Dec 5, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Outering Road among most unsafe highways in the world, UN meeting told

Despite being widened four years ago to make commuting easier, the Outer Ring Road has instead become a killer route and now the United Nations High Level Meeting on Road Safety has named it one of the safest in the world.

During the just-concluded high-level UN meeting, urban mobility expert Claudia Adriazola-Steil gave an example of the 13-kilometer road saying it was unsafe.

“ An example from Kenya, that’s not the only example, it happens all over the world. But there was an investment in a highway, an urban freeway called the Outering in Nairobi. That in the first nine months of 2021. It was the most dangerous street in the city with very (many) fatalities. Ninety percent of them were pedestrians…” she told the United Nations.

Ms. Adriazola-Steil has worked in the transport sector for over two decades, focusing on the intersection of sustainable mobility, climate change, public health and equity.

As executive director of a company called WRI, she was instrumental in developing one of the most innovative road safety programs in the world, based on the Safe System approach and making connections to sustainability and equity.

< p>In March, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) polled the Outering Road in Nairobi as more likely to die than any other city road.

On the Outering Road accounted for 44 of the 371 deaths recorded last year. Closely followed by Waiyaki Way, which claimed 38 lives, and Mombasa Road, which killed 29.

In 2021, Embakasi West MP George Theuri called on the government to erect barricades along the Outer Ring Road in Nairobi, as well as to curb the increase in accidents and deaths.

The legislature found that the number of deaths of pedestrians trying to cross the busy dual carriageway instead of using footbridges has increased , is increasing.

He expressed concern about an increase in road accidents along the stretch between the former Taj Mall and Allsops on Thika Road, adding that at least four people lose their lives every month.< /p>

“Could the Ministry (of Transport) consider erecting barricades between the two locations to prevent a repeat of several accidents observed almost daily?” We receive weekly reports from residents of pedestrian accidents in my office, most of them because the intended pedestrian bridges were not used,” Mr Theuri said at the time.

The 13-kilometer outer ring road was built by the Chinese company Sino Hydro Tianjin Engineering Limited at a cost of US$8.5 billion and commissioned in 2015.

However, the Kenya City Roads Authority (Kura) has been blamed for failing to ensure the busy road is well maintained .

In response, the agency constructed footbridges along the road with a plan to build 11 footbridges at a cost of Sh880 million.

NTSA estimates that at least 90 percent of all Fatalities.

Former Nairobi Traffic Commander Joshua Omukata once admitted that the outer ring road is a headache as many pedestrians risk their lives navigating the dangerous road rcross instead of using specific spots.

Designated spots include footbridges, zebra crossings and traffic areas ic marshals control traffic.

On the five kilometer route from Donholm to Taj Mall there are there are no designated bus stops, a Tassia resident complained, forcing Matatu drivers to pick up passengers at far-flung locations and drop off pedestrian bridges.

As a result, Matatu drop passengers off in the middle of the road right under the pedestrian bridges and force them to cross the street and then cross it again by climbing the footbridges.

The Quarry Footbridge is less than a kilometer from the infamous Fedha Footbridge.

Here most of the passengers coming from the city center use the pedestrian bridge because Matatus drop them right at the foot of the structure.