Friday, August 1, 2008

Traffic Jams Coming To Mombasa

Traffic jams will soon be a thing of the past in Nairobi according to Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Nairobi Metropolitan Minister Mutula Kilonzo. Work towards building bypasses and demolishing round abouts could begin in as little as 6 weeks. All the bypasses will be completed within the lifetime of the coalition.

I’ve never been caught in one of those snarl ups in Nairobi but from what I see and hear, I sincerely hope those dreaded jams will come to an end or at the very least be minimized to a manageable level. It’s such a waste of time and money to have hundreds of people eager to work yet they have to waste several hours sitting in their cars every morning.

I hope the government has plans to modify Mombasa too which right now is in the initial steps of nightmarish jams. It’s not that bad as yet. Unless there is an accident or something, the most you can spend in rush hour traffic is 15 minutes. But this is slowly changing as more people buy matatus and personal cars. I believe this is the best time to look into constructing other bridges and passages into and out of the island. The tricky bit about Mombasa is that majority of people work on the island but live in the mainland. For them, it’s painful to think that there’s only a few meters of sea between their homes and offices and yet one has to go all the way round to Nyali bridge, Makupa course-way or Likoni ferry to get to town.
Nyali Bridge is mostly smooth sailing but every once in a while there is a small jam caused by a back log of cars at junctions. And even then it’s mostly a moving jam. It’s rare that movement comes to a complete standstill. Nyali bridge opens up to the northern side of the Coast to all the beautiful and famous beach hotels like Whitesands, Voyager, Nyali Beach, Severin Sea Lodge, etc.

South Coast is home to thousands of people and also to some of the most spectacular beach hotels and islands around. Yet the only way to get there is via the ferry which of late has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Incidences of ferries full of people stalling and heading for high seas are becoming disturbingly common. A bridge is needed at the Likoni crossing more than anywhere else. But currently our transport minister is talking of renovating the current 40 year old ferries.

Makupa Course-way is by far the most notorious as far as traffic snarlups are concerned. It’s the route out of Mombasa to upcountry and therefore there’s a lot of traffic with buses, lorries and matatus. It is also the route to and from the airport. It’s proximity to the port means that at any one time there is a large number of huge lorries packed with containers headed upcountry, or even to countries like Uganda and Rwanda. The jams here are caused by accidents overloaded lorries stalling in the middle of the road.

is getting bigger and busier and this is the time to look into the future and avoid some of the problems that have befallen other big cities.


Nairobian said...

HI Shiko, i recently saw a news item on the overcrowded ferry that stalled at likoni, it was appalling and shameful, funnily enough i wanted to do a post on Nairobi jams today, but you beat me to it! i will still do the post coz yours is on Mombasa!

Shiko-Msa said...

Tell you what Nairobian, the day you did blogging Idols I was to do the same. I had it all ready then you beat me! So that is my revenge. But yours will be different coz the jams there are deadlier. I hope for real they ease up this time.

The ferry is a nightmare. Between the mainland and Mombasa Island is such a short distance and yet people have to wait for the ferry to sea saw on and on. Woe unto them if there's a petroleum tanker to be taken across. If it takes a tanker it does not take any other cars or passengers so those waiting have to wait some more. A bridge would really be something here.

31337 said...

i have been there on holiday at normal peak days and was pleasantly surprised that i was not stuck in traffic even during rush hours!

i have a request for you in your inbox.

Shiko-Msa said...

Intelligensia that's the story here but it'll change in a few years if it's not checked in time.

I'm heading to my inbox.

savvy said...

i always feel a little scared using the ferry when u see these big wheelers loading on the ferry and u can feel it sink a few inches in the water....

nairobi jams are bad news, be happy u havent experienced them. it takes me 2 hours to reach town, what i would take 30 minutes were there no jams

Nakeel said...

Nice home. And gal dont forget we cant have a bridge there unless we move the port to Kizingo then we will have that.
Have been caught in traffic hapo Makupa eeh I cursed my whole day till I walked to Makupa and catch another ma3. I hope Momba will expand coz with the current rate of cars it will be bad the roads are extremely narrow and you cant even think of overlapping.

Sorry I came and it was warm till I startde blogging.

Shiko-Msa said...

Savvy the ferry is not a fun place to be. Me I only cross when it's absolutely necessary. And that's a lot of times coz I have close relatives living across.

Nakeel karibu. Feel free to blog here any time.

A bridge at Likoni is quite a tall order I agree and the cost is prohibitive. But for some mega structure engineers out there it might be child's play. It would have to be those bridges that open up to let ships pass and then close again to let cars and people cross over. It would have to be some extreme engineering like is seen in Dubai and other parts of the world. But that would mean monitoring and maintaining the bridge. And we cant maintain a ferry yet. I rest my case.

Nduta said...

Hey, i'm just sick and tired of jam in Mombasa especially at Nyali bridge. If you ask me, i don't think the cops here even know what they do. I ended up moving house to tudor which is on the island but the jam is less. Alot of fuel and man hours is wasted on jams that have no head or tail. I think the traffic cops should be given a refresher course. Even the matatu drivers don't respect them coz they know these guys are so easily corrupted and not sure of their job, that they make situations worse.

Shiko-Msa said...

Hi Nduta at last another blogger from Mombasa. I only know BPONE so far.

Tudor is a nice place. There's almost no jam at all within the island. Only near A-ONE supermarket these days is a bit slow but it's all to do with matatus stopping for passengers there. And the cops are usually just a few meters away at the Digo Road round about. It's so sad how they're doing such a poor job.