Parking chaos in town irks commuters, visitors

Lack of signage for parking has turned Meru town into a chaotic trading centre, commuters and the business community have said.

Led by Meru Municipality MCA Elias Murega, the business community said an increase in population and businesses had led to a big number of vehicles in town.

Mr Murega said the motor vehicle owners and transporters in Meru town are growing impatient with lack of designated parking slots and traffic congestion which keeps getting worse.

“We have a situation where Meru town is becoming more disorganized. Motor vehicle owners who work in town and those driving through cannot find parking space. We have instances where county revenue officers have been clamping vehicles which they say are parked in undesignated areas, yet there are no display signs,” Mr Murega said.

SEE ALSO :Messy parking system angers city motorists

Murega said the workers and business community are increasingly getting frustrated and want policy makers to move with speed to bring order around Meru town and Makutano trading centre.

“A big number of people who commute for five days to Meru town and Makutano use private vehicles need parking space. Travelers who want to make a stop-over also need space to park. Unfortunately, no one knows where to park, because there are no display signs. To make matters worse we have a situation where revenue collectors are nowhere to be seen, only to clamp vehicles they find wrongly parked,” he said.

Murega said revenue officers particularly clamp vehicles parked outside the Land Registry and Meru Law courts.

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“There is always a big number of cars at the lands registry and courts, but no parking signage. A lot of money is collected there as fines for illegal parking. We need not only expansion of the parking capacity in Meru town and Makutano areas, but erected of parking display signs too,” Murega said.

Dennis Murithi, a shop owner, said he has to reach town very early to fight for a space at the ‘known’ parking areas in front of shops and offices.

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“After that, it is a scramble as drivers move around town looking for a place to park. It is not once my car has been clamped. I was forced to pay Sh3,000 for parking along a street. The revenue collector and parking attendant said my car was parked at the wrong place, yet there was no sign to indicate it was,” said Mr Murithi.

He said lack of designated parking bays had discouraged frequent travelers who pass through the town to the Meru National Park, Lewa Conservancy, Nanyuki and other destinations.

“Not once have I been forced to do a bailout for my friends whose cars were clamped and towed away. Actually, we are questioning whether the fines are anchored in any law,” he said.

But a senior government official pleaded for patience, telling commuters and other stakeholders the parking signs will be put up, before long.

On Friday, county government's North Imenti Administrator Mwiti Kathendu assured all that they will install display signs once the on-going carbro paving project is complete.

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Mr Kathendu said the contractor working to upgrade the town will deliver the project in about two months.

"Once the cabro paving is complete, we will do the (parking spaces) marking. The contractor has asked for two more months. We are appealing to stakeholders to be patient while the project to upgrade is being completed," Kathendu said.  

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