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EDITORIAL

Checking growing traffic challenge in Anambra cities

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 TERRIBLE traffic situation is arguably a common issue in many cities across Nigeria and even beyond. Traffic crisis is gradually creeping into sub-urban areas including sub urban and urban parts of Anambra. Although currently, there are several checkpoints on the roads necessitated by the social situation, keen followers of events would have noted that before the checkpoints, traffic on roads had began to deteriorate.

The situation comes with attendant stress and the odds of such road conditions. Beyond the serene queue of vehicles stuck in a giving concentration, amid stress and tension expressed by road users in such condition, other issues crop up to make life difficult for citizens who pass through the snail  traffic experience daily.

  ANAMBRA ranks among states in Nigeria with the best road network, according to experts but with the emergence of traffic situation, citizens go through hard times under the road gridlock in different parts of the state.

In Onitsha, a  commercial hub of the state, it is always not a pleasant experience driving through such areas as  Awka Road,  ABS Junction, Texaco and Savoy Bus Stops during morning  and evening hours. This stretch of road spanning from DMGS Roundabout to Ziks Roundabout has no serious damaged portions in any section  to justify claims of bad road as contributory factors to the situation.

FROM the  Upper-Iweka – Ziks Roundabout, down to New Spare Parts Market, Nkpor, Tarzan Junction and  Ogidi Building Materials Market, all in different sections of  the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, there are usual  traffic situations that leave commuters flustered in full swing daily.

  THE 33-Junction at  Housing Estate-College Road is a nightmare to road users in the area who use it  for their daily activities. The Bida Road, Ochanja, down-flyover route as well as the Ezeiweka – Okpoko Junction sections of the Onitsha-Owerri Road are all prone to traffic bottlenecks almost every time of the day.

  IN AWKA, Ziks Avenue, Auther Eze, Eke-Awka, ARROMA, Amaenyi, Amawbia Junction areas are characterised by heavy vehicular traffic at all times but more intense during peak times of the day (morning and evening). If catching up appointment or making it to work promptly is any road user’s  target, taking any of those routes should not be an option.

This is a surprising development given that government is doing its best to make life better for the citizens. The flyovers across ARROMA, Kwata and Amawbia Junctions in the capital territory were built by the state government to ease traffic and make journeys convenient for citizens. It calls to question why the situation has remained prevalent. Do facilities on ground match the task?

Fact remains that virtually all these traffic flash points have functional traffic lights. Without doubt, the facilities  cost the tax payers of Anambra State substantial sums to install, yet government did not relent in providing them for the good of the citizens. At ABS Junction, Ziks Roundabout, New Spare Parts Market, Nkpor, the Nkpor-Old-Junction, all in Onitsha, the traffic lights are installed. In Awka, the ARROMA Junction, Kwata Junction, Amaenyi Junction,  all have traffic lights beaming. Surprisingly,  the negative attitude of motorists and other road users has continued to play part in traffic build up across the incidence prone areas. While some bad mannered motorists beat traffic light, they most times create traffic in the process and  cause road accidents at extreme occasions.

  AGAIN, hawkers and roadside traders’ activities form part of the factors aiding these traffic gridlock sometimes. Survey shows that some traders overstep their bounds and display their goods in a manner that obstructs free flow of traffic. In some parts of the affected areas, there are goods displayed in the middle of the roads. If anyone has passed through Afor-Nnobi, Nkwo Igboukwu, Nwagu Agulu on their market days, a better understanding of road obstruction would be gotten. Some drivers who park their vehicles on unauthorised areas should be adequately penalised.

  WHILE trading related activities on busy spots of the way have been identified by experts as contributory factor  to the  traffic congestion,  places with high density of people and activities, experience environmental abuse that coalesce into traffic issue in the long run.

Some carefree individuals disregard environmental regulations and empty their garbage into the drainage. The attendant consequence is flood that put the road in bad shapes. Society suffers for this impunity as roads become impassable.

Now that schools are in session, reasons of haste may not be enough to exonerate persons or groups flouting traffic regulations while on  school run. Patience and focus should guide all motorists no matter how keen and  desperate one is to access the road at a particular moment.

  NATIONAL Light views the odious  traffic situations as majorly caused  by human factors that are avoidable. No society could be said to be free from traffic situation, but the difference is in management of the situation.

  FACTS point to increased risks to life and property of citizens under heavy traffic condition in our climes. Many people have fallen victims of robbery while trapped in traffic  gridlock. This should not be so. It is our strong belief that when roads are put in their best conditions, with repair work and rehabilitation coming at when due, disruptions of movement would be averted.

 The authorities concerned should also step up actions to prevent poorly sensitised citizens from constituting traffic jam with their conducts. The law enforcement agencies should be proactive in their duties to apprehend traffic offenders and compel total adherence to traffic rules by citizens. Society loses man-hours as well as economic resources to traffic situations daily..

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