Ikorodu Road, Commuters’ Nightmare
KNOWING the import of roads to the economy of Lagos, the Federal Government, during the oil boom, constructed the Mile 12-Lagos Road, generally referred to as the Ikorodu Road.
Ikorodu Road is a major expressway, connecting the Lagos mainland to Ikorodu and other suburbs in that axis.
Designated as a trunk A1 highway, the 24.5-kilometre road has a four-lane expressway with two frontages that is parallel to the expressway. The road connects other major highways such as, the Apapa-Oworonshoki and Lagos-Ibadan Expressways and carries heavy vehicular traffic daily into Lagos Island.
During peak periods in the morning, and at close of work, vehicles move at snail speed, building into severe gridlocks.
It is to ease this gridlocks and lessen the hardship that the Lagos State government extended the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services to Mile 12 – Ikorodu Town. By this extension, a special lane was constructed to give easy access for the buses to move. This palliative, on its own, has not solved the problem; instead it has added to it, as the road is now narrowed.
Commenting on the situation, Alhaji Mulika Amusa, who has lived in Palm Grove, for over two decades, noted that the problem is mainly caused by commuter’s impatience and poor road usage.
Beyond driver’s impatience, a closer look shows that urban planners, sometimes, are too myopic to foretell situation. “There are many vehicles that have no business being on the Ikorodu Road, but because the feeder roads have been blocked by landlord associations, who erect gates of different sizes, these vehicle are forced to use the expressway, where as, they would have, through the feeder roads, gone to their various destinations. For instance, what is person going to Palm Grove from Onipanu got to do with the main road when they could comfortably pass through Shipeolu Street, but because the street, like many others, have been barricade by either accidented vehicles or barricade with gate, the road users have no option than to make do with the expressway,” said Kayode Odufuye, who lives at Shiro Street, Fadeyi.
Even when Lagos State government during the tenure of Babatunde Fashola warned landlord associations to desist from this, stating that they constitute a bottlenecks to the free flow of traffic, these landlords have continued to do this, pushing traffic to the expressway. “Also, bus stops are not properly mapped out, which has made commercial bus drivers to park indiscriminately on the expressway to pick and drop passengers. To correct this, there would be the need to pull down some houses along the road and in their stead build bus stops,” said Mukaila, a driver on the Palm Grove-Pedro route.
Added to this are the markets that spring up around the bus stops. Markets take over the whole of Palm Grove, Onipanu service lanes in the evenings, which make vehicle to use the expressway instead of the service lanes to ease traffic. This is also the case at Ojota, Ketu and Mile 12. There the traders even obstruct traffic on the expressway, making the road users to waste useful man-hours in traffic.