Monday, December 19, 2011

Car Free Day in Kampala Uganda

During the first Car Free Day in Uganda, over 350 people cycled through Kampala’s city centre to raise awareness about sustainable modes of urban transport. The event drew attention to growing concerns over the capital’s traffic congestion and air pollution. Rush hour chaos has become a troubled reality of life in Kampala. Zigzagging matatu’s, crisscrossing boda-boda’s, cars, bikes, pedestrians and livestock fight to be mobile on the cramped and potholed roads of the capital. Foggy residues from old motorised vehicles create an eerie, purplish sky. But this morning is different. About 350 people drive their decorated bicycles freely through the centre of Kampala on the first Car Free Day in East-Africa. Motorised traffic is blocked on the designated cycling route that meanders straight through the capital with help from local authorities and the police. Organiser and Urban Planning tutor at the Makarere University Amanda Ngabirano heads the cycling group. With a determined face he comments: “This is historical. We have claimed the roads!” The atmosphere among the cyclists – mostly young people dressed in professional cycling gear- is exuberant. Bystanders look on in disbelief. Read more here.

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