Dec 10, 2007

Christmas Traffic

Christmas time is here again, and so is Christmas Traffic. How such an unpleasant thing came to be associated with such a pleasant thing baffles me, however if you live in Lagos, you'll agree that Christmas is synonymous with traffic. Nigerians in the diaspora return home from all over the world with a majority of them coming to Lagos, and holiday makers and shoppers flood to the markets and malls in search of the perfect Christmas gift. It all leads to increased movement and a corresponding increase in traffic.

A notorious road for traffic jams is Ikorodu road, one of the busiest roads in Lagos Mainland. The government has not helped matters in any way. First a full lane was cordoned off the 3 lane road for the BRT project leaving motorists to jostle for the insufficient two lanes. Now after over a year, the BRT project is far from complete. To make matters worse, the service lane is presently being demolished due to an ongoing pipe laying project reducing the capacity to 1 lane instead of 2. Thus the present capacity of Ikorodu road has been reduced from 5 lanes to 3 lanes, which has effectively multiplied the time spent on this road by 3, 4, 5 up to 10. How else will you explain a 10 minute journey from Ikeja to Ilupeju taking 120 minutes? Amidst the hold up, you'll see an occasional heated argument between 2 vehicle owners that have run into each other with their vehicles constituting another bottle neck. If one of the vehicles is commercial, it'll only make matters worse. You'll also spot the occasional car (Usually a Mercedes Benz) on the side of the road steaming from over heat with the driver frantically trying to fan, add water and stay calm all at the same time. You'll also see the street hawkers trying their best to sell all kinds of wares as they maneuver their ways deftly between the car. Finally you'll unmistakably notice the angry faces of the drivers who have no idea how long they'll be stuck in the traffic and who also know they're powerless to do anything about it.

I personally see no reason why two traffic-affecting projects should be executed side by side, what with the Government's seeming habit of starting and not finishing. Why would the pipe laying project start when the BRT project is far from finished and for the most part seemingly abandoned? Who does such thinking for the Government? Someone is definitely not worth his salt. Now that Christmas shopping has not even started for most people, and most of the travelers are yet to arrive, I wonder what will happen 3 days before Christmas. I'm already contemplating on leaving my car at home and resorting to more subtle means of transportation, eg Okada or I might just get myself a bicycle.

Anyway, that's enough ranting, let me move on to some good stuff. I passed under the Maryland Bridge yesterday night and I was really impressed. Street lights were full and very bright. Flowers lined the middle of the streets and everything was beautiful. I almost felt like stopping and making a picnic camp right under the street lights. Driving through Ilupeju last week, I also noticed that the roads leading to and from Coker roundabout have been tarred as well as several roads in Yaba. VI - Lekki road is also presently undergoing a major expansion which should alleviate the traffic situation in that area. Hey, good stuff is happening too! It's not just happening as fast as we would like it to be. But patience is after all a virtue, we have no choice but to remain patient. Have a traffic-free Christmas.

26 comments:

truth said...

Hey u. Just saying hello. Has been a while since I left a comment. Have a great week!

Uzo said...

Oh my....Isnt there a time soon when Lagos will thin out with a lot of people going out of town for the holidays and the schools going on break as well?

Tayo said...

@truth, what's up? I thought you had gone into exile. Have a great week too!
@uzo, you're right. That time usually comes between Christmas and New Year ... but I'm hearing speculations that there'll be fuel scarcity during that period.

2ndCorin5:17 said...

A LOUUUUUUDDDDDD AMENNNNNNNNN!!! 2 d traffic free xmas.. all these plans I have, let traffic not come n spoil my runs... Do u know if the government has done sth about crazy bus and okada drivers????

Cross my fingers... hope they have!!!!

Be safe buddie!

little miss me said...

wow,reading your post made me miss Lagos traffic, i'm glad they have started fixing up the roads in Yaba,if only they had done that in my QC days,3 cheers 4 Lagos local government!!!..and are you really going to get a bicycle?
by the way..nice blog.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Thank God good things are happening in Lagod, traffic included, lol! That place never changes, eh?

