Nairobi Gubernatorial Seat hopeful Polycarp Igathe has revealed his grand plan to decongest the city, which has for decades been plagued by unending traffic jams, water scarcity and sanitation issues.
Igathe, a former deputy governor with a brief tenure, said that if elected, he will prioritize creating adequate pedestrian walkways because Nairobi’s congestion is caused by human traffic.
“People who drive to town account for only 13 percent of the total traffic in the City,so we need to focus on pedestrians,” he said.
“We want people to walk from Buru Buru, or Donholm to the CBD….. this way, even these young people as they walk, thats where they will find lovers or make friends… it is good public health,”
“If you look at cities such as London or New York, people walk throughout town, while Taxis only pick or drop passengers,”
According to him, some of the world’s most efficient cities, such as London or New York, have prioritized non-motorized transportation, such as pedestrian walkways and reorganizing traffic flow into cities.
“In every town in the world, the most important traffic is pedestrians. My government will prioritise pedestrians,” Igathe told Inooro FM.
“I recently walked with a majority of residents who work in town and I was able to see the kind of challenges they face,”
Igathe, who has hit the ground running since being unveiled as the Jubilee candidate for the Nairobi seat, stated that previous administrations in Nairobi focused on people who drive into town, rather than the majority of pedestrians who account for 70% of traffic in Nairobi’s CBD.
The gubernatorial candidate also discussed his plans to reduce vehicular traffic within the city, saying that while it will require proper public participation, it is doable.
Igathe argued that in order to decongest the city, Nairobi residents may have to reconsider several traditions, such as country buses entering the CBD.
“Since our forefather came to Nairobi back in the day, all bus stops have been at Tea Room, meaning that places like Nyamakima, where majority shops are have turned into bus depots,” Igathe said.
“We need to think, have public participation and ask ourselves, is it necessary for country buses to get into CBD?
If elected, Igathe promises to use the existing Nairobi integrated urban masterplan to complete all railway networks and ring roads in order to decongest the city.
His government, he claims, will build a ring road connecting Limuru Road to Pangani as part of a comprehensive plan to solve the traffic problem.
His master plan for Nairobi also includes the construction of railways to connect Nairobi City to its surroundings, as well as three other counties within the Nairobi Metropolitan District.
The counties are Murang’a, Kiambu, Nairobi and Machakos.
Igathe, for example, claims that one railway system will run from Riruta satellite to Ngumo, and another from Embakasi to Ruai.
There will also be another railway system, connecting Syokimau to the Airport, and another one snaking through Githurai, Kiambu and Limuru.