Improving parking spaces in the central business district (CBD) of Lusaka city

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Chipili, Sydney
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The University of Zambia
The aim of the study was to examine the problem of parking facilities in the Central Business District (CBD) of Lusaka City. The objectives of the study was to assess the existing capacity of parking facilities in the CBD, to ascertain the volume of traffic at different locations, days, times and directions for Lusaka CBD, and to assess the adequacy of the governing legislation and regulations for parking.. A questionnaire was administered to 60 conveniently sampled motorists along Cairo Road, Chachacha Road, and Freedom Way. An interview guide was used for the following purposively sampled key informants; Lusaka City Council, Road Transport and Safety Agency, Parkrite Zambia Limited and Parking Marshals. Hourly Traffic counts were done on seven (7) entry points to the CBD for Seven days of the week, at 07:30-08:30, 12:30-13:30 and 15:30-16:30. The data on parking capacity were analysed using descriptive statistics, while the ANOVA test was used to analyse traffic volumes. Content analysis was used to analyse parking legislation. The study revealed that the CBD has 2800 functional parking spaces out of the 4598 available spaces. This is as a result of some parking spaces being turned into taxi ranks, minibus stations, motor repair garages, and permanent structures that are erected on the spaces as trading areas. Only 9.7 percent of the functional parking spaces are off-street parking spaces. Parking spaces have no parking signs, drainages in car parks are blocked, and vehicle security is not provided in car parks. The study established that traffic volumes are higher on weekdays than weekends. This means that there is a higher demand for parking spaces than the supply (4598 parking spaces) in the CBD. On average, the CBD receives 44221 vehicles on working days, higher than weekends that receive 26074 vehicles, and this calls for proper management of the 4598 parking spaces provided in the CBD. In terms of traffic volumes for various times of the day, it was found that time is insignificant as traffic volume do not differ (p=0.816), meaning that traffic volumes are constant throughout the day. Furthermore, the results showed that traffic volumes differ at different localities (p = 0.0001). What came out is that the Kabwe and Kafue roundabouts receive more volume of traffic than any other location. The results further revealed a significant difference (p=0.001) between the traffic going in and going out with less traffic volume going out of the Lusaka CBD. This implies that for vehicles that enter Lusaka CBD, some remain there and demand parking space. It was further found that the legislations that are related to parking provision, management, regulation, enforcement, and pricing are not adequate. They lack provisions on detailed car park design, parking services such as cleaning services, car repairs, roadside trading, taxi ranks, car trading places, car washing, and car security service. Worse still, there is no mechanism in place to determine the parking price. The city has no parking policy to operationalise the legislations which make enforcement difficult. Therefore, it is as a result of these factors that the parking problem exists in the CBD of Lusaka City. If left unchecked, they will affect the performance of the city in terms of vehicle circulation. Thus, the study recommended that there is need to create more off-street parking spaces, encourage shared parking, amend the legislations, develop a parking policy and strengthen enforcement of the law. Keywords: Central Business District, Parking Capacity, Traffic Volume, Parking Legislation
Automobile parking. , Parking space. , Parking facilities.