On Sunday the 25th of September 2011, the Car Free Day will be organized in Kampala city. The four-hour event will take place in the morning from 7 – 11am. A KCCA official preferably the Mayor will flag off cycling and the walk at exactly 7am. However, it will be open to all those who may come later.
The main campaign is to advocate for sustainable transport and increased awareness for bicycle users and other road users to have a right of way.
The route will start from Makerere University Main gate, through Wandegeya to the Mulago round about to Kira road. Makerere-Mulago round-about will allow motorists to use the road as there are limited alternative routes. However, Kira road will be closed to motorists including motorized boda boda until 10:00am. The people walking will move from Makerere University through Wandegeya to Mulago round about and back to the University.
Garden City is envisaged as the first stop point. Cyclists may stop to make any purchases inside garden city; interact with other cyclists and finally make a return journey to Makerere University. Riding will go on until 10:00am. The last person will be noted.
Street marking: The road from Makerere to the roundabout of Mulago will be demarcated with paint and blocks to highlight space for the cyclists and pedestrians.
Bicycles: at least 90 mountain bicycles have been mobilized for users without bicycles, proudly offered by Kampala Cycling, these bikes will be clearly marked with stickers to minimize elements of theft. However participants are encouraged to come with their bikes no matter the design.
Parking: Movable-parking facilities will be organized for 100 bicycles. Police will be deployed to provide security for the parked bicycles. There will also be parking for cars as the participants use the alternative transport for the event.
Security: The organizers will work together with Uganda Police to ensure the smooth running of the event. The route shall be discussed with security officials in order to deploy traffic police that can enforce right of way for cyclists and pedestrians. This way, the motorists along the road will respect whoever is moving and cycling.
Speeches: Between 10:00am and 11:00am there will be speeches from selected participants aimed at raising awareness about cycling as well as lobbying for cycle-friendly measures. In particular, the organizers, KCCA, Ministry of Health and a politician preferably the Mayor will be given an opportunity to speak. An authority in road safety will speak about the challenges ahead of Uganda if the concept of sustainable transport is not considered urgently.
Awareness creation about the event is very important in order to attract participants, but also to prepare other road users about the event. This will help in minimizing traffic obstruction. To the general public and especially the business community the alternative use of the streets will not hinder any form of development and economic growth in Kampala.
The organizers will therefore hold a press conference two days ahead of the event. Radio talk shows however and announcements will be placed on selected radio stations for a period of two weeks. A banner will also be displayed at Makerere main gate a week before the event.
Registration: participants will be encouraged to register with TAFMOD and its supporters starting from August 22nd until September 18th September 2011.Registration is free. The first 100 participants to register however will receive a free T-shirt. Places to register from will be announced in due course.
Recently the UN announced a campaign dabbed “decade of action for road safety” 2011-2020. It aims at supporting road injury prevention programmes in countries and communities working to defeat this growing epidemic of road death and injury. The Car Free Day is planned to contribute to these objectives. The main outcome of the Car Free Day is orientation of policymakers and implementers towards planning for infrastructural development that includes ample provisions for cyclists and pedestrians – which gives them a sense of safety.