, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 25 – Motorists have reacted negatively to a proposal by the Nairobi County Government to have them either walk or ride a bus into the Central Business District after it announced plans to declare Wednesdays and Saturdays car-free days.
Those who spoke to Capital FM News said the county should consider rolling out a better alternative transport system which is comfortable for every social class as the proposal is analyzed.
Joseph Wambugu a barbershop owner in Nairobi CBD said the move would inconvenience residents.
“Personally I have to drop my kids who are in different schools every morning so leaving my car home two days in a week is not possible,” he said.
Another taxi driver Duncan Mwaura along Standard Street dismissed the move saying it’s not sustainable and that it’s not the best way to decongest the city.
“The issue of congestion in Nairobi is not about cars it’s about the system, the County should make sure that traffic flows and get rid of PSVs from the CBD,” he said.
However the Nairobi Transport, Roads and Infrastructure County Executive Committee during an interview with Capital FM News, said the move is also aimed at inculcating the culture of using public transport in Nairobi.
“We need to shift from the idea using our own vehicles coming to town every day, because you find more than three million of cars coming to the CBD and each one of them is not carrying more than one passenger,” he said then.
Organized car-free days are held in various cities across the world where motorists are encouraged to give up their vehicles and has been institutionalized in some areas making it compulsory.
In Kigali, Rwanda for instance, it was introduced in mid 2016 and takes place on the first Sunday of every month.
The move is meant to tackle pollution, promote non-motorized transport and encourage physical exercise.
The plan is set to be rolled out next month in conjunction with the National Regeneration team.