In defence of the ill -fated subway, clock towers
Posted Thursday, February 14 2013 at 11:18
The argument about the subway “causing accidents” just does not hold water. Several years ago, the subway existed peacefully without motorists hitting it as is the case these days. Is it really the place or motorists’ errors?
A lot has been said about the subway and most people have been quick to blame Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) for not doing enough. When accidents like the one that involved a Teso Coach bus recently happened, some people said the place is bad! However, they often do not ask the cause of the accidents, which is usually human error and vehicles with faulty brakes. Last year, small speed bumps were fixed. However, these speed bumps, according to some people (who have sent in letters to various media), are not enough.
First things first
The road designers didn’t have speed bumps in their designs and that could be the reason KCCA fixed “mild ones” not to overtly “kill” the original design of the road. Secondly, it is not the subway that causes accidents as some people suggest. It is like they are saying, the subway “attacks” motorists and knocks them! This really sounds funny. It is the motorists that knock the subway, not the other way round.
The only thing I concur with some people is to reinforce the place so that those operating businesses from this place are not affected. Otherwise, the subway has no problem at all. It has been around for a long time, and has never had any fatal accidents and should not.
For the umpteenth time, there will be motorists whose car condition is suspicious or even the motorist him or herself. So when one starts enjoying the slope and cruising really fast like most motorists do on this particular road section and later experience brake failure, they will have no option but to ram into the subway wall.
The other option would be to ram into the Crested Towers perimetre wall. And that is if there is no car coming from the MTN building direction, otherwise that could be a fatal collision.
How come nobody has ever knocked the subway in the corner adjacent to UBC while going up? I have seen motorists dashing up in a similar way they dash down from the Serena hotel side but they never crash into the wall which may confirm my suspicion.
Therefore, either the cars racing down Kampala Serena Hotel’s side have faulty brakes or their drivers are drunk. It could be last year or the year before it, traffic police charged a driver of a white Toyota Corona who had rammed into this subway. It was during the morning hours but the driver, according to police was drunk!
When the Teso bus crash incident happened, someone wrote in saying it was not the first time this particular bus was being involved in a brake failure accident. So with some history against it (the bus), why then blame the place? KCCA’s publicist Peter Kaujju says, “The subway was designed to ease pedestrian movement from Parliament to the side of Crested Towers. That was the original purpose but business has since cropped up attracting many people to settle there. The major cause of accidents is recklessness by drivers along that route. We have put signage of speed limits but these are over looked by the drivers.”
Similar accidents elsewhere
You may want to be interested in finding out where else similar accidents have taken place. At the Warid Clock Tower round about in Kibuye similar accidents take place almost every fortnight and are always in one spot! See, revellers coming from Entebbe beaches among other hangouts along this road come back in full throttle- speeding towards the tower. Remember this place is flat and has less traffic in the wee hours of the night (time when this spot is usually hit). When someone is speeding, sometimes they forget that it is a round about and that they have to turn towards Katwe or on their way to Makindye so they end up knocking the pavement and only stop short of hitting the tower.
Another place, Warid Clock Tower near Airtel House on Jinja Road also near the beginning of Wampewo Avenue. Just last year, after the Uganda Cranes vs Zambia match, someone rammed into the pavement and like the Kibuye tower, this motorist driving a Toyota Premio, almost hit the tower.
Right from Hot Loaf (opposite Jinja road police station), motorists tend to over-speed if there is no heavy traffic but some of them forget that there is a turn ahead and therefore, brakes to be applied right from the Internal Affairs ministry section.
So, should the Jinja road and Kibuye Warid Clock Towers also be blamed for causing accidents?
People shouldn’t lose businesses simply because some errant motorists (and or their vehicles) have questions to answer. The people operating from the subway pay taxes to operate from there.
If they are going to be stopped from operating from there, are they going to be compensated? About this, Kaujju says, “KCCA’s plan is revert to the original use of the subway. Our Physical Planning and Legal Directorates commenced work to establish the existence of any contracts.”
But secondly, I wouldn’t want to be enjoying my snack from there and yet worried about what might hit my head next.
Let KCCA reinforce the wall perhaps with tough steel guards to protect people’s businesses but traffic police should also always carry out immediate investigations about the drivers and their vehicles.