Drivers blocking pedestrian walkways in Nairobi to lose licenses – NMS - Beaking Kenya News

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Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Drivers blocking pedestrian walkways in Nairobi to lose licenses – NMS


Motorists parking, driving or riding on pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes within Nairobi now risk losing their licenses.

This is after the Nairobi Metropolitan Services said it will embark on an exercise to arrest such motorists.

According to Director General Mohamed Badi, such drivers will be forced to cater for the repair of damaged pedestrian walkways and cycle lanes.

 “Parking, driving, or riding on NMT walkways or Cycle Lanes by Motor Vehicles or Motor Cycles is prohibited,” Badi said on Twitter.

He added, “Drivers or riders found in contravention will be prosecuted, their driving license suspended, where damage is occasioned to the infrastructure pay for its restoration”.

The conversion of chunks of spaces into pedestrian walkways and cycling lanes by the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) was lauded by city residents.

The programme was expected to make it easy for residents to walk or cycle from home to their places of work in the CBD but motorists are already making it a nightmare.

Currently, there is a struggle for parking space within the city centre as hundreds of parking slots have been replaced by the walkways.

As a result, motorists are shamelessly parking along the beautiful walkways and inconveniencing pedestrians and cyclists.  

 Members of the public called on Badi to swing in full action against the impunity.

A car parked on pedestrian walkway in the CBD
A car parked on pedestrian walkway in the CBD
Image: NMS

In June following another public outcry, the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) vowed to move swiftly and act on those violating traffic rules within the city.

Communications Director John Cheboi told the Star the authority had noted with concern an increase in impunity by car owners.

He said it is saddening that the county government and the authority are spending billions of shillings to construct pedestrian walkways, only for motorists to turn them into illegal parking spaces.

"This is pure impunity. It is a criminal offence to park on walkways. We are going to start a major crackdown on these individuals and the full law will apply t0 them," Cheboi said.

He said the authority had requested for back-up security and the crackdown would start in a few days to come.

"These individuals risk a fine of not less than Sh30,000 because that is an obstruction to human traffic. These walkways are specifically designed to serve humans and one wonders which sane person will just come and drive on them or park," he said.

"It is high time we make these motorists respect human beings because humans are more important than those cars."

According to Cheboi, the authority has mapped out hot spots.

These areas include the Eastlands part of Nairobi, Westlands, especially Sarit Centre and Ngong road.

Cheboi said in Eastlands, the walkways have been turned into garages, forcing pedestrians to squeeze themselves in the main road.

Along Jogoo Road, the walkways have been taken over by hawkers.

City Hall said the matter had been brought to the attention of the county and necessary action would be taken in due course.

Governor Mike Sonko said he had asked the County Assembly Committee on Transport and Public Works to review and come up with new laws to safeguard the walkways.

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