Nairobi, Kenya’s bustling capital, is poised for a major upgrade to its traffic management system, courtesy of a Chinese-funded initiative.

The project, spearheaded by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura), aims to enhance road safety and streamline the movement of vehicles and pedestrians through the installation of new traffic lights and advanced video surveillance cameras across 125 intersections.

Financed by a loan from the Exim Bank of China, the specifics of which remain undisclosed by Kura, this significant infrastructure development seeks to modernize Nairobi’s traffic control systems.

Central to the project is the creation of a traffic management center equipped with an advanced traffic management system, which includes traffic signal control and comprehensive video surveillance capabilities.

In addition to the technological upgrade at intersections, the initiative will introduce traffic violation detection equipment, establish intelligent checkpoints at 30 locations, deploy traffic guidance systems at 10 sites, and gather traffic flow data at 80 sites.

These enhancements are designed to foster a safer and more efficient urban transport environment.

Kura elaborates on the project’s extensive scope, highlighting the integration of new systems with existing third-party setups, along with the operational and maintenance responsibilities for all Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) equipment.

The authority also emphasizes the importance of technical support services, which will encompass operations, capacity building, and training following the initial defect liability period.

Adding to the city’s traffic management overhaul, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen disclosed plans for the nationwide installation of 400 speed surveillance cameras, with a particular focus on Nairobi.

These cameras, part of the ITS initiative, aim to enforce instant fines for both motorists and pedestrians infringing on traffic regulations. Murkomen noted that this strategy includes equipping 421 junctions in Nairobi with cameras to support the ITS, a move already piloted on major roads such as the Southern Bypass, Thika Road, Waiyaki Way, and near Kinungi.

This comprehensive upgrade comes as Nairobi grapples with persistent traffic congestion, attributed in part to non-compliant drivers and outdated traffic management systems. Through these ambitious projects, the government seeks to address these challenges, promising a future of improved road safety and smoother traffic flow in Kenya’s capital.