Nigerians Suggest Ways to Solve the Problem of Unbearable Lagos Traffic
(Photo credit: Screenshot from CCTV News video)
Lagos, Nigeria’s port and commercial center, is notorious for its chronic traffic congestions and terrible accidents. Naij.com has asked its readers to suggest what the Lagos State Government could possibly do to ease the tension on the roads.
Often, the situation on the road would ensure an unforgettable life experience, as was the case with Jennifer George:"Before the recontruction of Oshodi, I was on my way to the hospital to give birth, and guess what? I ended up giving birth in the hold-up! Thank God, it’s not like that anymore, so I am not planning on having anymore kids in any traffic jams."
President Goodluck Jonathan’s aide on New Media, Reno Omokri, is constantly informing Nigerians of Jonathan-led government’s achievements. Rehabilitation of roads across Nigeria is major part of that. Many readers have, too, stressed in their comments that Lagos has visibly changed for the better under current governor Babatunde Fashola. But many things still require attention and improvement.
The root of the problem, as pointed out by some Naij readers, lies in the overpopulation of Lagos. Indeed, as of 2012, Africa’s fastest-growing mega-city boasted 21 million residents; in two years’ time, this number has likely been surpassed.
As some urged to undertake drastic measures, such as "deporting all non-indigenes back to their home states" or even dividing Lagos, the majority have agreed that a law needs to be introduced to reduce the growing number of private vehicles on the roads (such as banning one family to have more that two cars or taxing owners of luxury cars).
Ade David noted: "I had never blamed Fashola when he was checking people who don’t have much to do in Lagos. Let them go back to their villages, for their own security!"
Almost all respondents have emphasized the significance of both repairing the existing roads and extending current road network by constructing new bypasses and flyovers, as well as keeping traffic lights in working condition.
Many have maintained that Lagos needs underground roads, a developed subway and railway system, with some prompting to restore the waterway transport – all of this at a reasonable cost to stimulate residents and guests to use these alternative means of transportation and increase the service life of the roads. Furthermore, some improvements to the school bus services could be introduced.
(Photo credit: Screenshot from CCTV News video)
Chimezie Patrick makes an account: "In areas like Ikotun, bad roads are the cause of heavy trafic. Example: from Ikotun to Ejigbo, there is no good road. The bridge that connects Ikotun and Ejigbo is collapsing. Then, the stretch from Jakonde to Ago junction and Cele express is a death trap. Also, Oke-Afa bridge is too weak. The contractor handling Ejigbo to Ikotun bridge has abandoned the project, same with the one handling the road that links Oke-Afa to Ago junction. Imagine, every morning, you have to leave your house by 5 a.m. to get to Cele express at 8:30-9:00 a.m.! Then Tincan-Apapa road has been closed for many months now."
Ngozi Ogoke Chris-Agboje adds: "You need to take a snapshot of the horror at Oshodi-Apapa jam. You spend at least 5 hours in a distance of 1/2 km. It has been like this for over a year. Furthermore, the road has collapsed completely. Trucks overturn on daily basis, and this adds to the pains of road users."
Some readers have assumed that, by restricting movement of commercial vehicles (trucks) to a certain window of time (for instance, from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.) could help reduce the daily traffic.
To prevent traffic congestions, a number of markets, factories and offices could be relocated – and not only within Lagos, but even other states as weel so as to prompt people to seek employment elsewhere. Roadside traders were mentioned as obstacles to the movement.
To achieve prominent results, road users should be properly educated. For instance, many say that the manner of BRT buses drivers to park denying all traffic rules, and their general rude attitude are very discouraging. They should be banned from stopping to drop and pick passengers on major roads and highways; instead, designated spots to do so should be allocated to these purposes.
Many have noted that the officers with Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) often neglect their duties and collect bribes.
Prince Ayoola Alex Adewusi stressed: "The LASTMA officers need to adopt a more pragmatic approach. Knowing where traffic problems usually occur (sometimes pedestrians want to cross the expressway blocking the movement, for instance) LASTMA and policemen could divert people to pass under the bridge. Today, instead of doing that, they are more interested in looking for vehicles that break down so they can arrest the driver and make him pay."
Steve Thankgod lamented: "Imagine, from Ajah to Victoria Island, a journey that is supposed to take 45 minutes, people spend close to 2 hours because some drivers go against the rules of driving. They would convert 3 lanes to 6, thereby causing traffic jams. The police are also driving one way, all in the name of siren. Police break driving rules even more often than others instead of being an example for others!"
Thus, as many trained and "reliable" traffic and police officers as possible should be tasked with watching and regulating situation on Lagos roads, making sure that all traffic participants obey the rules.
All in all, Lagos traffic "chaos" is a problem that needs to be urgently addressed. What is your view on the issue?