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Pedestrian walkways: has the reality finally dawned on US?

We must take care of pedestrians; they are not going anywhere. [ XN Iraki, Standard]

Peponi Road and other roads in Nairobi are getting walkways for pedestrians. They will no longer have to compete for space with cars, tuktuks and boda bodas.

It seems the road builders have finally accepted that Kenya is a walking nation. And there are more walkers than cars.

About two million cars in a population of about 50 million.

The walkways should be wider than the roads. We have more walkers than car owners. Add cyclists too.

We seem to forget there is nothing like a car, it’s just people in motion and at a higher speed than walkers.

The deitification of the car has led to the prioritisation of roads over other projects.

I am still looking for a mega project in new schools, hospitals, and even museums or soccer fields.

Why is the car given so much priority, worshipped 138 years after its invention?

Back to Peponi Road. New roads in Kenya are taking care of pedestrians, a clear admission that hustlers will always be with us. When we graduate from hustling, leisure walks or cycling will still remain.

Walkway along Parliament Road, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Temporary runways?

We need to design roads for everyone, walkers, riders and even planes. How many roads in Kenya can serve as temporary runways?

Roads are some of the few open spaces in Kenya. Strange in a country that emulates the US or UK and their parks. Why do we copy US political system and not their parks or recreation system?

Will the new government force counties to designate parks when we still have some land available?

Why so much focus on residential houses when we spend only a third of our lives sleeping?

We live in the tropics and walking outdoors is full of fun. But we take outdoor life for granted.

A winter would make us appreciate our fine weather and endless summers. It’s strange that convertibles are rare on our roads.

Mzungus who lived in Kenya before uhuru really appreciated the weather and had verandahs to enjoy outdoors. They had lived through winters.

We could add that building walkways makes it easy to leave cars at home, a plus for climatic change.

Why is building walkways an afterthought just like building overpasses over expressways and superhighways?

It seems the reality of socio-economics has finally melted, 60 years after uhuru.