Nairobi County government is grappling with how to de-congest the city and manage a drainage system that has been a menace to its residents in the CBD. Although the road network is improved traffic jam is always part of the unsolved equation, county officials have kept on pumping money into initiatives that have been fruitless in solving the problem.
Under governor former governor Kidero’s reign a memorandum of understanding was signed with Foton and Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport for the supply of high capacity buses at a cost of Sh6.4 billion, to counter matatu menace, only for the plan to fail to come to reality.
Car-free days in the CBD was introduced by the Transport ministry last year but was also quickly withdrawn, because its alternative end was too loose. The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA-Kenya) held a public forum on the Traffic Challenge in the City of Nairobi-Economic Implications and Possible Solutions on Thursday. Stakeholders in the transport industry came up with improved versions on how to de-congest the city that if enacted would be a game changer in the sector
“We have three acres of land lying furrow. We can make a Central Bus Station and have our commuters pick vehicles from there. There were termini which were supposed to be outside town. Why the obsession with CBD? Street packing can be removed when we have a bus lane within the CBD. A schedule bus system where as a commuter you wait for the bus at the scheduled time could reduce congestion,” Mr Peter Murima, Chairman of Motorists Association of Kenya of stakeholders.
Speaking on roundabouts, junctions and traffic lights, he noted the need to rework the road structures to have seamless vehicle movement without the intervention of traffic cops.
“Our roundabouts, we can do a very simple steel overpass. KENHA and KURA are doing interchanging junction like the one on Chiromo and the other one on the Southern bypass near Lenana school. Interchanging junctions make sure the vehicles move seamlessly around without traffic police intervention. Unfortunately, the system of our junctions cannot allow the traffic lights to work well and our police officers have to intervene in ensuring traffic flow, but with the improvement of the junctions will improve the situation,” he added.
While parking on the streets seems to be the heart of congestion in the streets of Nairobi, the stakeholders noted that the county government should start constructing parking called silos like the one in Holy Family Basilica where many vehicles can park at once. With drainage, stakeholders mentioned that county government is doing away with kerbs and upcoming roads have broken kerbs and commended the government is getting bolder in introducing decent public systems.