Nairobi — The government has commissioned the building of two foot bridges on Mombasa road at a cost of Sh300 million. The footbridges which will be set up at Bellevue and General Motors are expected to reduce the number of accidents on the highway, which Kenya National Highways Authority Director General Meshack Kidenda stated had risen sharply.
Kidenda further urged pedestrians to make use of the facilities as they increase road safety. "We are going to provide a bridge for pedestrians but then they choose not to use these infrastructures provided and now we believe that after this bridge is completed, accidents around this area will be drastically reduced," he said.
His sentiments were echoed by Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero who further called on legislators to hasten the implementation of the law on scrap metal to avoid vandalism of the footbridges. "A few weeks ago, I banned the trade of scrap metal without any licence and I would like to request Members of Parliament to hasten and pass the Scrap Metal Bill so that we have a legal basis that we can ensure that the integrity of the roads are maintained," he stated.
Infrastructure Principal Secretary John Mosonik also pointed out that the ministry will prioritise the construction of speed bumps in areas prone to accidents across the country.
"This road is an international standard trunk road comprising six lanes and is designed for speeds between 80 up to 120 km/hr. On average, this section of Mombasa road caries approximately between 50,000 to 100,000 vehicles daily. The highway has an equally high number of pedestrians trying to compete against such high vehicular traffic," he said.
He pointed out that the increase in industrial, commercial and residential developments have also lead to an increase in population along Mombasa road. "I am sure pedestrians and residents of estates and businesses along Mombasa road will welcome the two projects and make use of the footbridges when completed."
The highway connects several middle class estates such as Bellevue, Mugoya, Akiba, Imara Daima, South B, South C, Hazina and informal settlements at the periphery, such as Mukuru Kwa Njenga and Mukuru Kwa Reuben.
The Nairobi City County is at the same time thinking about establishing a law seeking to ban the establishment of bars within 100 metres of any bus terminus. Kidero explained that it has been established that many drivers dash into the bars as their vehicles fill up thus increasing the chances of an accident.
He indicated that the law is expected to reduce the level of carnage on the road as statistics indicate that over 1,000 deaths occurred this year on the roads in Nairobi. "We will ensure that in the bus termini, all bars within 100 metres are closed. Especially in downtown Nairobi near the Akamba bus terminus, we will ensure that all bars within the area are closed," he stated.
He stated that the closure will further ensure that passengers do not get drunk while travelling especially in long distances.
"We found that some of the drivers dash into bars while waiting for passengers to fill their vehicles and do not feel the impact until they travel about 100 kilometres away," he said.