Friday, March 14, 2014

The Cutting Edge - 15 March 2014

Vehicles stop as digital traffic lights control the jam in Nairobi on August 04, 2013. PHOTO : Denish Ochieng 

By THE WATCHMAN
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TRAFFIC MIX-UP. A self-declared stickler for order and systems, James Karuthiru, says he couldn’t help noticing that the newly installed traffic lights system in Nairobi is flawed. “This is because the cardinal rule on driving a right-hand vehicle is to give way to vehicles coming from the right. For a seamless flow, the roundabout or junction lets vehicles move in an anti-clockwise (exit 4-3-2-1) fashion. The new lights seem to work in the wrong order, causing pile-ups in the roundabouts.” His contact is jamesk@suavesystems.com.

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EARN BILLIONS. Shouldn’t the government consider levying higher taxes on imported cars that are older than eight years to earn more revenue for itself instead of waiting to impound and crush such motor vehicles? asks Alvin Mwaniki. He says he is shocked that a government that is reducing the salaries of top officials to cut its heavy wage bill has no scruples about destroying vehicles worth Sh4 billion. “It could just earn billions and still punish lawbreakers.” His contact is alvinmwaniki@gmail.com.

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IN PRAISE OF POLICE. Quite disappointing to Umesh Dodhia is the tendency among many Kenyans to complain about the police and army, mostly criticising them and failing to appreciate their achievements under grave circumstances. Indeed, he adds, every individual or organisation has its own weaknesses. “The army and the police do their work in difficult situations, protecting borders and patrolling the streets, so others can have peaceful nights. Let’s give credit where it is due.” His contact is umesh.dodhia@riverisland.org.

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CITY FEES. The massive matatu strike in Nairobi last week is a good indication that the city county government is on the wrong track, says Jackson Njamba, adding that there has been an overemphasis on parking fees. “The county is always looking at increasing parking fees, as it has done for matatu operators, as a means of boosting revenue, yet wrongly implemented, this could be detrimental to the residents.” Jackson is, therefore, challenging the leadership to come up with more services to and levy charges on them. His contact is jackson.njamba@gmail.com.

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COUNTING DEAD BODIES. How many people are going to die before the Ministry of Transport does something about the numerous accident black spots across the country? asks Benjamin Ngugi. Salgaa trading centre on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway, he adds, is one such a black spot, and has been for years. “The carriageways at such spots should be widely separated, even for a short distance. The people who live around this area are, surely, tired of counting dead bodies, even if the authorities are not.” His contact is bm_ngugi@yahoo.com.
 
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