Performance evaluation of Addis Ababa City Road Network

Master's Thesis 2018 82 Pages

Geography / Earth Science - Demographics, Urban Management, Planning


Table of Contents



List of Tables

List of Figures

List of Charts

1. Introduction
1.1 Background
1.2 Statement of the problem
1.3 Objective of study
1.3.1. Research questions

2. Literature review
2.1. History of Addis Ababa City Roads Development
2.2. Transport Infrastructure and Services in Addis Ababa
2.2.1. Transport Infrastructure
2.2.2. Overall Planning of the Road Network in the city
2.2.3. Addis Ababa City Roads Development Program
2.2.4 Need to Improve Internal Connectivity and Access
2.3. World Bank road network overview
2.3.1. Review of Road sector
2.3.2. General trends in road network
2.3.3. Future consideration in road sector
2.4. An overview of Performance Measurement
2.4.1. Why Measure Performance?
2.4.2. Developing Performance Measures
2.5. An overview of transport network indicator
2.5.1. Some network indicators and measurements
2.6. Cases where performance evaluation indicators used for urban road networks
2.6.1. An evaluation of road network performance in Indonesia cities
2.6.2. Performance Measures for Road Networks: A case of Canadian cities Use

3. Research approach and methodology
3.1. Scope of research
3.2 . Methodology

4. Data collection and analysis
4.1. Data Collection Techniques
4.2. Collected Data
4.3. Data analysis

5. Results and Discussion

6. Conclusion and recommendation
6.1. Conclusion
6.2. Recommendations



I feel like I am just starting when I finish. I still feel the search for orientation in my life continues. However, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to those who made orientation in my life’s journey much easier so far.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to GOD and then appreciation to my advisor Dr.Bikila Teklu, for all his unfailing coaching. It is not only for his contributions towards the academic achievements but also for pointing out my weakness and enabling me to use my potential. In doing so he brought out the best in me. I really appreciate his patience and unreserved dedication towards the betterment of this research. I take responsibility for mistakes that might appear.

Special thanks goes to all the staff in School of Civil and Environmental Engineering in AAU.

Thanks to all government officers who help me by giving different documents relevant for this research and any resources available in good will without reservation.

Finally, my special appreciations are to my family, for being there without any precondition. Gratitude fails to say it all.


The specific objective of this study was to determine evaluation of road network performance using indicators such as road availability, road performance, traffic load, road serviceability, connectivity and safety for sub cities/networks in Addis Ababa and to make recommendations for policy makers to improve performance of road networks based on the outcome of the study.

These objectives were addressed by detail review of literatures about the subject matter and also by collecting relevant data which used for computation of the performance evaluation indicators in the results and discussion part. The trend change for some years for this performance indicators for the city is also assessed.

In conclusion it is mentioned that currently the construction of new roads and maintaining the existing ones is increasing throughout years us we observe from the result but it needs more effort and successive evaluation of the road network performance to gain a good road network in the city.

List of Tables

Table 1- Benchmarking Addis Ababa, Africa average, Developing average, Europe average and US average

Table 2- Road Networks in Ethiopia and Selected African Countries (1997)

Table 3- Addis Ababa Area and population

Table 4- Addis Ababa Road Financial Progress

Table 5- Number of vehicles in Addis Ababa

Table 6- Number of Traffic accident in Addis Ababa related to road junction

Table 7- Number of Traffic accident in Addis Ababa according to road condition

Table 8- Number of Traffic accident in Addis Ababa according to road pavement condition

Table 9- Road density trend (1997-2005)

Table 10- Road performance trend (1997-2005)

Table 11- Traffic load Trend (1999-2003)

Table 12 - Road network and traffic data

Table 13- Road serviceability trend (1999-2005)

Table 14- Road connectivity beta index value for sub cities

List of Figures

Fig 1- Layout of Addis Ababa City Administration

Fig 2- Road network map as planned in the CDP (200 l -2010)

Fig 3- Road network nodes and straight lines by sub city


illustration not visible in this excerpt

List of Charts

Chart 1- AACRA Financial progress (1997-2004)

Chart 2- Constructed roads in Addis Ababa from the master plan (1990-2005)

Chart 3- Road network coverage progress in Addis Ababa (1998-2005)

