Since this word consists of a kanji with hiragana attached, you can bet that it will use the kun'yomi reading. You didn't learn that reading with this kanji, so here's a mnemonic to help you:
When things are sparse, you won't have food or toys or internet. It's hard for everyone. So your mama would baa (まば) to entertain you and get you to stop thinking about how thin you and her were getting. Mama baaing made you calm and happy. Thanks mama.
It’s bustling during the day, but at night pedestrian traffic is sparse.