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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Unbearable and chaotic traffic in Akure metropolis

By Michael Ofulue
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Illegal parking is one of the major problems affecting cities all over the world, as it causes traffic congestion, which is one of the transport problems affecting many urban cities.

Akure, the Ondo state capital is presently confronted with this challenge, as rules guiding parking, being a component of transport management, are not followed in many places.

CITY WATCH went round some major areas, which included: Ijomu, Obanla, Oke-Aro, Texaco, Old Garage Junctions, all in Akure to examine the situation, and identify the problems, possible causes and effects.

It was observed that traffic jams are the result of illegal vehicle and motorcycle parking at those junctions, especially by commercial drivers.

There is no gainsaying the fact that they have been converted to loading points by commercial motorists involved in inter city transport in the state.

Speaking with the CITY WATCH in an interview, Emmanuel Temitope, who sells bread at Old Garage Junction where commercial vehicles loading Oke-Aro and Idanre-bound passengers park, said it is seriously affecting his business.

According to him, “the attitude of the drivers is very bad and I want the government to call them to order because any time I try to challenge them that they are blocking the view of my shop, they would start abusing me.

“The unwarranted parking of vehicles is a serious challenge in most places in Akure and I suggest that the government should address the ugly trend before it gets out of hand.

“Some of us have our shops close to junction where this takes place.

“CITY WATCH should help us call the various agencies of government to tackle the situation because it is causing traffic hold-up and unnecessary congestion in the metropolis.”

Also speaking on the ugly development, Mr Ayodele Adegboye, who deals in phone accessories in the same area told CITY WATCH that it is unfortunate that between 2pm and 7pm the parking situation is chaotic, unbearable and causes traffic jams.

“I sell phone accessories but I hardly make sales because of the indiscriminate parking of vehicle by NURTW members who have refused to respect the traffic rules.

“They park their cars indiscriminately and if you dare challenge them, they will abuse you and even want to fight you.

“I think the government has to address the situation before it degenerates to the point where they will block major roads in the state capital.”

Mr Reginald Nwaokede who has his shop along Texaco Junction, Off Oba Adesida road, also told CITY WATCH adds how voice to complain that the situation is affecting his business negatively.

Nwaokede, who sells soft and alcoholic drinks disclosed that whenever he tries to complain to the driver that parking in front of his shop is affecting his business, they usually answer that the road belongs to the government.

He, however, suggested that it is the responsibility of the government to caution them and enforce all relevant traffic laws.

A woman, who sells cosmetics at the ever busy Ijomu Junction, preferring to remain anonymous, told CITY WATCH that the government needs to come to the aid of the traders there, by addressing the problem at the junction.

She said despite blocking her shop, the drivers don’t patronise her just as she appealed to the government and concerned agencies to drive them away from the area.

Ijomu junction is a loading point for passengers going to Ado, Ikere in Ekiti and Owo in Ondo State.

One of the drivers who was loading passengers at that junction and identified as Ojo Kola told CITY WATCH that they park there only in the evening, starting from 2pm, adding that some drivers usually go to the designated motor parks to load passengers.

He said some of their passengers patronised the traders selling a variety of goods at the junction, stressing that instead of complaining, they should thank God that many of the passengers buy things from them.

“I can authoritatively tell you that in the evening, some of them make cool money,” he said.

Also speaking, a Police Traffic Warden attached to A Divisional Police Headquarters in Akure, who doesn’t want his name in print, said all efforts to stop unnecessary parking along the roads, especially Oba Adesida road, which is always busy, has been unsuccessful.

He stated that some of the drivers don’t obey traffic rules and regulations despite efforts made by the police to enforce them.

He, however, said the police will continue to arrest and prosecute anyone caught disobeying traffic laws, saying the police in different fora have warned drivers to desist from such activities, especially those on inter city transport business.

“We will continue to arrest and prosecute traffic offenders while also calling on the government to provide more motor parks in Akure city,” he said.

CITY WATCH on a trip around some of the  busy junctions in Akure discovered that traffic flow along major roads in Akure city need to be regularly monitored by the concerned agencies.

Also, there must be a provision of off-street parking facilities in designated areas like Oba Adesida to reduce roadside parking, because lack of off-street parking facilities results into on-street parking.

And it should be noted that parking vehicles by the roadside reduces the effective width of the roads and encourages mass transportation services to set up unauthorised bus stops along the roads.

The Hope Owena Press
The Hope Owena Presshttp://www.thehopenewspaper.com
Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure

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