Tayo said...

@dScribe, nothing has been done about bus and okada drivers o! lol .. they are the owners of the roads!
@little miss me, you miss lagos traffic??? Wow! That's something I'll never miss! BTW, I've left my car at home for 2 days in a row and biked (okada-ed) to the office. But that's because my office isn't far. Thanks for visiting.
@Solomonsydelle, yes oh. We can only thank God.

cally-waffybabe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
aworan said...

You think you have it bad in Niaja with the traffic at the moment? Come on down the Jandon and come see ye-ye madness of zombie traffic for high street!

cally-waffybabe said...

Merry christmas and happy new year in advance to my darling tayo and good friend. I hope you have a swell time and may all your dreams be fufilled.

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

hi tayo
when is the blogger party?
merry xmas and happy new year
nice blog

Nneka's World said...

LOl!

Tayo i so feel you on this post....
That is why i miss home, its a shame....

Bicycle would be better my dear you can ride your keke to and fro and no one would harrass you. LOL

Happy holidays

darkelcee said...

i can really identify with this post.... i cant wait till 27th when everyone would have gone to villa and lagos will be peaceful again.

ALL HAIL LAGOS! Eko Akete!!!!

lol

Apapa to Isolo now is 1hr on the average when it is like 20mins.......crazy!

lol

anonymous gal said...

not just traffic.traffic and a shit load of WORK.

Tayo said...

@aworan, are you serious? Abeg Metro Bus dey for Jandon, you fit avoid the traffic.
@cally, I wish you all that and more too! Thanks for the wishes.
@mystoriesmytestimonies, I couldn't drop a comment on your blog. I'll communicate the date and venue when they are fixed.
@nneka, haaa, you dey miss the traffic for home? Abeg don't miss home o. lol. I really wish I can get a bicycle o, really
@darkelcee, yes oh. That's the time Lagos streets are usually so free, I wish that time will last forever
@anonymous gal, lol. I feel you jare ... but you'll get a break for christmas now, won't you?

eddiie said...

Yeah..like many African cities....

Now definately has to have such a problem. There are lots of Nigerians in the Diaspora...

Like Kampala.But Lagos is wierd. I have watched it on Tv and at the same time read it...

I think though that you guys can beat the traffic by installing flat screen s on your car screens an watch a movie.There?...you wont even know traffic is there...

good luck noooow..

princesa said...

IKORODU ROAD TRAFFIC?!?!
That's real HELL!!!
These days i try to avoid that road as much as possible.
I hope they complete the work on that road soonest.

Merry xmas dude!

laspapi said...

The traffic will ease between Christmas day and the new year. Everybody's left Lagos by then.

pamelastitch said...

Dude,

Didn't I say something here before...

Ekpele o!! I go better...that is the only thing I can say about Lagos traffic. I remember those two hours traffic jams - no movement....ahhhh, I used to scream mentally.

Ignore typos! :P

Tayo said...

@eddiie, LOL ... if I fix a flat screen in my car it'll get me into more trouble than it'll get me out of.
@princesa, if their past is anything to go by, I don't think they'll complete anything any soonest. Merry christmas!
@laspapi, I can't wait till then o, seriously. Let them leave Lagos for us
@pamelastitch, lol, they now sometimes take more than two hours, and at times I feel like screaming more than mentally
Thanks all, for visiting

aworan said...

Hey, buddy... hows the traffic going with the run up to the festivities? mwuaahaha...

Honeywell said...

*sniff*
I miss nigeria... i can just imagine ozumba mbadiwe in VI right now... i am sure it will now take 1 hour 30 mins to get to falomo... But i still love my country,and against all odds, we will move on!!

Oh yeah, i have also wondered who thinks up all these things... wouldn't it be logical to hurry and and finish the BRT project and THEN fix the pipeline? But oh well....

aloted said...

oh no...looking forward to lagos traffic... NOT

La Reine said...

Yeah, traffic was crazy up until the 19th at least, I'm sure the trend will continue.

NIce blog.

shally said...

hi tayo.nice blog and compliments of the season.

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