Chart 4- Gravel road construction progress (1997-2005)

Chart 5- Asphalt road construction progress (1997-2005)

Chart 6- New asphalt road construction progress in km planned vs accomplished

Chart 7- New gravel road construction progress in km planned vs accomplished

Chart 8- Cobbel stone Road construction progress (2001-2005)

Chart 9- Asphalt road maintenance progress (1997-2005)

Chart 10- Gravel road maintenance progress (1997-2005)

Chart 11- Road density progress (1997-2005)

Chart 12- Road performance (1997-2005)

Chart 13- Traffic load progress (1997-2005)

Chart 14- Road serviceability progress (1997-2005)


1.1 Background

“Addis Ababa, the capital city of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is located in the center of the country. Established in 1886, the city has experienced several planning changes that have influenced its physical and social growth. As a chartered city (rasgez astedader), Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. It is where the African Union and its predecessor the OAU are based. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as the political capital of Africa, due to its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent. The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia - the country has as many as 80 nationalities speaking 80 languages and belonging to a wide variety of religious communities. It is home to Addis Ababa University. The Federation of African Societies of Chemistry (FASC) and Horn of Africa Press Institute (HAPI) are also headquartered in Addis Ababa.” (1)

“Addis Ababa lies at an altitude of 7,546 feet (2,300 metres) and is a grassland biome, located at 9°1ƍ48ƎN 38°44ƍ24ƎE9.03°N 38.74°E9.03; 38.74Coordinates: 9°1ƍ48ƎN 38°44ƍ24ƎE9.03°N 38.74°E9.03; 38.74. The city lies at the foot of Mount Entoto. From its lowest point, around Bole International Airport, at 2,326 metres (7,631 ft) above sea level in the southern periphery, the city rises to over 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) in the Entoto Mountains to the north.” (1)

The area of Addis Ababa is 530.14 square kilometers. Its current population is about 2.57 million (2005 estimate), about 3.9 percent of the population of Ethiopia. It also represents about 26 percent of the urban population of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa has an aggregate population density of 4,847.8 persons per square kilometer. (1)

Public transport in the city consists of conventional bus services provided by the publicly owned Anbessa City Bus Enterprise, taxis operated by the private sector, and buses used exclusively for the employees of large government and private companies. The role of bicycles in urban transport is insignificant (World Bank African Region Scoping Study 2002). The road network of Addis Ababa is limited in extent and right of way. Its capacity is low, on-street parking is prevalent, and the pavement condition is deteriorating. Despite a large volume of pedestrians, there are no walkways over a large length (63%) of the roadway network. This is a major concern because it contributes to the increased pedestrian involvement in traffic accidents (10,189 accidents occurred in 2004) [Ethiopian Roads Authority, Journal of Public Transportation 2005].

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The objective of road transport services is to form the traffic flow and road transport safe, secure, fast ,environmental friendly, orderly and regular, comfort and efficient, integrated with other modes, accessible by all land region and support fair distribution, development and stability to drive vehicles , to motor and to support national development with nearby cost by community.

“In the planning of a transport network, most efforts by the planning authorities are geared towards increasing the capacity and building new transport networks, but little attention is given to the structure of the network. To evaluate the spatial structure and form of the transport network is relevant to the performance and the utilization of the network; this is because traffic congestion is an issue of concern in many cities.” (8)

When justify the research in which the shape and structure of the network in a region or cities like Addis Ababa will affect the likely characteristics of a Cities’ economy, social development, accessibility, mobility, security and safety. Also it can give an understanding of spatial variations within a region. The research done in turkey by Gavu Emmanuel mention that topological and geometrical complexities are involved in the navigation or movement in urban transport networks. It also states that additional network connections may have complex impacts on accessibility on all locations in the network, So we have to evaluate and asses frequently the performance of road network in cities in addition to constructing new roads.

According to that objective, by reviewing some documents, there is a study on the whole network analysis for Ethiopian roads done by Shelidia consultants and also the master road network for Addis Ababa which is developed in 2001 G.C. in which it is planned to work until 2010 G.C. but we are now in 2014 G.C and when I reviewed different documents there is no document which shows the performance of this road network but in some other countries they do performance evaluation of the road networks (for example, Indonesia, Canada, Turkey ) therefore a performance evaluation is needed which considers,

- Accessibility distribution
- Safety,
- Efficiency,
- Effectiveness, and
- Reasonable cost and integrity with others transport system

Using the following selected Road network performance indicators the research try to evaluate the performance of the road network.

