Commuters stranded as ‘dry run’ at Green Park affirms ours is a city running on empty

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A section of the Green Park Terminus. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The famous Green Park matatu terminus went into another “dry run” this week.

The site is famous on several scores: there is nothing “green” about the area, for trees were felled to accommodate it, and since it was invented to improve the city’s human and vehicular flows into the Central Business District, it’s been spectacularly successful in procuring the opposite effect; for neither vehicles nor humans moved.

And when commuters were told, rather gleefully, that the matatus had reached mwisho wa barabara (end of the road), and many couldn’t get their bearing fast enough, the lame, the sick, and those burdened by loads on their shoulders realised they had a tough road ahead.

One of those challenges was that there is damn little space for pedestrians to walk on. So, the commuters spilled onto the road and created their own caravan.

Motorists had to slow down and make way. Within no time, the human and vehicular trail stretched out to a kilometre or two.

Since our city planners have been too immersed in the complex work of putting up the shady structures that resemble cowsheds at the Green Park, here are a few things they might wish to consider in the next “run.”

How many runs, by the way, are they likely to run before they launch a project? I guess this park could be reserved for “dry runs” only, indefinitely.

The technocrats should remember that the project is meant to serve people who inhabit the city.

So, as they explore vehicular capacity in the park, they should start by thinking how passengers will make their way into the CBD.

The commuters cannot fly or dissolve in the air; they need walkways. And how’s a wheelchair-bound commuter going to make his or her way from Green Park to the Kenyatta National Hospital?

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