New plan to decongest Nairobi

Traffic jam in Nairobi
Traffic jam in Nairobi. PHOTO/FILE
The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) is looking for a new way to alleviate traffic congestion in the Nairobi central business district.

The roads agency has advertised for a consultant to conduct a study and prepare a comprehensive plan to ease traffic jams on roads leading to the city.

This, according to Kura engineers, could lead to the expansion of lanes at the junctions of key roads, making several streets one way and removing parking bays on some roads.

The study is financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of the loan provided for the Sh8.5 billion expansion of the Nairobi’s Outering Road.

The project, which was scheduled to begin in October, involves dualling, service roads, ten footbridges, six subways for the safety of pedestrians, a Bus Rapid Transit corridor to be built later, non-motorised traffic and six interchanges.

AfDB will contribute 88.5 per cent of the funding with the Kenyan government meeting 11.5 per cent of the project cost.

This is not the first time the government has tried to resolve the perennial traffic jams in the city. In January last year, a 18-member committee was formed by City Hall to look into the de-congestion plan.

The committee’s findings are yet to be made public one year on.

However, the Nairobi County government in June unveiled a development master-plan that is hinged on construction of new rail and road network, among other things, to ease congestion in the city centre.

READ: Nairobi maps its future with new city master plan

The blueprint which was prepared by City Hall with support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), provides a guiding framework to manage Nairobi metropolitan development from 2014-2030.

It proposes the creation of more than a dozen commercial centres to create multiple economic arteries in Nairobi in a bid to disperse activity away from the city centre.