|Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero (right), Transport and Urban Decongestion Committee chairperson Marion Mutugi (centre) and vice chairperson Mark Ngatia launch a report on decongestion of Nairobi at City Hall Tuesday. [PHOTO: BEVERLYNE MUSILI/STANDARD]|
NAIROBI COUNTY: Construction of parking complexes outside the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD), elimination of roundabouts and roads expansion are among proposals to decongest the capital city.
This is according to an interim report by the Nairobi County Urban Decongestion Committee.
The committee, commissioned early in the year by Governor Evans Kidero, has said in its report that since roundabouts are the main causes of traffic jams in the CBD, they should be replaced with interchanges and traffic controlled by manned traffic lights.
It also recommends the expansion of feeder roads connecting the city to highways and avenues to ease the inflow and outflow of traffic.
Speaking when he received the report in his office, Dr Kidero acknowledged the need to initiate infrastructural change to accommodate the growing population.
“Like other cities in the world, congestion in Nairobi has increased over the years due to an increased road user population without commensurate infrastructural development,” Kidero said.
He said the roads can no longer effectively serve the one million commuters moving in and out of the CBD daily.
“Since the number is expected to continue rising, as a county government we have taken the initiative to make the necessary improvement on our infrastructure to make it accommodative and relevant for years to come,” he said.
The governor revealed that the county government was in consultations with stakeholders and developers over the introduction of multi-storey parking complexes to decongest city streets.
He said plans to create parking spaces at the major entry points to the CBD with park and ride areas where private cars and non-essential vehicles can be left with provision of adequate security will be immediately initiated with the identification of spaces outside the city.
“Traffic and congestion in the CBD costs the economy millions due to delays and wasted fuel. This is why measures such as creation of parking spaces and introduction of dedicated lanes for buses and emergency vehicles will be taken to ensure we unclog our city for prosperity and safety,” Kidero said.
He announced the introduction of new road legislations and the removal of old irrelevant ones to ensure the congestion menace is eradicated.
Nairobi County Urban Decongestion Committee chairperson Marion Mutugi said if residents changed their attitude towards traffic policies and gave their input as the main road users in the city then the roads can be decongested.
She said with the implementation of the recommended decongestion measures, serious health conditions resulting from exhaust inhalation will be averted and the environmental impact of noise and air pollution reduced.
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“The impact of this congestion is not only economic but also environmental resulting into fatal health consequences to road users. Also, when road users are held captive in their vehicles due to traffic, frustrations boil over leading to road rage that leads to accidents, crimes and losses due to property damage. Decongestion solves all this,” Mutugi said.
The interim report will be discussed and amended before it is presented to the public and implemented.