The problem of Lagos traffic is basically due to lack of planning. The previous government did not envisage the kind of crisis we have at hand now. The best way to solve this problem is to construct an underground rail system. With that, people can easily connect to places like Ifo, Ota, Ibadan, Ikorodu, among others. People can live in faraway places and within an hour or less they are in the heart of Lagos.
Road networks are congested and people keep buying cars. A man that has one car already, is adding one or two more for his wives and children and all the cars are put on the road. And then the place is congested.
Also, during the peak period in the morning, majority of people are heading towards the same direction like the Lagos Island and the Lagos Mainland. And when they close in the evening, they are heading towards the same direction to sleep. The way to solve the problem is to disperse development, rather than concentrate economic activities in the heart of Lagos State.
I don’t think Lagos has a master plan. If any, it is just on paper. There is the need for professionals to come together and define the transportation system that will not only take care of today’s needs, but will look at 20 to 30 years’ time. You can see people working in Lagos and living in far places like Ifo, Mowe, Badagry, Ikorodu, and others. And these are things we should look at to show we are thinking strategically and not just bringing up programmes and policies to solve today’s needs. • Dr Olubunmi Ajibade (Lecturer, University of Lagos)’
The way out of Lagos traffic is for the government to invest in infrastructure. But with the present economic challenges, there is the need to adopt Public Private Partnership. The government can partner individuals to build roads based on concession.
Also, the roads in Lagos are not enough; we need to start using the waterways. What Governor Akinwunmi Ambode did at Iyana Oworo can be replicated at the Obalende area.
Where possible, the government can build a dual carriageway like what we have from Costain to Apapa and replicate it from the Victoria Island to Ajah.
There is the need for road expansion since the current road network cannot cater for the growing population. Conventional road network cannot help Lagos, hence there is a need for innovation and creativity in the way roads are built. When the government begins to build roads with a new sense of technological innovation, the traffic would improve. •Chukwuka Ozor (A commuter)
If we want to really improve our transport system, we will need to learn from other cities, say London for instance. The primary challenge we have in Lagos is that a lot of people own cars, which is a good thing. But if we can have the BRT functioning optimally, then people will not need to bring out their cars.
Secondly, we need a good railway system. Our railway system is poor and a lot of pressure is on the roads. I also believe we can reduce the rate at which people bring out cars by imposing tariffs in some areas where traffic congestion is high. Such places can include the Ikeja Central Business District.
With this in place, there will be a reduction in the traffic level. But it is important that the government put the right infrastructure in place before going ahead with this. The public transport system must be functioning optimally. • Peace Akanji, regional and urban development expert
The government needs to construct good roads and improve the drainage system. Once the roads and drainage are good, there will be little or no traffic. This, I believe, will also facilitate the job of firefighters and other emergency workers who need to have quick access to emergency sites without any hindrance. • Kehinde Abideen (An official, National Union of Road Transport Workers)
Places like Ikorodu and Ketu are always busy, especially in the evening. The government may need to construct the type of barriers on the expressway on the service lanes too. This, I believe, will stop commercial bus drivers from dropping off passengers along the road.
This is part of the reasons we always have gridlock in these areas and many other places in the state. • Olumide Adebayo (A transporter)
We need more setbacks for bus stops in Lagos. The ones that the government constructed are already yielding results and we are grateful for them. We, however, need more.
Also, the government needs to use more barriers on the road. I have discovered that people crossing the expressways, also cause traffic, aside from the fact that many of them lose their lives in the process.
This has also caused problems for us as transporters. If we have more barriers, traffic will reduce to the barest minimum. • Surakat Olasheu (A transporter)
Traffic is already easing in Lagos State. But I think the government needs to attack the root cause of the problem.
The core cause of traffic jam, in my own assessment, is the agberos who delay commercial drivers along the road, demanding money from them.
The government needs to start arresting them and other violators of the traffic law. The government should also create more bus stops. If the roads are in good condition, traffic will naturally reduce. •Alfa Badmos Soliu (A commuter)
There are quite a handful of solutions we can explore to tackle the traffic problem in Lagos. First is car pooling, which is a system in which people heading in the same direction share a ride. So, instead of having 50 cars, at least it is reduced to 30 or 40. The government can encourage this method.
Also, a situation where a company has a space where employees can work without coming to the main office is ideal and can reduce congestion.
In addition, we need flexible work time. Everyone does not have to resume at 8am. Imagine the relief if some people are to resume at 10am and close at 8pm, while others resume at 8am and close at 6pm. The time difference will reduce the total number of commuters in transit at a particular point in time.
I also suggest charging a fee on parking. I personally do not drive to the Island when I want to go and buy items when I think of the cost of parking.
If a fee is attached to parking everywhere, chances are that more people will patronise commercial vehicles.
While all this can improve the traffic system in Lagos, the need for a change in the orientation of individuals matters. Most people see driving of cars as a status symbol.
Until we migrate from that orientation to the point of understanding the need for a more effective transport network, we may as well just fold our arms and be thinking of “10 best things to do inside Lagos traffic’. • Samuel Ejiwunmi, (A motorist)
Compiled by Samson Folarin
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