Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Traffic jams....

Some time back, I had promised to write this email about the traffic

jams, especially in the Nyali area but this one covers the ones in
Mombasa and environs.

Within Mombasa proper, the jams are mostly created by narrow roads and
total lawlessness practiced not just by vehicles, big and small which
are increasing in number on a daily basis, but, suicidal pedestrians who
never look left or right before setting foot in the path of an oncoming

Unfortunately, most of our road reserves have been allocated by our
useless Council to politically correct individuals and they have been
built upon, so much that it is going to be something next to impossible
to remove the structures without a mini riot. Everything in this country
is politicized beyond belief!

Right, to get back to the jams.... As the roads cannot be increased or
widened, but new vehicles keep increasing with no regulation about
where, which ones can or cannot go, is another case in point. Take for
example, encountering a huge trailer, lorry or any such monster on an
Old Town lane. There's hardly any room for this monstrosity to maneuver,
but, they trudge along by hook or by crook and there's nothing or nobody
to stop this from happening. To add to this, these town centre roads
have not been built to take the load of such heavy vehicles nor is the
drainage system (non-existent, in fact), capable of draining excess
water from the roads. The combination of heavy loads and faulty or
questionable drainage systems, lead to huge pot-holes even in, on and
around bumps which are of a variety of width and height. There are no
standards that are have been followed and they have been 'planted' all
over the place indiscriminately.

One wonders why the Council puts up these bumps when it cannot fix the
roads. Drivers would have to be very drunk or stark raving mad to speed
on such roads, anyway. Therefore, officialdom should either keep roads
in good repair or remove the bumps. The presence of both creates ROAD
RAGE, especially when one takes into account the kinds of other
irritants that road and side-walk users have to put up with.

Our public transport is one of the most unruly imaginable and they
follow even fewer rules of the road than the general public. They give
wrong signals or none and expect that everybody around them is gifted
with reading their pea-brains except themselves. First, it was just the
matatus that people had to put up with, but now, tuk tuks have added to
the insanity. These two breeds are totally selfish and nuts. Add to this
breed, the learner drivers who have proliferated every nook and cranny
of town and environs. I don't know what these people are taught, but,
immediately that these learners get their licenses and get behind a
steering wheel they forget, if they have ever been taught and passed
their tests legally, all the road rules and become as insane or over
cautious as the others. They add to the insanity on our roads. No
regulation here, either.

Cyclists are very scary, too. They ride under atrocious conditions and
it must be a nightmare for them to ride their bikes. I truly pity them,
but, they really should also abide by traffic rules. They don't.

Next, are the mkokotenis, for whom one really sympathizes for the loads
that they push to earn their daily bread, but, they too behave
insolently towards other road users and are sometimes like runaway
buffaloes around slopes and God help anybody to gets in their way. They
are totally uncontrollable.

Then, there are the herds of goats in town with no visible person who
tends to them. One gets a sneaky feeling that the Council has
deliberately distributed them around town to deal with overflowing
garbage! Unfortunately, the owners of the goats have not taken the time
to make their charges urban set-up friendly and the poor goats are under
the mistaken impression that they are still moving in a rural setting
where they can roam wherever they like without hindrance and take their
time in doing so, too.

Talking about goats, brings another farm animal into the picture - the
cows! People who live in Nyali must have noticed that not only is there
only one access road to the North Coast of Mombasa, the Nyali bridge and
all of the above mentioned hindrances to them making their way into or
out of town frustrating, but, there is a herd of cows which appear off
and on on the Nyali road between the turn off for Mkomani and the turn
off for Nakumatt Cinemax. This afternoon they were calmly chewing cud
outside the entrance to the Fishette and other restaurants and offices
in that building. These animals get into the road either to sit or cross
causing traffic jams. I wonder whom they belong to....?!

Are all these goats and cows allowed where they are found? Maybe, they
belong to somebody who has a connection with some politician. After all,
there is no rule of law in this country which politicians or a person
close to them is bound to follow. They can and have been known to break
any law that suits their purpose. The rest of the country can go jump in
the nearest body of water for all they care.

During the rainy season, the pot-holes increase in leaps and bounds. So,
everybody who uses these roads have to be very careful where they put
their foot or wheel. Of course, the people responsible for the
maintenance of these roads and who collect millions everyday in road and
fuel levy are very averse to fixing their shoddily built roads and they
need to be taught a lesson, by people suing them for damages either to
their persons or their vehicles. It is like adding salt to wounds.
First, these crooks collect huge amounts of money from the citizens,
i.e. road users in taxes and then their work or lack of it, causes
injury. Is this justice?

In fact, there is not a single new road that has been built since
Independence in Coast Province, especially the second largest town in
the country and a main Port, Mombasa. What are these people doing with
all the money that they collect everyday? So much of it is from Coast
Province and in particular Mombasa. Why isn't all this put back into
improving this historical town? Anybody out there who will take
responsibility for all this mess?

No comments: