Assembly wants Governor Sonko to put up more parking bays in Nairobi

The motion moved by Parklands/Highridge MCA, Jayendra Malde seeking the establishment of new car parks and rehabilitation of the existing ones sailed through comfortably on Tuesday afternoon in record time.

Overwhelming 81 per cent of motorists in Nairobi are often subjected to parking related stress while a paltry 19 per cent have parking slots in the basements of their business premises, says Malde.

 Despite the perpetual traffic congestion and snarl up on the roads in Nairobi City, motorists also grapple with challenges of limited safe parking space in the central business district.

As a remedial measure, Nairobi City County Assembly has passed a motion urging Governor Mike Sonko’s administration to establish more car parks in off-street parking areas outside the Central Business District.

The motion moved by Parklands/Highridge MCA, Jayendra Malde seeking the establishment of new car parks and rehabilitation of  the existing ones sailed through comfortably on Tuesday afternoon in record time.

It was seconded by nominated member, Millicent Jagero, who said the parking spaces provided by the county government were not sufficient. In her contribution, Jagero further noted that groups of “parking boys” had infiltrated the county parking bays where they harass motorists for handouts.

In its resolution, the County Assembly now wants the Governor to build multi-story car parks on available county land and also upgrade the existing parking bays to avail more space and ease pressure on motorists in the city.

Members were told that an overwhelming 81 per cent of motorists in Nairobi were often subjected to parking related stress while a paltry 19 per cent had parking slots in the basements of their business premises.

While moving the motion, Malde said although Nairobi was Kenya’s capital city and a major commercial centre in the East and Central Africa region, the functions of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area were undermined by inefficient use of road space such as illegal on-street parking and lack of convenient public transport system among other necessary services.

Investing in car parking services, he said, would offer the county government an attractive opportunity that has good returns. The MCA said the returns would be optimized by exploring innovative parking facilities and intelligent parking technology that suits the choice of location and brand positioning.

Malde who is also the chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee told the House that improved parking facilities would provide more economic opportunities in Nairobi and generate positive revenue to the county treasury to become a more valuable revenue source for the county.

Members were told that an overwhelming 81 per cent of motorists in Nairobi were often subjected to parking related stress while a paltry 19 per cent had parking slots in the basements of their business premises.

“Mr Speaker, a survey carried out by International Business Machines (IBM) Company has shown that at least six out of 10 drivers abandon searching for parking slots due to frustration,” Malde told the House.

The Parklands/Highridge representative (Jubilee) said the study by IBM had further shown that drivers in Nairobi experienced pain and frustration in their quest to find parking slots, which is consistent for drivers both in the developed and emerging economies.

The House was further told that some of the aspects, which make parking in Nairobi a nightmare include insecurity because parking fees charged by the county government does not include security; hence drivers park at their own risk.

Governor Mike Sonko

Other aspects were named as unavailability of adequate space, time wastage and “imposed fee” that drivers were compelled to pay to the parking boys or risk their cars being vandalized.

Addressing the House in support of the Motion, nominated Member Mbugua Kabiro said it was timely in line with the country’s Vision 2030 national policy, when Nairobi City is expected to have so many cars.

Hence, he said, development of ample parking bays was necessary. Over the past one month the County Assembly Transport Committee chaired by Kiamaiko Ward MCA James Mwangi aka Kagis, has been holding crucial sessions with various groups of Matatu operators in the city that are registered by the National Transport and Safety Authority, with a view of decongesting the CBD.

“Mr Speaker, cars are assets and also liabilities. Parking in this city has been reduced to a privilege for a few Kenyans who can afford. The rest have to drive around looking for space without getting parking bays,” Kabiro said.

He added: “It is my submission that this idea should be implemented with great speed in the interest of Nairobi residents.

Article 186 (1) of the Constitution and paragraph five of the Fourth Schedule in the Constitution on functions and powers of County Government mandate the devolved governments to deal with transport within their jurisdictions, the county roads, street lighting, public road transport, traffic and parking.