A Lagos menace called gridlock
SIR: Traffic gridlock has suddenly become the albatross of Lagos residents and an everyday discussion on the media. Lagosians go through a horrendous experience commuting daily to work, no wonder, most residents are hypertensive, wear long faces, unduly aggressive because of the harrowing daily traffic experience and lack of adequate rest.
To be fair to the government, it established a traffic radio to disseminate information on traffic flow to residents and assist motorists in navigation within the city.
I regularly listen to the radio each day before heading to work, however, it is unbelievable that the radio, day after day over the years, reports gridlock caused by bad spots on the roads without any action by the government or local government authorities to repair the potholes and ease the gridlock. What an irony! It is a fact that human factor and indiscipline are partly responsible for the constant gridlock, but that is the most difficult to change, not even with a million LASTMA officials on the roads.
Mega cities control high volume traffic by building flyovers and underpass to reduce the number of conflict points, improve pedestrian safety. I have no doubt that previous governors and transport commissioners have visited and experienced the wonders these flyovers/underpass can do to traffic flow in mega cities we aim to emulate. The road to Lekki, where there is a new influx of residents is a one way in and out for the commuters with a need for multiple flyovers.
The state government should look into the unidirectional mass movement of residents in the morning and evening. Almost every commuter is heading to the island in the morning, back to the mainland at close of work. In this scenario, government should encourage businesses on the island to relocate to the mainland with inducements, for the benefit of the population.
Mega cities move the huge populace through good road network, flyovers/underpass, light rail. The deadline for the completion of the expensive light rail system has been shifted several times. A light rail that runs overhead cannot be anything but expensive. Stations on the route look more like a heavy carriage railway station for goods carriage rather than commuters with little or no baggage.
There are many traffic conflict points that need multi layer flyovers, new road networks and expanded use of water transportation will do Lagos a lot of good and move it close to the dream mega city position it plans to be. Road flyovers are an essential feature of urban road development initiatives the world over. They have an added advantage that they help create additional road space overhead, minimizing the acquisition of built-up lands on either side, which is costly and time-consuming, besides causing great hardship to those affected. Water transportation should not be totally left to private companies because of exploitation.
• Gbade Akinyooye,