Do we really need those speed bumps


This week I would like to post a brief blog to discuss the state of our roads. Not the potholes or the cattle tracks with which we have come to characterise our roads.

Let us talk of speed bumps for a while, shall we? If you often drive in South B, specifically near the Mater Hospital, and if you drive by the South C mosque, then you probably know where I’m headed with this.

Driving on these roads during peak traffic hours is simply nightmarish. Many of those who use the South B road any morning will narrate stories of how they spend between 40 minutes and an hour stuck in traffic between the shopping centre and the Mater bumps (a distance of less than a kilometre).

Amazingly, past the bumps, traffic flows smoothly. It will actually take you less than 15 minutes from there to the City Centre, which is about five kilometres.

A similar story would be told by those who use the South C route, or indeed any other road that is unfortunate to have speed bumps.

The point here is that speed bumps on such major routes are pure nonsense. Much as they serve the purpose of slowing down traffic near institutions such as schools and hospitals, they also cause unnecessary traffic snarl ups.

The wisdom of retaining such installations on the roads could be questioned till the cows come home. But instead of wasting time on such debates, why can’t the authorities replace them with foot bridges as has been done on other roads?

Today, I would like to invite you to use this space and rant about the increasingly long traffic jams on our roads. Some of them are due to the poor state of our infrastructure, others are caused by traffic police officers who compete with the internationally-adapted concept of traffic lights and others because of the sheer stupidity of fellow motorists.

For instance, a friend of mine was fuming the other day at how a motorist in traffic decided to wrap her brain in baby tissue and place it, carefully, in the glove compartment.

With an empty head, our motorist then proceeded to ignore common sense and blocked other vehicles at a T-junction, arrogantly joining a queue while preventing others who could have crossed on a clear intersection.

Such scenes are common in the City centre, especially along Kenyatta Avenue which has a number of branches. Please tell me, haven’t you ever wished you had the power to make such a person evaporate from the face of the earth? I have.

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