A recently inaugurated pedestrian ring walkway surrounding the Clock Tower on Queens Way has brought relief and excitement to both pedestrians and motorists alike. The embedded lights along the steel bars of the walkway were activated this week, coinciding with the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and G77+China summits scheduled for the following week.
Previously, pedestrians navigated the darkness using the lights from passing vehicles, putting them at risk of accidents and potential theft when the lights disappeared. The new walkway aims to address these safety concerns and enhance the overall experience for pedestrians in the city.
Adjacent to the pedestrian circular ring is the semi-constructed Queen’s Clock Tower, replacing the old tower that once stood in the middle of the road before being demolished.
The walkway, equipped with rectangular pots containing plants in their early stages of growth, features a firm ground for pedestrians. However, the circular design with exits and entrances for wheelchair users may initially confuse some pedestrians before they become familiar with the layout.
Robert Mwanje, a watermelon seller, acknowledged the positive impact of the lights but expressed concerns about the potential displacement of street vendors from their usual spots. A bodaboda rider, focusing on earning a living in the city’s challenging economic environment, questioned the practicality of the lights for his daily activities.
Uganda National Roads Authority communications manager Allan Ssempebwa emphasized the lights’ role in ensuring the safe use of the circular ring by pedestrians. He described the structure as contributing to the beauty of Kampala’s skyline, with plans to illuminate the entire Kampala flyover project road for security purposes.
Pedestrian Bridge Inaugurated
On Tuesday, January 9, 2024, the elevated pedestrian ring steel pathway above the tarmac was opened to the public. While some pedestrians eagerly ascended the steps to experience the walkway, others continued to cross the risky Clock Tower section, inviting motorists from various directions.
The right-hand side of Queens Way, where the Queen’s Clock Tower was relocated, remains challenging to navigate for many pedestrians without access to the walkway. Martha Wapali, a Forex bureau administrator, expressed satisfaction with the new pathway, citing avoidance of road risks and reduced waiting time.
Despite the availability of the pedestrian pathway, some individuals still cross the dangerous roads. Wapali attributed this to a lack of awareness and injuries preventing some from using the walkway. Students like Kiyingi Ali believe the new path will contribute to reducing pedestrian accidents and possibly curb crime in the area, known for criminal activities.
Isaac Sserwanja, a plastic bottle collector, marveled at the elevated pathway, acknowledging the city’s development and progress.
In December 2018, President Yoweri Museveni launched the $200 million Clock Tower project, funded by the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA). Initiated to address traffic congestion and frequent floods in Kampala, the Kampala Flyover Construction and Road Upgrading Project (KFCRUP) under the contractor Shimizu-Konoike Joint Venture (SKJV) is currently 93% complete.