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More roads unlikely to end city traffic gridlocks

By Editorial | September 1st 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Despite numerous corruption claims that keep swirling around State projects, threatening to surly President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy, Jubilee has done a commendable job in improving the transport infrastructure.

Hundreds of kilometres of tarmac have been laid in many parts of the country. In addition, the Standard Gauge Railway has snaked from Mombasa all the way to Naivasha. The derelict colonial railway line is also getting a new lease of life.

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These initiatives will no doubt improve the economy and make our lives better. Nairobi has also not been left behind. New roads have been constructed and old ones expanded to tackle the old-age traffic congestion nightmare.

At the moment, the 27.1km Nairobi Expressway, which will link Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Nairobi-Nakuru highway, is under construction. Plans are also afoot to build special lanes on the recently upgraded Outering Road.

These projects show the government’s undying determination to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the city.

Unfortunately, expansion of roads is unlikely to provide a long-lasting solution to traffic congestion nightmare. That’s why under two years since the reopening of new-look Outering Road there is talk again of traffic jams. The rising population will make matters worse as more vehicles will hit the road.

It is time to change tack. The government should invest more in railways and tramways. Of course, it would be an expensive undertaking. But it is worth it.

Trams and commuter trains have greatly helped to ease traffic jams in Western capitals. They would do the same here.

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