Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reduce Congestion by Reducing Single Occupant Car Use

Photo: One of Kenya's characteristically colourful matatus, the mini buses that most people use for public transport.

Traffic problems on the roads in and around Nairobi continue to make life there difficult for many. Traffic jams develop for all sorts of reasons; there are a lot of accidents; parts of the roads are being repaired, very slowly; and there are just too many vehicles.

But someone has come up with the rather stupid conclusion that congestion in the central business district can be reduced by keeping matatus and buses out. That's fine, they do add to congestion, but there is now confusion about how close to the city they can go. Several time I have been on vehicles that were stopped some distance from town and diverted through waste land and back alleys. It was quicker to get out and walk the rest of the way, though we were still some way from the central business district. The majority of people in Nairobi depend on buses and matatus and they already had to put up with frequent delays on the roads before this idiocy began.

Perhaps, given the serious fuel shortages the country is experiencing, the police could stop private vehicles from clogging up the city and even some of the suburbs. There are many cars on the road with one occupant and they seem to receive the privilege of being able to drive where they want, to the inconvenience of the majority.

I suppose the people who came up with the present, highly confused solution, drive cars. That's usually the way.

Photo: A very congested Mombasa Road, Nairobi. Sphere: Related Content

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