In recent times, one cannot fail to notice the government’s efforts in putting up pedestrian footbridges.
In 2020, footbridges have been installed at Survey of Kenya, the Garden Estate junction (Garden City), and the Witeithie and Mang’u bridges put up late last year.
However, one Atanas Mulwa will take his chances on the busy roads as the safety facilities are anything but safe.
“I live right next to the Mutindwa stage and I can tell you for free that sometimes I would rather just run across the massive highway than risk my life with snatchers and thieves at the footbridge,” He said.
His problem is not a unique problem, as many residents along highways have raised concerns over the invasion of hawkers and bodaboda operators at the footbridges.
“Moreso in the dark, one can easily get robbed because there is no police up there,” he concluded.
Hawkers have however cited economic hardship being the reason why they take up sidewalks and footbridges to sell their merchandise.
A conversation with some of the hawkers revealed that due to the large human traffic in areas around the safety facilities, traders seem to make more sales.
For the boda boda operators, however, footbridges offer shorter alternatives to navigating the busy highways… more like bypasses for them.
As Kenya continues to drive its infrastructure plans to more pedestrian-friendly developments, enforcement of county bylaws remains a challenge to road users.
A recent accident on Kakamega – Webuye road brought to light the need to address the conflict between motorists and pedestrians. The accident claimed the lives of more than 10 traders who were selling alongside road reserves and speed bumps.