all the selected roads can adequately accommodate NMT infrastructure owing to the favourable climate, good terrain, and space availability. Formulation of a stand-alone NMT policy and plan for Lusaka City is thus recommended. It is also proposed that institutions responsible for road transport should establish positions and recruit staff to specifically deal with NMT issues. To adequately capture and address challenges faced by NMT users, it is recommended that NMT users be involved in the design of roads.
Bicycles--Zambia , Transportation--Developing countries--Planning. , Infrastructure (Economics) , Rickshaws--Zambia