TRAFFIC JAM IN LAGOS STATE, CAUSES AND EFFECTS
Traffic Jam is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times and increased vehicular queuing. There are all sorts of things that give Lagos a bad name. If it’s not the heaps of rubbish on the roads or the unwelcome attention you get from area boys and armed robbers, then it’s the epileptic power supply. But these aren't really a problem if you're rich enough to buy a car with heavily tinted windows, live in a relatively crime free area and get a generator. The one thing that you can't get away from (unless you are drawing megawatts of power from the political grid and can get your own siren to blast your way through) is that ubiquity of the Lagos landscape, the Traffic Jam. Indeed, analysts are in agreement that the one-hour lost daily on the roads in major areas in Lagos State is unquantifiable. Successive governments had adopted various strategies to address this major challenge. For instance in the early 70s, the administration of Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson (rtd) and General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) upgraded Carter Bridge to address the then ever increasing traffic jam from the Mainland to Lagos Island. It also built the Eko bridge linking Surulere to Lagos Island, Agege Motor Road, Apapa – Oshodi expressway, Badagry expressway and also started the process for the construction of the Third Mainland Bridge. Despite these measures, the menace is yet to be fully contained. Not even the present administration in the state has been spared the trauma of the daily snarl on the roads. Some traffic hot spots of Lagos include:
Oshodi: This is perhaps one of the busiest roads in the Lagos metropolis. *
Third Mainland bridge: Because it one of the major link to the Island, it is always jam packed during rush hour. *
Victoria Island: Some of the roads in the Victoria Island are always jammed with vehicular movement, some of these roads include Ozumba Mbadiwe Road (because it is the only road that leads to Ajah), Bar Beach/Eko Hotels Road etc. *
Ikorodu Expressway (Ketu/Ojota axis): There is often heavy vehicular movement in this area because of the third mainland bridge. *
Abule Egba: This is another hot-spot of traffic jam in Lagos. Now to the unschooled eye, all traffic jams are one and the same. But to the seasoned observer of Lagos traffic, there are much more subtle distinctions in the nature of the Lagos Traffic Jam. One way they can be distinguished is by their causes, which are many and varied in nature. Going by this criterion, you can identify the following categories of jams: Causes of Traffic Jam in Lagos
Impatient Motorist: Sometimes when motorists are impatient with one another on the road, it causes unending hold-ups. Even more astounding is the occasional phenomenon of the 'one-way'. This is where cars going in one direction on a dual carriageway take over the lanes going in the other direction, so that instead of five lanes going east and five lanes going west on the Mile 2 to Apapa stretch of the Apapa-Oworonsoki expressway, you have eight lanes going east and two lanes going west. (No, I still don't understand why it's called 'one-way'.) Strangely enough, this makes some sense if there is overwhelming traffic going east, but it completely messes up the traffic at the interchange junctions where every driver makes an art form of violating the highway code in order to complete his journey. 2.
Accidents: Is another major cause of traffic jams. When there is an accident and it happens in the middle of the road, it automatically slows down the traffic movement in such area. 3.
On-going construction works: Whenever there is an on-ongoing construction work, it always causes heavy traffic jams as roads that were full used before will only be partially used making vehicular movement quite slow. 4.
Inadequate good roads: This is the leading cause of most traffic jam in Lagos. Some of...
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Business Day Newspaper (2010): “Lagos’ failed road get attention, Posted on Tuesday, June 19th 2010, Pp. 40.
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