Street lanes are mostly the relatively narrow paths between buildings of a particular street. They are usually labelled as shown in the picture of Tsavo Lane below. While these lanes were intentionally created to offer more accessible routes and to reduce congestion, they are no longer passable for pedestrians.
Walking down the streets of Nairobi, you'll notice that a big percentage of all Street lanes or just paths marked "Lanes" aren't being used by pedestrians. They instead harbour a group of rogue young men and women drinking, chewing khart and smoking marijuana. Most street lanes within Nairobi CBD are no longer accessible to pedestrians, lest they are robbed.
Besides drug trafficking, some lanes have been turned into latrines by drunkards and street families. They are therefore very filthy for any sane person to consider them an alternative route. These are the same lanes where Conmen drag pedestrians for drugging and robbing, they are the same parts of the CBD where police take their bribe after arresting innocent young men. They are the same lanes where all unlicensed businesses within the CBD are carried out, not to forget, where muggers run into for hiding after snatching pedestrians' possessions.
In fact thugs who escape to these lanes after robbing pedestrians no longer run when they get to the lanes. You follow them at your own risk. The most disturbing of all activities that take place in these lanes, is that regularly, you'll spot two or three police officers walking into or from these lanes without a single handcuffed person. This makes many think these officers are also part of illegalities in these lanes.
Many Nairobians are used to watching live actions on in these lanes, you interfere at your own risk. However, there are a few lanes that are usable, especially from Moi Avenue heading towards Uhuru Highway. Though it's advisable never to use them when you are alone, unless there are some other pedestrians along the way. Thugs usually take advantage of these isolated places. All in all, if you are new within Nairobi CBD or you have a new friend or visitor, I'd recommend you advice them to use open ways and avoid Street lanes at all cost, they are no longer safe even for the natives. The government has even given up on maintaining roads along the lanes. Please share this widely.
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