Parking challenges in upcoming commercial districts: the case of Westlands Area

ABSTRACT

Parking is a very important component of the transportation system. Vehicles must park at each every destination. A typical vehicle is normally parked 22 hours each day, and uses several parking spaces each week. Therefore parking affects accessibility of places. Parking has a role in helping achieve broad urban policy objectives such as a strong and vibrant economy, better accessibility, a high quality urban environment, a safe and secure environment, and a more equitable society.

This research examines the parking situation in Westlands Commercial area as a rapidly growing commercial hub and establish how the challenges relating to parking can be solved through urban design and planning interventions to ensure an efficient transportation system. Westlands area has undergone a rapid transformation from a purely residential area to Mixed used with more preference given to commercial land use due to the high land values. The Nairobi city county is also in the process of rezoning the area for more densification.

The study entailed the collection of data from both the primary data sources and the secondary data sources. Relevant literature was reviewed from materials obtained locally and online. To complement this, questionnaires and interviews were conducted in the field in addition to observation. All the data was then later analyzed.

The study established that Westlands area was experiencing a serious parking shortage. This was mainly in the main streets spines in the area. The research further established the causes and effects of the parking shortage to both motorists and the businesses in the area. Various planning interventions instrumental in overcoming the parking challenges in the area have been explored. The research finally provides both short term and long term recommendations necessary to rectify the situation in the newly developed commercial district. Some of the key recommendations include the development of an off- street public parking facility in the area, the relocation of taxis to specified areas and the provision of parking facilities for  other transport means i.ethe motorcycles and the bicycles.

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