Kenya: A Brave, New Car-Free World for Kisumu City

Motorists will not be allowed into downtown Kisumu every Tuesday, if plans by the county government to have car-free day in the central business district are approved by the assembly.

The county government has embarked on an ambitious plan to redesign all the major streets in the lakeside city and turn the CBD into a non-motorised transport area.

The initiative, launched by Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o on Tuesday, will transform the busy Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Street into a one-way thoroughfare, while parking bays will be relocated to the back street.

Governor Nyong’o said the plan was to ensure that pedestrians and cyclists enjoy enhanced convenience and safety.

“Considering that majority of residents visiting the CBD are pedestrians and cyclists, we want them to experience improved accessibility and convenience as they go about their business,” he said.

Car Free Day

The governor spoke during the launch of Kisumu Car Free Day and the Sustainable Mobility Plan. He said the project will be piloted once every month before being fully rolled out.

The project is being implemented in partnership with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

Kisumu City Manager Abala Wanga said Ang’awa Street and Jomo Kenyatta Avenue will be redesigned to come up with the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Triangle.

“The CBD will be a place to walk and do shopping while vehicles entering Oginga Odinga Street will have up to 15 minutes to drop off passengers and pack at the rear side of the street,” he said at Central Square.

Clamp vehicles

“The county inspectorate will clamp vehicles and fine offenders who take more than the allocated time,” Mr Wanga said.

From March 30, he said, no public service vehicles will be allowed into the CBD. Mr Wanga said vehicles getting into the city from Busia and Bondo will either use Kondele or Patel roundabouts before entering the main stage through Ngumbi and Ondiek roads.

Eventually, the Kisumu bus stage will be relocated to Nyamasaria by the end of the year. He also indicated that the county will demarcate places for parking boda bodas and tuk-tuks to ensure an organized system.

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