Selected performance indicators are:

- Road availability/Road density x Road performance
- Traffic load
- Road serviceability x Road safety
- Road connectivity


The general objective of this study is to evaluate the performance of road network in Addis Ababa. The road network performance will be evaluated/expressed by several indicators like road availability, road performance, traffic load, road serviceability, safety and other indicators.

The specific objectives of the study are:

- To determine evaluation of road network performance using indicators for sub cities/networks in Addis Ababa.
- To make recommendations for policy makers to improve performance of road networks based on the outcome of the study for the concerned bodies.

1.3.1. Research questions

In order to work on the above research objectives, research questions have been formulated and specific answers need to be obtained. The table below shows the research objectives with the specific questions to address them.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

2. Literature review

2.1 History of Addis Ababa City Roads Development

Addis Ababa city was founded by Minellik II and Empress Taitu in 1886. The history of the city‘s road development also begins from the inception of the city.

Minellik II constructed the first ever two roads in the city as well as in the country that stretch from Addis Ababa to Addis Alem and from his palace to British embassy in 1902. In 1904 the first roller was imported by the Emperor and was pulled by many people for its operation. Emperor Minellik was also believed to be the first in importing cars in Addis Ababa and introduced the car technology in the city for the first time in 1907 E.C. The country’s modern road construction in general and Addis Ababa in particular is highly interlinked with Emperor Haile Sellase’s ruling period. During the regime of Haile Sellase a number of contractors were organized to carry out road construction. (2)

The first agency to be established by the Government to construct roads was the Public Works Department. It was established to construct roads in Addis Ababa and in its surrounding. After a few years this Department was raised to a ministerial level and Addis Ababa also got the chance to establish its road development organizational structure.

When it was decided for Addis Ababa to have a mayor and a council in 1942, the city roads construction and maintenance was organized under the municipality. To fulfill the road construction activities together with building works, the “Road and Building Works” Department was established. This Department stayed till the replacement of the Haile Sellase regime by the Derge regime performing its duties. But no fundamental organizational change of the department was observed during the Derg regime. (2)

In 1993 the existing government established regional governments and gave them power to administer their regions with autonomy. During this time Addis Ababa was also established as one of regions. The Addis Ababa administration during this period established the “Bureau of Works and Urban Development” and the bureau organized a department under it to carry out the road construction and maintenance works. The newly established road department constructed and maintained the City’s roads till the establishment of the Addis Ababa City Roads Authority in march 15,1998 by regulation no 7/1998 to be administrated by board of directors to construct, maintain and administer the road works in Addis Ababa by the city administration. The total length of roads constructed in the city till the establishment of the authority in March 15, 1998 was 1300km of which 900 km was gravel road and the remaining 400 km was Asphalt surfaced road. The Addis Ababa City Roads Authority has done remarkable progress in the city roads expansion and upgrading in the last 11 years since its establishment. (2)

A significant share of the urban growth is taking place in large cities like Addis Ababa. Especially, the number of conglomerates with more than 5 million inhabitants will grow. Middle and low income countries show the highest urban population increase, especially in Sub Saharan Africa (19). Despite some economic benefits, the rapid urban growth in developing countries is outstripping the capacity of most cities to provide adequate services for their citizens (Cohen, 2004). A high urbanization rate in combination with the intense desire for car ownership in developing countries causes a rapid growth of motorization (18). On the other hand, a lack of infrastructure and weak road network maintenance put extra stress on growing traffic flows with congestion, pollution and a low road safety level as a result (18 & 19).

Improved mobility in urban areas in developing countries is possible by building new infrastructure. However, this is a long term and expensive solution also transport is a key requirement for economic and social development to take place. The lack of it causes isolation, backwardness and poverty. So, this improvement of constructing new roads and urbanization must be evaluated frequently.

2.2 Transport Infrastructure and Services in Addis Ababa

2.2.1 Transport Infrastructure

The Addis Ababa City has both international and local transport links which include the Bole International Air Port, the Ethio-Djibouti Railway (not functional now) and the road network. The Airport is within the city in a south-easterly direction outside the ring road. It is easily accessible by car or taxi and bus run nearby.

