The newly installed traffic light near Flamingo, African Avenue (Bole Road).

The city's Road Traffic Management Agency has installed eight new traffic lights on African Avenue (Bole Road) with the goal of regulating traffic congestion through the corridor.

The Addis Abeba City Road Traffic Management Agency finalised the construction and installation of the traffic lights last week hoping to improve the traffic flow and safety of pedestrians on the road. The lights are part of the 40 traffic lights and 10 variable message displays procured by the Agency at a cost of 158 million Br last year.

Of the total installed traffic lights on Bole Road, four of them were installed at the underpass entrance and exit from Olympia to Wollo Sefer. The remaining four traffic lights were installed on the roads that will connect driveway entrances in front of Flamingo Restaurant, Mega Building, Fantu Supermarket and Millennium Hall. The project was fully funded by the City Administration and took 15 days.

Sysproen Systems & Project Engineering Plc worked on the procurement and installation of the signals and traffic lights. Sysproen Systems was hired for the project last year. Haverim Construction General Contractor worked on the civil works after being hired three months ago.

Before launching the project, the Agency hired two consulting firms, United Consulting Engineering Plc and G & Y Consulting Engineering Plc to study, design and supervise the project 10 months ago.

The project was initiated since Bole Road accommodates a large number of vehicles, is a gateway to the Airport, and is the site of frequent traffic accidents in the area, according to Semere Jelalu, deputy director-general at the Agency, which hired 1,300 first degree holders through the Addis Abeba City Public Service & Human Resource Development Bureau.

"With the increasing number of vehicles in the country," said Semere, "it'll help to improve traffic flow and road safety in the city."

The Agency is also in the process of removing trees and flowers on the island of that road that may obstruct the view of the landscape along the pedestrian crosswalk, according to Semere.

“The redevelopment will reduce the risk to pedestrians,” Semere told Fortune. “It will also avoid long queues while vehicles make U-turns."

The Agency is also working on the modification of the roundabouts at Goro, Ayer Tena, Tor Hayloch, Diaspora and Africa Union at a cost of 330 million Br.

The project aims at replacing roundabouts that have been causing heavy traffic woes and congestion, according to Semere.

Currently, the Agency is working on the redevelopment of four squares in the city out of five projects.

“This modification is being done for the sake of safety and operational inefficiency,” said Jiregna Hirpa, director-general at the Agency. In the current fiscal year, the Agency has installed over 20 traffic lights in the city.

Last year, 4,597 people died and a total of 873 million Br in property was lost to damage. More than half of all road traffic deaths are vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The capital has a total of 613,638 registered vehicles.

The Agency has been undertaking different activities to ensure regulated traffic flow by placing traffic lights, speed breakers, fences, and other facilities on busy and high-speed roads by entering into different agreements at various times with traffic signal installation, road painting and civil work contractors, according to Semere.

Shiwaye Mersha, a lecturer at Kotebe Metropolitan University’s Department of Urban Transport Management, believes that modifying and installing traffic lights can alleviate the problem temporarily but is not a long-lasting solution.

Shiwaye adds that the government should also focus on training for drivers and traffic police as an option to alleviate the problem.

"The government should also work on road management," she recommended.

PUBLISHED ON Jun 27,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1052]

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