Families living close to giant footbridges worry over privacy

Families living close to giant footbridges worry over privacy

A footbridge along Outering Road in Nairobi. Photo/Courtesy

  • According to a few people who spoke to Wananchi Reporting, some pedestrians often peep into houses either through the windows or balconies
  • Some people will throw stuff like rocks against your wall, or even window 
  • Some will shout expletives, especially at night when it's quiet and deserted, which makes it very uncomfortable

Although cases of pedestrian deaths along the Outering Road have decreased after Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) erected over 10 footbridges along the stretch, many families living next to the road have raised privacy concerns.

According to the families, some of the footbridges are too close to their houses or businesses for comfort.

This comes just days after the United Nations high-level meeting on road safety described the 13-kilometer road as one of the most unsafe in the world.

The footbridges have registered high number of users after a chain of barriers were erected along the Outering Road to discourage pedestrians from crossing at undesignated spots.

Some of the families living in tall residential buildings sitting right next to some of the giant footbridges claim that their lives have literally changed.

According to a few people who spoke to Wananchi Reporting, some pedestrians often peep into houses either through the windows or balconies.

"Some people will throw stuff like rocks against your wall, or even window, breaking it before running," said Robert Kimori.

"Some will shout expletives, especially at night when it's quiet and deserted, which makes it very uncomfortable for some of us with children," said Kimori who is already house hunting.

On her part, Winnie, also a resident, said she has had to block the back window facing the footbridge.

"My house is a bit far, but still I had to block it because I have young children," she said.

“I used a carton box and cello-tape to block the back window to ensure our privacy is guaranteed,” said Winnie who lives just a few meters from a footbridge erected along Outering Road.

One particular footbridge appears to penetrate right into a narrow stretch of land sitting between a row of houses.

“It seems some of the footbridges were built as an afterthought following a public outcry,” says Kimori who resides along Outering Road.

“I moved into this house a few years ago, and there was no footbridge. Today, the footbridge is just a few metres from my bedroom. I find it distressing,” he added.

Landlords are said to be concerned as tenants tend to shy away from occupying specific units that are too closes to the footbridge.

According to sources, many pedestrians resorted to using footbridges erected along Outering Road after more than 300 people were arrested and charged in court for not using the footbridges soon after they were erected.

Meanwhile, along Waiyaki Way, which was just recently upgraded, some four guards have been stationed on a footbridge which shares a wall with the Aga Khan High School. 

The footbridge, which is not new, has seen many pedestrians use it after a barrier was erected blocking people from crossing to either side of the road at undesignated areas.

 



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Nairobi Eastlands Footbridges

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