Addis Ababa has adequate roadway connections with most of the regional states and different parts of the country. The national network is being improved under the Road Sector development program (RSDP) according to City development Plan report.

Because of inadequate planning, there is a critical lack of hierarchical system in the road network. Moreover, there are bottlenecks of narrow bridges, poorly designed intersections, and alignments. Public transport facilities are inadequate. With linear developments adjacent to the arterial road network, there is no form of access control. On street parking and inadequate traffic management are significant factors which limit the capacity of the existing network. (3)

2.2.2 Overall Planning of the Road Network in the city

The Addis Ababa City Road Network Report analyzed the nature and problems of the existing road network and addressed both freight and passenger terminals. It paid particular attention to the ring road and proposed a Conceptual Framework for the road network. The analysis was incorporated into the City Development Plan (2001-2010).

In the Project Proposal for Addis Ababa Transport Sector, October 2002, four components were identified:

- A transport planning system to integrate transport facilities with other aspects of the city development strategy, including evaluation and programming of all transport development programs;

- Transport management and control to improve traffic flow and use of streets and priorities for public and non-motorized transport;
- Traffic safety program to improve safety and reduce the very high levels of accidents and fatalities;
- A storm-water management project and transport infrastructure maintenance, to improve mobility, to reduce costs of maintenance, reduce damage to infrastructure including sidewalks and to reduce damage to adjacent urban areas.

The City Development Plan, in revising the 1986 Master Plan, included the following findings:

- Although right of ways have been generally respected, they are often substandard and there are many badly-designed or mismanaged squares and junctions;
- The ring road has not been properly integrated with the other parts of the network;
- There is a lack of alternative parallel routes and linkages and a failure to react to growth and changes in land use;
- Inappropriate road widths, poor mobility, poor pedestrian facilities and problems arising from informal trading;
- Concentration of passenger and goods terminals in the center of the city; and
- A radial national road network, with concomitant pressure on the central area. A revised road network was proposed by consisting of:
- "High speed streets" typically with a width of 50-60 meters; x "Boulevards" of widths "40 m and more"
- Collector streets (15 m wide) and local streets (I0 m wide). It was felt that there were insufficient collector roads and noted that most local streets were only 4-6 m wide. In Addis Ababa City Road Network (AACRN) reference is made on the one hand to a hierarchy of expressways, arterial streets, collector streets and local streets and on the other hand to categories of radial and ring networks, iron-grid networks, organic networks and composite networks. In general, the CDP planning is confusing about the definition and role of roads. The Addis Ababa Urban Transport Study (AAUTS) studied travel characteristics and the transport system, based inter alia on traffic surveys. The study found that the road network is limited, capacity is low and the prevailing level of service is low. Traffic volume coming from Debre Zeit accounts for a large share of the total. Through-traffic in the core area accounts for a quarter of the total. There is a high level of accidents. According to the Urban Transport Study, the right of way of most roads ranges between 15 and 60 meters, but about 70 % of the network is with a right of way of up to 30 meters. Only 24 percent of the road length has divided carriageway. Despite high pedestrian traffic, facilities for pedestrians are not adequate and 63 percent of the road length has no sidewalks. Facilities such as drainage, street light, and traffic signs and pavement markings are inadequate on the existing road network. (3)

At a regional level a regional grid, metropolitan motorway and Addis Ababa-Adama expressway are proposed. At the metropolitan level a hierarchy based arterial road network system comprising arterial, sub-arterial and collector roads is proposed. It is proposed to develop about 730 km of road as follows:

- an outer ring road (enables bypass traffic);
- an orbital road around the central business district ;
- city radial roads and connecting links, alternative corridors; x all-purpose roads within the central business district orbital; x a parking policy is to be formulated. (3)

2.2.3 Addis Ababa City Roads Development Program

The CDP has critically evaluated the road network of the city and proposed upgrading the existing ones and opening new sections so that the city has adequate road infrastructure. AACRA has embarked on road development program to upgrade, rehabilitate, and expand the road network as per the City Development Plan (2001-2010) in 2005-2010.

The AACRA City Roads Development Program (CRDP) for 2005-2010 proposes to widen or construct 266 km of road. This includes improvement of junctions, squares, and interchanges. The estimated cost of these projects was estimated at about birr 8.6 billion (954 million Euro at exchange rate of 9 .0), although there are some inconsistencies in the list of project costs. This might be US$ 1.3 Billion today. Of the total cost, it was proposed that the City Administration would cover design, right of way clearance and part of construction amounting to approximately 15% of this cost, the rest to come from foreign grants or loans. Over the period 2002-2005 AACRA undertook maintenance of 187 km of asphalt roads and 123 km of gravel roads. Maintenance of 159 km of storm water drains and painting of 390 km of road were also undertaken.

Assuming that the strategic plan for new and widened arterial, sub-arterial and collector streets is implemented, this will give rise to an additional 30% in maintenance needs. For both new construction and maintenance, there is likely to be a capacity bottleneck, on the part of local contractors and management. The US$ 1.3 billion proposed for new construction over five years is about 20% of the total ERA construction budget for the same period for the entire road network in the rest of the country. (3)

Non-Motorized Transport

All the planning documents refer to the lack of and poor state of sidewalks, particularly at junctions. The Urban Transport Study points out that walking is the predominant mode of transport in AA, 60% of all trips. There is also an utter lack of respect for pedestrians on the part of drivers, and the issue or pedestrian crossings is critical. Over the period 2002 - 2005, AACRA designed and constructed about 50 km of pedestrian facilities, but many arterial, sub-arterial and collector roads remain without sidewalks or with sidewalks in poor condition. Planning of junctions and interchanges and new roads is said, however, to make provision for improved pedestrian facilities.

The Urban Transport Study proposes that sidewalks be developed on both sides of the abovementioned roads, and on one side of local roads. It recommends that pedestrian facilities should aim at reducing traffic speed through traffic calming and other measures. It proposes exclusive budgets for pedestrian facilities.

In the process of widening or constructing new streets, pedestrian facilities are usually taken account of, although on the three categories of roads discussed above, traffic calming measure are likely to be limited and this topic may need to be revisited. (2)

Mobility characteristics of cities in Sub Saharan Africa

“Within the group of developing countries, the subgroup of Sub Saharan African countries distinguishes themselves on a number of characteristics. While other regions in developing countries are industrializing rapidly as a result of the new global economy, the African cities remain economically marginalized. However, the population in African cities is growing despite poor macroeconomic performance and without significant foreign direct investment. Even more, Sub Saharan Africa has globally the highest urban population growth in percentages as cited by J.W Zwarteveen. By 2025, African society is expected to become predominantly urban (United Nations, 2004). The institutional weaknesses of political instability, corruption and chronic mismanagement of economic resources put extra stress on the level of services in cities. It can be concluded that world’s challenges concerning urban mobility will be particularly significant in Sub Saharan Africa.” (4)

Mobility characteristics in Addis Ababa

By 2015, the Sub Sahara African region is expected to have five cities larger than 5 million inhabitants: Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Lagos, Luanda and Kinshasa (18). This thesis will focus on Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, a city with numerous similarities with other Sub Saharan cities. The mobility problems in Addis Ababa are emergent, since the recent state of road traffic management is considerably poor (Kessides, 2007). Table 1 shows a benchmark of Addis Ababa with the average urban area in Africa, the developing world, Europe and the US. It can be seen that Addis Ababa has a relatively high population density and a high urban population growth; both facts combined with a low GDP per capita put high stress on the quality of mobility services. This stress is reflected by the very low supply of infrastructure: the current road density measured in kilometer of road per 1000 habitant in Addis Ababa is significantly lower than the average of developing countries; moreover, it is only one third of the African average. The public transport plays a dominant role in urban mobility in Ethiopia. The current average number of cars per 1000 habitants in whole Ethiopia is only one (The World Bank, 2011). In Addis Ababa, the car ownership has not gone up corresponding to the population growth. However, the number of trips per public transport is directly related to the urbanization.

In general, for every additional 1000 people in developing world cities, an increase of 350-400 public transport trips will be realized per day. (4)

Table 1: Benchmarking Addis Ababa, Africa average, Developing countries average, Europe average and US average

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: (4)



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performance addis ababa city road network




Title: Performance evaluation of Addis Ababa City Road Network