BY Watchdog Uganda | In the midst of the vibrant heartbeat of our city, Kampala, emerges a notable new landmark—the Clock Tower Junction, a gem in the inaugural phase of the flyover project.
Despite its grandeur, shrouded by disorganization, it demands the attention of both residents and passersby, prompting a prevailing question in every mind; Is this architectural marvel a blessing in its own right, or does it conceal the potential to transform into an open death trap?
Just three weeks ago, the revelation of the Clock Tower Junction ignited a wave of joy among both motorists and cyclists in the city. Strategically positioned in areas grappling with traffic congestion, this intersection was initially hailed as a long-awaited solution to ease the enduring traffic issues that had besieged these zones.
However, as the initial euphoria settles, it becomes apparent that the newfound solution to congestion has introduced its own set of challenges, transforming the once celebrated junction into a test of life for those navigating its paths.
Road users who have experienced the junction firsthand now testify to a mixed reality. While the overarching issue of traffic congestion seems to have found relief, traversing the Clock Tower Junction demands an unusual level of patience and caution.
What was anticipated as a seamless solution has, for many, become a meticulous exercise in navigating a complex web of un-controlled vehicles and Boda-boda riders from every direction crossing left and right at the same time. Crossing this junction has evolved into a task that requires not only patience but also a heightened sense of vigilance to ensure a safe passage through what was initially perceived as a traffic panacea.
Standing at the ring footbridge designed for pedestrians, the scene unfolds as small and large vehicles, as well as Boda-bodas, weave their way from the city to Nsambya, Katwe, Kibuye, and vice versa. However, for onlookers, this spectacle resembles more of a death trap than a mere intersection; to some, it plays out like a scene from a suspenseful movie.
The Clock Tower Junction, lacking in orderliness and bereft of traffic lights, adds an element of unpredictability to the already challenging scenario. The impatience exhibited by Ugandan drivers, coupled with the often-unruly maneuvers of Boda-boda riders, paints a concerning picture for this new junction. It appears that, despite initial hopes for a smoother traffic flow, the absence of regulatory measures could lead to more harm than good.
The apprehension arises from the realization that the junction’s fate rests heavily on the decision-making of individual drivers. With no structured guidance in place, the potential for chaos looms large. There is a genuine fear that, sooner or later, the lack of traffic control might result in a significant collision among the diverse streams of traffic. The pressing concern becomes evident—unless proactive measures are implemented to instill order, the Clock Tower Junction may inadvertently become a stage for a catastrophic motor clash.
In response to the growing public concern, Allan Ssempebwa, spokesperson for the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), addressed the situation on Sunday, acknowledging what he described as a ‘MESS.’ Ssempebwa emphasized that the Authority is well aware of the challenges posed by the Clock Tower Junction but asserted that the lanes are sufficiently wide for drivers to exercise patience and navigate the area responsibly.
He further clarified that the flyover is still a construction site, undergoing ongoing development. “As you know, the Kampala Flyover is still a construction site! We only opened it up during the preparation for the NAM summit, and, as we have observed, it has indeed helped alleviate pressure in that area.”
However, a pertinent question arises: why not temporarily close this construction site and reopen it upon completion to prevent potential loss of lives at this uncontrolled junction?
Additionally, if the authorities acknowledge the current chaotic state and the conclusion of the NAM summit, why not consider closing the junction temporarily until the construction is completed, ensuring both safety and efficiency for road users?
This raises concerns about the balance between ongoing construction and ensuring the safety of the public during this transitional phase.
Meanwhile, as you navigate through the intricacies of New Clock Tower Junction as it is now, you’ll discover the delicate balance between fortune and challenge, where every step forward is a dance with destiny.