Re-design of city roads to enhance pedestrian safety

Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 00:00 |
A section of Muindi Mbingu Street in Nairobi that is currently under redesign. Photo/PD/JOHN OCHIENG

Mercy Mwai and David Ndolo

Re-designing of various roads in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) to pave way for pedestrian walkways is expected to ease free movement and safety of people in and out of the county. 

The new development is expected to limit the number of vehicles entering the city centre to help reduce traffic congestion.

Yesterday, the County Director of Parking Services (DPS) Tom Tinega, told People Daily that by the end of the year, various streets in the CBD will have witnessed major transformation to create room for easy pedestrian walkways as opposed to continued congestion by motorists as currently witnessed.

Tinega said that once the proposal aimed at reducing existing 25,000 parking spaces is fully implemented, they expect motorists to use private parking spaces outside the CBD such as Nairobi West, Nyayo Stadium, Upper Hill, Westlands and Kijabe Street.

“The project was started by Governor Mike Sonko. It has kicked off seamlessly and Nairobi streets will now witness rehabilitation to ease the conduct of businesses, movements and leisure during the weekend,” he said.

Tinega said despite ongoing efforts to transform the city’s road network, they do not expect drastic changes in the collection of revenue, as parking is not a major source of revenue for the county.

Stringent guidelines

The county government, he said, is expecting to maintain the Sh1.9 billion parking fees revenue. 

The county has also formulated stringent guidelines, which will leave taxis, cab operators and boda boda riders held personally responsible should they flout the new rules. This is expected to ensure effective implementation of the initiative.

Former Nairobi Town clerk Philip Kisia and Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) vice-president Wilson Mugambi have welcomed the move, and said the initiative could relieve city residents of the traffic congestion that is becoming a nightmare.

 Kisia has told PDS that besides adopting the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) module, they should come up with alternative routes for motorists to access CBD. 

He noted that his team had recommended the formation of parking silos that would have been used as alternative parking for motorists.

“While I support this, we need to provide an alternative line for motorists to use when entering CBD,” he said.

Mugambi welcomed the move saying it will create more spaces as well as ease congestion in the city center.

“This idea is very practical, it will help reduce emission in the city as well as reduce congestion,” he said.

The move being implemented by the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) is expected to drastically reduce the number of vehicles entering the CBD by the end of the year as most of the parking areas will have been converted into walkways.

Among the streets that have been targeted for rehabilitation include Luthuli avenue, Moi and Kenyatta avenues, Webera Street, Koinange Street, Muindi Mbingu Street, Standard Street, Tom Mboya, Section of Tratoria Area as well Mama Ngina.

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