The stress Lekki and Aja inhabitants pass through on daily bases due to road traffic, makes me question the health and mental state of the residents. My heart melts seeing toddlers and babes on their way to school early as 5 am. The worst o is those boarding the public transport. Women strap their babies on their back, struggling and jostling to catch the early bus, not minding the increased rate of robberies and kidnappings lately.
If you are to get to work in Victoria Island or other parts of the island such as Ikoyi and Marina at 8 am, you must have to leave your house latest 5:30 am. For someone to leave that early, you can imagine the time he woke up. If the person must take a baby or toddler to school that early, that individual should have been awake at least at 3 pm
The most disheartening part of it is that leaving early does not mean you will return home early. Most offices close at 5 pm. That will be another 3 hours journey home in traffic if you are driving. If you are taking a public bus, your problem will be compounded. Depending on how close your office is to the bus stop, that could mean another 30 to 40 minutes before the actual journey home starts. Now, what time will the person get home and prepare to retire for the day?
The cause of this terrible gridlock of course is majorly an influx of people to the Lekki region. It is believed that the Lekki area is one of the few places in Lagos with space for new developments. A lot of developers are building structures and estates, and people are trooping in on daily bases. One of the attributes of a city is population growth, and it is not out of place for an area like Lekki to experience a population burst.
I am more concerned about 2 reasons for this heavy traffic challenge.
Firstly, I see it as a failure or incompetency on the part of the government. This population growth is not sudden. Unless the government agencies and ministries were not competent enough to plan for this burst. How can an area like Lekki with all the attractions for investors and developers have only one single road, more like a tunnel? With the population density in this area, and just that Lekki-Epe expressway. There are occasions when accidents occur on the road, and everyone is on standstill. Whenever a truck falls across the road, that will be the end of the journey for most people. No alternative road, no turning back. You will be stuck until the truck is taken out of the road.
Another thing I have observed is construction works on the road. I understand that the government in an effort the reduce this burden kickstarted some projects on road expansion and the building of flyovers. I am not an engineer; however, it is rational for such activities to be targeted when there is less traffic on the road. A typical example is the construction work around the Victoria Garden City (VGC) estate. What stops the construction workers from carrying out their construction activity between 10 pm and 4 am. These areas experience a high volume of traffic. One will imagine how a lane and most times the entire lane will be locked down due because of an ongoing road construction
I believe the causes of this traffic gridlock is well known to all residents and the government of the Lekki region. The solution to these issues is no rocket science. The government should make good use of the coastal lane and create alternative roads to decongest the existing road. In creating alternative roads, they should have in mind the ongoing development in this area and make provisions for expansion of the infrastructure in the future
Secondly, trucks and tippers belonging to construction sites should be barred from operating during the day, likewise construction activities.
Finally, the Lekki region is blessed with surrounding waters. The government and private sectors should harness the potential of the waterways and create more safe and fast means of transportation on water.
Mush of infrastructural development responsibility belongs to the government. I pray they heed the cries and sufferings of people in the Lekki region, considering the adverse effect it is having on the health of inhabitants of this region and the psychological effect it will have on the younger generation, and work out a lasting solution to this crisis