Kenya: Nairobians Protest Plan for Car-Free Days in City Centre

An aerial view of the Kenyatta Avenue - Uhuru highway roundabout.
28 January 2019

Nairobians have protested the proposal to have car-free days on Wednesday and Saturday in the city centre.

Transport Secretary James Macharia Monday announced that personal vehicles will be barred from accessing the CBD for the two days beginning February 1 in efforts to decongest the capital.

The parking lots in the CBD will be transformed into open-air markets where traders can sell their wares.

Online, Nairobians protested the introduction of the car-free days before the arrival of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) high-capacity buses.

They also want Nairobi county government to establish parking lots outside the CBD.

Ben Ngimor wrote; "Who makes these policies surely. 1. A car-free day without an operational BRT will just be like the flopped removal of matatus from CBD 2. A car-free Saturday is pointless since half of CBD traffic is roaming in suburb shopping malls and on highways to upcountry."

Ngugi Mwatha stated; "This will only work if we have many many many many buses."

Nick Maina added; "This knee-jerk, disjointed reactions to the serious congestion issue is tragic... let's have a comprehensive, well-thought out, multi-option consultative strategy to unlock our perennial traffic gridlock."

Stephen Munyao commented; "We are always behind copying even from countries with a population of #Kibera. Create solutions for Kenya. #SGR should been anchored from Machakos bus station in Nairobi and JKIA."

Dennis Gathanju added; "The best public transport solution for Nairobi is an underground subway system stretching from Kitengela to Kikuyu; from Ngong to Juja; from Kiambu to Ruai. The money stolen in this country since 2003 would be enough to build a proper metro system."

George tweeted; "Another shoddy decision from our confused government, BRT has failed let the government agree with the fact and allow matatus to continue with their business as usual. This nonsense."

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