Traffic congestion: This is a big problem for everyone within the cities. Lagos is Nigeria’s smallest state, yet with a whooping population it has the highest Urban population in Nigeria. Traffic in Lagos has reached such extreme levels that Lagosian spend most of their time in the traffic on a daily basis.
The causes of this problem are lack of regulatory rules on purchase of more cars, poor road management, Inadequate green time, too many trucks on the road due to inadequate rail freight opportunities, obstacles on the road causing blockage and merger and these can be any of the following: Double parking, road work, Lane closure due to utility work, road narrowing down, an accident etc.
Effects of traffic congestion in Lagos
A major effect of the traffic congestion is workforce productivity coupled with economic loss. Workforce or employee productivity is the assessment of an employee’s work output. In simpler terms, it’s how effective the employee was at executing the job they were hired to do. Any thriving organisation owes much of its success to the productivity of its employees; Nonetheless, several factors influence this productivity, and some of these factors are outside the organisations’ control. Traffic is one of these factors.
Psychological research has shown that spending long hours in traffic can lead to back pain and exposure to pollution and these factors certainly affect employee productivity as workers are unable to work to their full potentials, which leads to loss of employee productivity and this affect general organisational productivity and where this is common between organisations in a region, it inevitably affects the region’s economy.Other effects includes: fatal accident, Commuters spending at least three hours in traffic each day takes a huge toll on their mental and physical health,stressed, burned out or exhausted etc.
Policy set up by Lagos state Government to solve the issue of traffic congestion.
• Introduction of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials, this authority was introduced in the year 2000, with the objective of curbing road traffic congestion and accidents. So far, its efforts are commendable to an extent, however the extortion of innocent drivers by LASTMA officials should not be overlooked.
• The construction of 181 inner roads stretching across 20 LGA. These contractors have been mobilised and have begun construction.
• Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) by introducing the novel Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) with its dedicated lane. Other developments in this regard was set up by the Lagos state government in 2003 to improve transport and control traffic congestion in Lagos
• Location and reconstruction of all the 60 gridlock points, that is the roundabouts and junctions that are causing problems and what they are doing is to reconfigure most of them. Example is the Allen roundabout, Abraham Adesanya, the roundabouts at Lekki 1 and 2 and so many others.
• Lagos State government has ramped up the development of the Blue Line, especially from Marina to Mile 2, which will eventually end up at Okokomaiko. And so many others.
Traffic is not oblivious to any megacity but the difference between Lagos and other megacities is the absence of maintenance. Roads, traffic lights, public bus services in Lagos are barely maintained and as a result the traffic worsens. The first step is to ensure that all roads in Lagos are adequately repaired, by filling up the potholes then by creating new inner roads if required. Secondly to ensure the maintenance of the public bus services and traffic lights as these are the fundamentals of a city’s infrastructure.
Furthermore, the Lagos state government ought to administer a time segregation policy on trucks, lorries and other heavy-duty vehicles, this policy will permit these vehicles to drive only during less congested hours, for example; 9pm to 6am, whilst providing incentives to these companies to encourage their co-operation. These steps can significantly improve the traffic flow. Also, Investments in inland waterways will benefit the citizens and the state’s economy, by creating jobs, tourist’s attractions and most importantly an alternative means of transportation to ease of traffic congestion in Lagos.