28 July 2014

Kenya: Footbridges Unsafe, Says Mak Chair

THE Motorist Association of Kenya has demanded the removal of adverts mounted on footbridges. The association's chairman Peter Murima said the adverts make the walkways dark and, hence, a hideout for criminals.

Murima said the National Transport and Safety Authority must ensure that the footbridges are well lit to ensure security of the pedestrians. He raised concerns just days after the NTSA conducted a swoop within Nairobi, aimed at ensuring that people use footbridges and not informal crossings.

The NTSA officials and police officers arrested several pedestrians along Landies Road near Muthurwa market last week. Those arrested were crossing the road without using the footbridges.

Some pedestrians said they avoided footbridges as they feared being mugged. Street children use the footbridge at Landies Road as their resting place and urinal.

Murima said even though the NTSA's efforts to encourage pedestrians to use footbridges are long overdue, the agency should make the facilities safe and user friendly.

"Footbridges are key not only to pedestrians in terms of safety but also to motorists," he said. "The adverts mounted on the bridges also distract drivers." NTSA chairman Lee Kinyanjui said street children have taken over the footbridges because pedestrians don't use them.

"Some of the footbridges may not be user-friendly but we need to appreciate the high number of fatalities caused by dangerous crossing," Kinyanjui said on phone. He said the agency will seek funds to build more footbridges and make existing ones safer.

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