Security Strategies Applicable in Resolving Traffic Congestion in Cities, Case of Jogoo Road, Nairobi City County, Kenya
Ogao, Emmanuel Makokha
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Road traffic congestion is a major issue of concern owing to its impact to the lives of people, the economy and the environment at large. Traffic congestion is a problem of the modern society that has come with urbanization. It has been predicted that the problem will get worse if mechanisms and best strategies are not put in place in time to manage it. In the City of Nairobi, Kenya, studies and mechanisms that have been undertaken have not solved the problem of road congestion whereby it has remained persistent. This research study therefore examined security strategies that could be applied to manage road traffic congestion in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. The site of Study was Jogoo Road which is one of the major roads in Nairobi city leading to the city centre and other crucial areas such as the industrial park. The study was guided by Transportation Engineers and Planners model of Cambridge systematics which focuses on three main perspectives of managing road supply, managing demand for vehicle use and improving the efficiency in the use of available network resource. The study employed mixed method design in which phenomenological and exploratory survey designs were undertaken. The study targeted stakeholders in the transport industry which included the study site road users and administrators. Sampling techniques used included cluster sampling, porposive stratified sampling as well as convenience sampling for the various groups who participated in the study. Questionnaires and interviews were the main tools that were used in data collection. The findings from both qualitative (interviews and quantitative (questionnaires) were triangulated to enhance the findings. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically guided by the objectives of the study. Quantitative data was analyzed using a descriptive statistics software, SPSS. Qualitative data was presented in quotes while quantitative data was presented in tables and graphs. The findings of the study showed that traffic congestion on Jogoo Road is a result of several contributory factors. These factors all lie within the boundaries of supply (network overload), demand and efficiency related factors. Accordingly, supply related contributors to congestion on Jogoo Road include road narrowness (19%), inadequate public service vehicles(17%), bumps (16%) and inadequate feeder roads (16%). Demand related contributors include large number of different road users(28%), pedestrians crossing the road (23%) and large number of vehicles during peak (25%). Efficiency related contributors included poor urban planning ((21%), inadequate enforcement (29%), poor incident management (20%), poor attitude (indiscipline) (21%) and defective traffic lights (19.4%). These deficiencies posed security issues as road users flouted traffic rules making it difficult for traffic police to enforce the laws. The strategies applicable in resolving congestion on Jogoo road according to the study findings included Road network supply strategies ; construction of lanes for use by other road users such as hand cart pullers and bicyclists (16%), Construction of more footbridges (15%), redesigning road junctions to allow for smooth entry and exit (15%), construction of lanes for heavy commercial vehicles (15%), enhancing the use of HOVs and railway system (13%), introduction of advanced road designs that need less space such as overhead roads (13%) and increase parking spaces and bus stop points on the road (13%). Road Travel demand management strategies entailed reducing cost of alternative transport means (24%), introduction of toll charges (22%), and introduction of charges targeting private car owners during peak hours (20%), increase charges on fuel levy ((18%)and increasing the cost and charges of private cars importation (16%). Operating existing road capacity more efficiently according to the study findings will be achieved by enhancing the use of mass media in providing real time information about roads status (21.6%), enhancement of the use of ICT in traffic matters (21.1%), enhanced use of smart phone apps (20.7%), improvement of traffic flow control by both Traffic officers and traffic lights (20%), strengthen enforcement and introduce laws that alter traveler’s behavior(16.8%). The study recommends the use of the three prong approach of supply, demand and efficiency management in resolving congestion, advanced techniques in road construction such as overhead roads, stakeholder involevement in finding best strategies, sound legislation to control number of vehicles and behavior, and lastly enhancing the use of ICT to manage road traffic matters.