Nairobi News

NewsWhat's Hot

Nairobi’s Sh400m traffic plan faces collapse

The Sh400 million project to decongest the city is in danger of collapsing over what motorists and stakeholders attribute to sabotage by some interested groups.

However, the plan which was to ensure that all roundabouts in the City are removed to allow free flow of traffic from two directions has worked along the busy Chiromo Road and Waiyaki Way.

It has also managed to end the permanent traffic gridlock at Old Nation House (Khoja) roundabout.

But the project, being implemented by Nairobi County Government, is yet to bear fruits in some sections of Uhuru Highway where motorists have to spend hours waiting for the police to clear the traffic.


The plan to replace the six roundabouts with signalised intersection has also been delayed by technical hitches.

The design requires additional lanes but county transport executive Mr Mohamed Abdullahi says there is no land for additional lanes. This means new designs must be made, he added.

And the question that motorists are asking is why traffic moves smoothly along intersections used mainly by matatus like Haile Selassie Avenue and Uhuru Highway roundabout.

“Police allow traffic along Haile Selassie Avenue to move first because they must clear vehicles from Harambee Avenue, which are given preference because they belong to some top government officials,” Nairobi traffic police boss, Edward Mwamburi said in an interview.

But he said there is always enough space for vehicles plying Haile Selassie Avenue through Ngong Road unlike the ones that use Chiromo Road to access Mombasa Road.

“At least 60 per cent of vehicles that use Uhuru Highway end up in Lang’ata Road or Lusaka Road.
That is why we have permanent traffic jam along this highway (Uhuru Highway),” said the city traffic boss.

Most motorists disagrees with Mr Mwamburi.

They say traffic was initially flowing well in the first week of the project in April before Nairobi County Government was forced to remove drums used to barricade Bunyala Road-Uhuru Highway roundabout and Lusaka-Lang’ata roads roundabout.


The drums were to be removed three days after the reopening of the Southern Bypass but this did not happen. City Hall has remained silent over the removal of the drums.

This left the old system in force along Uhuru Highway where police control traffic flow at the roundabouts.

Motorists lament that officers keep some lanes static for as long as one hour during rush hour, creating a backlog.

Drivers who use the stretch between University Way-Uhuru Highway roundabout and the highway’s junction with Haile Selassie Avenue cry out most.

The section is almost two kilometres or less apart but motorists usually take more than two hour during rush hours to reach Bunyala Road.

“When taking a customer to the either Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Wilson Airport from 5 pm from the city centre, we have to avoid the stretch between Kenyatta Avenue Roundabout to Haile Selassie Avenue, which is the main route as the passenger will miss the flight,” Mr Sammy Wanyoike, a taxi driver said.

It is alleged that some matatu saccos bribe policemen to clear way for them but Mr Mwamburi denies this.

SOURCE: Daily Nation