If you have a kid attending Kampala Parents School (KPS) you must already be tired of the incessant daily traffic jam starting at around 6:40 am up to 8:00 am. It is heavy. It is slow. And it is annoying.
The traffic jam stretches from Ntinda Trading Centre, through to Kadic Hospital, down to Kira police junction up to Kampala Parents School. The biggest victims are other road users rushing to office!
As a consultant, I’ve found that seemingly big problems are solved by applying some common sense. And that is what is needed at Kampala Parents School to fix the traffic jam problem.
With a big student population (over 2,000 pupils) and about Ugx. 1.4m (US $600) fees per term, every parent with a kid there has a private car. Unless properly planned and managed, the problem of traffic jam during dropping off in the morning is inevitable.
But it can be eased.
Before we examine how to fix it, below is what I’ve identified as the main cause of the heavy jam at KPS:
a) Parents drive and just stop in the road to drop the kids off, and then make a U-turn in the middle of the road just in front of the KPS school gate. Others just park (actually they abandon the cars) by the road side, thereby blocking other motorists dropping off children, as the road is too narrow, to allow easy two lane movements if one has parked on the sides. The traffic will stop when any motorist is doing a U-turn or parks badly on along the road, thereby making it difficult for two the lanes to be used.
b) Just opposite the school main gate is a mosque with a big parking space, in its front. Unfortunately, this parking space is cordoned off, and motorists dropping off their kids at KPS are squeezed within the main road. If the Kampala Parents School management could approach the administrator of the nearby mosque for permission to use their parking as a turning point, it would ease the traffic problem, as motorists won’t do a U-turn – but a swift continuous round-about-type of traffic flow.
How to fix the KPS jam problem
There are several options that may work with great results. Each option has risks and benefits. My pick is one the last option.
First, the school management should stop all U-turns and parking along the road. This will be achieved by enabling a swift flow of traffic by parents when dropping off/ picking the kids as follows:
a) The first alternative would be parents driving through KPS main gate through the left gate, stopping briefly to drop-off, making a U-turn inside the school compound and exiting via the left gate. The problem with this option is the security exposure of the school, as wrong characters can take the advantage of the traffic flow into the school. Due to security issues, this option may not work.
b) The second option is to divert all drivers to KPS at Daffodils (just before Nakumatti supermarket); so that they drive straight, drop and continue up without long stopovers. The problem with this option is kids have to walk the small distance of about 100 meters to enter the school through the main gate, which could also raise some security issues. Plus some kids are still very young (3 years), they need lots of care. Unless the school is able to deploy full security (have all teachers come to receive the kids), this option may not be tenable.
The third and feasible option is to for Kampala Parents School management to seek permission from the neighboring mosque to open their parking lot in the morning so that parents can use it for doing a proper turning (without having to reverse, an action that blocks others and causes traffic jam). With that added space, the motorists will be able to drive and make a proper turn, without necessarily blocking other motorists. This will enable a swift traffic flow.
And my friend, that is all it takes to fix the heavy traffic jam problem at Kampala Parents School.
Who said great solutions need to be expensive?
They don’t have to.
Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa. 2014 All rights reserved.