How can we help to solve traffic congestion in Kenya ?

There is traffic everywhere and when you are coming out of the house to work you can't approximate the time you will stuck in traffic so you need to come very early and the effect is we loss alot while we are in jam. Kenya alone is losing Ksh 50milion and there are other effects on the people struck in jam like stress which can lead to something else.

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Answers: 6

Xiu Li

Traffic really takes a toll on human well-being. Studies have shown that they cause bad health, marital problems, depression, aside from its obvious economic damage.

Some measures that have been taken by different cities include

1- toll fees during the most traffic time period and around city center (London and other European cities)

2 - restrict vehicle access based on license plates. I think odd number license plates are only allowed during certain days and so are even numbered license plates. (Beijing, China)

*3 - long term solution is building world class public transit network that's accessible and affordable to everyone. This should be combined with measures 1 and 2.

1 Comment

Thank you Xiu Li, these are great ideas especially if the first can be implemented in Kenya i think it can reduce traffic congestion drastically!

Chioma

Hi Wilfred,

Your question reminds me of some articles I read earlier in the year about mobile apps that are tracking traffic in Nairobi. For example Flash Cast:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24426676

or of the latest IBM app described here:

http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/software/ibm-nairobi-labs-first-offering-is-a-trafficdodging-mobile-app


Have you had a chance to use either? The creators might be good people to brainstorm with...

Chioma

1 Comment

Thank you Chioma for the above links on how some people and organizations are making an effort to make Kenya and world a better place by helping to solve traffic related

problems.The

solutions help in how we can make people busy and not bored while in traffic to reduce some of problems that are caused as a result of being in traffic like stress and many

other.Also

we need to find ways of actually solving the problem.

Yi Jiang

Totally agree with Li Xiu. Plus, better traffic route design and public electronic controlling system also help. But needs the govt investment.

1 Comment

Hi Yi Jiang ,I also thing Its a good idea and i have been also thinking if it could be implemented it could help to reduce traffic especially in Kenya and hope in other countries also.

Henri Curzon

In London we've discovered that a large proportion of traffic was due to people looking for parking spaces. Following a successful trial, bay sensors are being rolled out across the West End from next month. Combined with the Smartphone app this will make finding a parking space easier and quicker, thereby reducing traffic.

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The use of sensors is super interesting. In Christchurch, New Zealand we have an opportunity created by the earthquakes: the roads are being ripped up anyway, and major infrastructure being build from scratch, so let's put them in! the project is here

http://sensingcity.org/
Paul Earwaker

Hi Wilfred,

Interestingly I was discussing this with FlashCast's founder last weekend. We spent more time discussing the problems rather than precise solutions but understanding the problems is the first step towards solutions.

1. Road infrastructure - The road infrastructure in Nairobi is quite simply overwhelmed with the influx of new vehicles. This is especially true in areas where individual houses on 2 acres are being replaced with 30-60 apartments. In addition poor quality of the roads themselves and the resulting potholes cause major delays too. there is one which has recently developed behind the junction which was the sole cause of a 20 min jam for me last week. Entrances to malls are also often very badly planned and cause significant jams.
2. Poor road design and planning - There are many areas of town where traffic is channeled into bottle necks and many where junctions give no clear right of way. These all contribute to major blockages.
3. Poor quality public transport - many more affluent members of Nairobi neither feel safe or comfortable on Nairobi's transport system and so use cars instead.
4. Poor quality drivers - Driver training in Kenya is poor and can be bypassed completely by paying the right people. As such respect for rules of the road are not adhered to and drivers themselves are often guilty of causing unnecessary blockages.
5. Poor policing - Sadly police are more interested in collecting their weekly 'support' from local drivers than enforcing any kind of traffic law. As such people get away with consistently breaking traffic rules and have little/no incentive to drive respectfully. The use of automatic cameras downtown may help this but they are only downtown and elsewhere traffic signals are routinely ignored often due to the police directing counter to the signals.
6. Promotion of alternatives - There are very few alternatives such as cycling which are actively encouraged. Car pooling has no encouragement and security makes even walking hard in some areas.

I hope these thought help you. i think dealing with any of these would help ease the problem but unfortunately much of this is very much i the hands of the government which as we know is slow to act, even when it wants.

3 Comments

Hi Paul Earwaker ,
These are really good views of the cause of traffic congestion in kenyan roads and as you said much is in the hands of the

government.But

i am developing an application i hope it will be able to reduce traffic to some

level.Thank

you for your coments

wilfred, this is definitely a big problem. i walk to work in cbd from kilimani every day, and i think it's probably faster than driving. paul definitely identified some big problems.

what type of app are you envisioning? perhaps we can offer ideas to test and to build the app if we know what you will envision it to be.

Hi Felipe , its definately a big problem and i am creating an app for routing that the private motorists will be using and also people will be giving updates of the traffic congestion on the roads.

CHUKWUEBUKA OKOLI

Traffic congestion could be very frustrating...I come from Nigeria which has almost the same traffic issues with Kenya, especially in major cities like Abuja and Lagos ,etc
I have been fortunate enough to see some efforts aimed at reducing this traffic congestion in some of these cities.
1. One is construction of fly-overs, pedestrian bridges, more roads in strategic places.
2. Secondly, Our Government has tried to spread development away from the major cities to their neighboring towns. This consequently reduced human population in these cities, thereby, reducing traffic congestion.
3. Thirdly, development of other means of transportation, like rail, air and in-land water ways transport system. Unfortunately, these systems are not well developed in Africa (don't know about Kenya}
Note; bicycles and tri-cycles could be helpfull too.

1 Comment

Hi CHUKWUEBUKA OKOLI,
Creating of more roads is a solution but that we don't have power it all belongs to the government. I am happy at least the government is building more roads but the issue is that in Kenya more people will buy cars when there are highways according to a research that was carried out when Thika road was built and in few years there will be still the same problem. We now have county governments which will help to decongest the city which is a good progress by the

government.Regards