Mombasa Road, Uhuru Highway and Waiyaki Way have for the last year been a mess as far as traffic is concerned. So bad is the traffic on these three roads that are indeed one long stretch cutting through the city, that it has become a normal part of life for those who use it.
Since President Mwai Kibaki, now retired, took over in 2003, Nairobi has always had several road construction projects going on.
As he officially opened Thika Road, the expansion of which was so hyped and anticipated that it has since been called a superhighway, President Kibaki spoke to what the Government hoped to accomplish.
“We are marking success of not just the roads but the network of roads deliberately designed to save time, improve access and ensure vehicle owners are saved from the wear and tear caused by poor roads,” he said.
While access has been improved, the perpetual complaints about the traffic prove that time is still not being saved – a report in 2019 stated that more than $1 billion is lost each year in Nairobi’s traffic jams. The construction of roads continues, in the meantime, and the latest cause of chaos is the Nairobi Expressway, an elevated toll road from near Jomo Kenyatta International Airport all the way to Rironi.
Earlier this year, the Kenya Urban Roads Authority announced its intention to set up an Intelligent Transport Management System, which it had trialled at several spots in the capital city.
The intention of the system is to improve traffic efficiency and flow and suggests, for the first time, that technology could soon come to the aid of Nairobi’s traffic problem.
In today’s edition of the Safaricom Newsroom podcast, Evelyn Wambui sought to find out whether technology will help solve Nairobi’s traffic problem.
Listen to the podcast below: