No on-street parking for matatus, Nairobi MCAs decide

NAIROBI: Matatu operators within the central business district will no longer be allowed to park on-street.

This comes after the Nairobi County Assembly yesterday adopted a resolution to ease congestion in the city.

In a motion that sought to restore sanity in the expanding matatu sector in Nairobi, members of the county assembly argued that all public service vehicles revert to their designated bus termini in order to reduce overcrowding within the city.

Pipeline Ward MCA Samuel Kagiri, who was the mover of the motion, raised concerns that most streets, pedestrian walkways and on-street parking in the city centre had been turned into bus stops and parking slots for public service vehicles (PSVs).

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He argued that time had seen a marked increase in the number of PSVs plying routes in the capital, but most drivers did not adhere to preferential parking zones and bus termini, which were governed by regulations.

"Pedestrian walk-ways have been illegally turned into bus stops and parking slots for PSVs and this has led to increased congestion and accidents, including deaths of pedestrians," said Kagiri.

The assembly further emphasised the need to have the allocation of parking, picking and dropping zones for PSVs revised since the same was last done in 2000.

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Nominated MCA Karen Wanjiku pointed out Ronald Ngala and Moi Avenue as the most affected streets, claiming the congested environment was not only chaotic but also a breeding ground for sexual harassment.

She said adaption of the motion was the only way the county would be able to restore social order.

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"Mr Speaker, all the illegal termini should be abolished because they not only cause congestion and accidents, but there is also sexual harassment. If I as an MCA have experienced it, what about that school girl?" posed Ms Wanjiku.

CRAZY TRAFFIC

Kayole South Ward Representative Elizabeth Manyala opined that tourists feared Nairobi because of the crazy traffic and discourteous matatu operators.

She said the motion was a stepping stone towards bringing back the city's lost glory as the regional and continental pearl.

"We need sanity in the CBD in that bus operators need to know when and where to pick and drop off passengers. Matatus that occupy illegal parking slots have brought about confusion, mayhem and noise pollution and that should change," said Ms Manyala.

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Viwandani MCA Samuel Nyangwara who was the sit-in speaker adopted the motion and urged the executive to act speedily as the festive season starts.

In October this year, at least six pedestrians were badly injured after they were run over by a matatu whose driver had attempted to overlap but lost control.

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