Given the lack of cycling lanes coupled with a congested transport system, poor road infrastructure and rowdy motorists, cycling in Nairobi is a deathtrap.
KTN news anchor Ben Kitili found this out the hard way after a motorist knocked him off the road while he was cycling.
With the world marking World Bicycle Day on Wednesday, June 3, the journalist took to Instagram to share a picture of a scar he sustained on his arm after the accident.
The ardent cyclist said the incident happened two weeks ago, forcing him to take a break from cycling.
“NAIROBI remains one of the most hazardous cities for cyclists and pedestrians. This happened to me two weeks ago. Knocked off the road by an idiot of a driver. Even as we push for non-motorised transport infrastructure, just be considerate of other road users. To borrow Duale’s words, barabara sio ya mama yako bwana,” wrote Kitili.
The political editor has since recovered and was back on his bike earlier this week.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Ben Kitili wrote: “Back on the road after two weeks off…I’ll tell you guys why I have not been cycling for those two weeks..happy madaraka day everyone..be blessed, folks.”
He also shared an image of his cycling route showing he covered 50.8 kilometers in just under 3 hours.
Fortunately, Ben Kitili and other cycling enthusiasts in Nairobi will in the near future have cycling lanes to avoid getting knocked off the road by idiot drivers.
As part of a new policy that dedicates 20 percent of Nairobi’s road construction budget to non-motorized transport(NMT), the Nairobi Metropolitan Service has hit the ground running to provide wide pedestrian paths and cycling lanes across major avenues.
Coordinated by Michael Ochieng, NMS Director of Transport, Roads and Public Works, NMT works are going on at Kenyatta Avenue, Wabera and Muindi Mbingu streets.
In the CBD, the work begins from Moi Avenue past Serena Hotel at the Integrity Centre junction.
“The Muindi Mbingu NMT moves right from City Hall to University Way and the roundabout at the University of Nairobi,” said Ochieng.
The official said Phase One runs along the Nairobi River from Donholm to Westlands to Eastlands and allows residents to walk or cycle into the CBD, Industrial Area and Westlands.
Phase two will join Phase One at the city centre and runs to Lang’ata via railway city. Phase Three will start from the CBD to Ngara and goes all the way to Roysambu.
NMS is implementing the Nairobi Mobility Plan and NMT in collaboration with Kura, Kenha and Kerra.
Ochieng’ said in the next 20 days, they should be able to provide city dwellers with the appropriate NMT, part of which is a de-congestion strategy.