NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 16 – An intelligent transport system for Nairobi city is in the planning stage to ease traffic within the city as part of the Nairobi Urban Transport Improvement Programme.
The Intelligent Traffic System (ITS), which is funded by the World Bank and the Government of Kenya at a cost of Sh1.4 billion, includes installing new sensor-powered traffic lights and redesigning junctions.
The system is being implemented by Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and a team of consultants led by Germany-based HP Gauff Consultants and is scheduled to kick off after 11 months of design and planning.
The consultants are also expected to develop tender documents for contractors who will work on redesigned intersections and bus stops.
The ITS includes sensors on traffic cameras that control the lights making the system intelligent compared to the count-down system which does not take into consideration
Deployment of the Internet of Things system will allow roads with heavy traffic to flow freely and do away with traffic officers who will be redeployed to a centralized control room.
KURA Acting Director General Engineer Silas Kinoti says the authority is looking at over 400 junctions in Nairobi alone that have proved to be causes of traffic snarl-ups.
“But the consultants will prioritize on 100 junctions that are most affected and install the ITS in the first phase based on the budget we have,” added Kinoti.
Kinoti says the roads currently being upgraded by KURA such as Ngong Road and Outering Road have ITS embedded in the plans, with the Yaya Centre junction identified as one of the intersections that will have a trial system.
The authority said the ITS is a cheaper option compared to adding more lanes and flyovers, adding that the cameras will ensure compliance to traffic lights.
HP Gauff Managing Director Michel Fest said they have confidence that they will be able to bring Nairobi to the level developed Cities in the World with manageable traffic movement.
“We have the expertise, experience and passion to implement this project to the fullest”, he said.