Nairobi CBD gets friendly for pedestrians, cyclists as facelift takes shape


Nairobi CBD gets friendly for pedestrians, cyclists as facelift takes shape
A section of the newly refurbished Kenyatta Avenue inside the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) PHOTO | COURTESY

In Summary

  • NMS Engineer Michael Ochieng, the new project places pedestrians at the centre of city road plans over motorists in a move which favours walking and cycling over driving around the CBD.
  • The plan will see a significant reduction in the number of motor vehicles inside the CBD as the capital administrators seek to better accommodate the influx of pedestrians.
  • Affected motorists who relied on street parking are now to be accommodated in a plan to develop silo and sunken car parks.

The Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) is set for a new look as the newly-created Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) moves to institute altering reforms to street use.

Residents visiting the CBD may have in recent weeks may have noticed changes to the city’s landscape as on-street parking spots disappear- to be replaced by pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes.

Most recently, a video surfaced online showing President Uhuru Kenyatta conducting site inspections in the night, a clip that drew curiosity among Kenyans on the city project.

Citizen Digital caught up with NMS’s Engineer Michael Ochieng who summarized the ongoing facelift as part of plans to uplift non-motorized transport (NMT) among city residents.

According to Ochieng, the new project places pedestrians at the centre of city road plans over motorists in a move which favours walking and cycling over driving around the CBD.

“Previously, we have focused a lot on expanding the capacity for motor vehicles. We have more pedestrians than motorists in the city. On our current site along Kenyatta Avenue, pedestrians at any one point are outstripping motorists by nearly 20 to 40 times,” he said.

The majority of street parking spots are now being replaced by pedestrian walk ways and cycling lanes as the priority shift to the NMT.

The plan will see a significant reduction in the number of motor vehicles inside the CBD as the capital administrators seek to better accommodate the influx of pedestrians.

“This is part of the plan to decongest traffic. The program we have will enable city residents to walk or cycle from home to their places of work in the CBD negating the reliance on motorized transport systems,” Eng. Ochieng added.

“We have timelines for the first 100 days to complete renovations along Moi Avenue, Muindi Mbingu Street, City Hall Way and the University Way. The project will later connect the City with Jogoo Road, Kibra, Westlands and Industrial Area.”

Later on, the ongoing NMT project will be infused to the upcoming Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which seeks to leverage mass public transport systems to reduce traffic congestion in and around the city.

 

The new city look draws lessons from the recently refurbished Ngong Road which now integrates pedestrian walk ways with cycling lanes.

Affected motorists who relied on street parking are now to be accommodated in a plan to develop silo and sunken car parks.

 

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Story By Kepha Muiruri
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