The County Government of Kisumu on Friday, December 10, launched a car-free day in the lakeside city.
According to the plan, several streets in the country’s third-biggest city will be closed for motorists. The car-free day is set for today (Saturday, December 11).
The city’s Central Business District will see zero motor vehicles and motorcycles enter the busy town as the county government pushes the agenda of converting it into a non-motorised city.
Kisumu’s plan to have limited motor traffic within the city follows the redesigning of major streets in the city center, creating more single carriageways, and removal of parking lots from the main streets.Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o addresses the media at Kenya School of Government (KSG), Lower Kabete in Kiambu During a Consultative Devolution meeting on Thursday, February 20, 2020.Simon KiraguKenyans.co.ke
During the redesigning of the streets, the County Government of Kisumu created more walkways to encourage human traffic.
On Saturday - the designated car-free day - three major streets will be temporarily closed for any locomotives and only pedestrians will be allowed to use them.
Abala Wanga, the Kisumu City Manager, told Nation.Africa that residents were aware of the plans and motorists had been advised on alternative routes to access the CBD and other areas.
“The Kisumu City management has embarked on sensitising the public on different uses of the streets,” Wanga told Nation.Africa.
“All public service vehicles will not be allowed in the CBD during those hours and the designated days.”
The car-free day is a project being implemented by the County Government of Kisumu, under the leadership of Governor Anyang Nyong’o, in partnership with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
The UN-Habitat has been vocal in pushing countries globally to reduce motorised traffic in their cities and instead create more walking and cycling lanes.
Every year on September 22, nations celebrate World Car Free Day. According to UN-Habitat, car-free days encourage people to give up their vehicles and use non-motorized transport, like biking, skating or walking, instead.
In Africa, Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda have been listed as the countries that have already adopted the monthly car-free days. The initiative also aims at addressing pollution.
The UN Habitat further states that the car-free days are also an opportunity to promote healthy living through collective exercises such as soccer, roller skating, street music and dancing, among others.Officers outside a bank in Kisumu during the Tuesday, November 23, 2021 heistDaily Nation
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