Mar 30 , 2019

Artistic rendering of the traffic management and control system envisioned for Addis Abeba.

The City Road & Transport Bureau has hired three companies that will supervise the design of an Intelligent Transport System Master Plan, an integrated program for traffic management and pedestrian safety.

Expected to cost 600 million Br and financed by the World Bank, the project will integrate traffic management and pedestrian safety throughout Addis Abeba by way of corridor and intersection improvements using traffic management technologies.

The system also provides real-time traffic information to commuters, which enhances their safety and comfort by reducing traffic congestion and longer trip times.

The lead German consultancy firm, H.P. Gauf Ingeieure Gmbh & Co, will jointly undertake the project with PTV Transport Consultant Gmbh and WYG International B.V.

Gauf secured the project after vying against 36 other international companies that expressed interest, with six finalists making the cut.

The Bureau will be installing the system to improve five main corridors, 132 road junctions, 22 existing signalised locations and 27 other on-going intersections. The six-year project comprises of detailed study and design of construction corridors, road junctions and traffic management centre.

The project is intended to regulate traffic management in the city in order to reduce traffic, according to Behailu G. Eyesus, head of the Transport System Improvement Program Implementation Unit.

The development of the master plan will optimise the existing system by using efficient design, according to Behailu.

Corridors that extend from the British Embassy to Africa Avenue; from Arat Kilo to Atikilt Tera; St. George Church to Gojam Berenda; Arat Kilo to Bras Hospital; and Dej Omer Semeter School to the Grand Palace are the five corridors selected for the project.

Implemented in two phases, the first phase includes a study and design, while phase two comprises supervision work and capacity building. Installation of CCTV cameras and traffic lights,  will also be included in the project.

The roads in the city are becoming more congested, according to Tamene Belle, communications director for the City Traffic Management Agency.

"More than 20,000 additional vehicles join the roads every year, fueling the traffic congestion in the city," he said.

The total number of registerd vehicles during 2017/18 was 553,938.

At the same time accidents are increasing in the city. Reports show that more than 456 people, mostly pedestrians, die by car accidents every year. A year ago the city recorded 478 deaths, 3,133 injuries and 28,289 road accidents.

Fekadu Gurmessa (PhD), a lecturer on transport geography at the Addis Abeba University for more than a decade, commends the project.

He says that the city is growing in size faster than the infrastructure development in the capital. Therefore, more people cause more road congestion and accidents.

To solve the problem sustainably, he suggests the implementation of a motorisation policy, which promotes more use of public transport for controlling traffic congestion.

“For the best implementation of the new system, the city needs additional ring roads to create alternative road connections,” Fekadu said.

PUBLISHED ON Mar 30,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 987]

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