By Waweru Titus
The High Court has on Tuesday (7/02/17) ordered the Nairobi County Government to immediately remove speed bumps and rumble strips on Thika Superhighway, to ease traffic.
Judge George Odunga ordered Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia and the Nairobi City County to remove the bumps at Survey of Kenya, Homeland and Breweries in 60 days.
Odunga told Mr Macharia and the county led by Governor Kidero to facilitate the immediate appointment of the Nairobi City County Management Board and Nairobi City Manager.
The Judge’s order is aimed at decongesting the city, in line with the first schedule of the Urban Areas and Cities Act.
Odunga’s directive arose from a case filed in April 2015 by Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko, who sued the city over the closure of roundabouts and erection of speed bumps.
The Judge indicated that there was no rationale for erecting rumble strips and bumps yet footbridges were available.
He said the Kenya National Highways Authority (KENHA) was legally obligated to uproot the bumps, and the county mandated with facilitating the process.
Odunga also pointed out that there was no public participation before the decision to decongest the city was made.
But he said reversing the effect of what has been undertaken would cause more harm than effects of failure to comply with the law.
“Where it becomes necessary for members of the public to be inconvenienced, the public ought to be notified in good time and the approximate period for the said inconvenience stated,” said Odunga.
“Those tasked with the management of the roads in this country are obliged to ensure proper signage and inform road users of the state of roads so they can make informed decisions in good time,” he added.
In March 2016, Transport CS Macharia said zebra crossings would be replaced by footbridges at cost Sh300 million.
Mr Macharia said the superhighway had about 10 zebra crossings which hampered smooth movement of vehicles, creating huge traffic on the road.
“We are going to remove all the zebra crossings and the speed bumps along the superhighway in order to ease traffic flow on that road,” said Mr Macharia.
The bumps and pedestrian crossings were put on the road to curb high cases of accidents.