BY ALHAJI ALHASAN ABDULAI
The effort by the police Motor Traffic and? Transport Unit MTTU? and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly task force led by the Chief Executive Officer? of AMA to check traffic jam and congestion in the Accra ??appears to be? ?a good idea.
However current development in the Accra?? business center and some markets in some parts of the city ?seems to indicate that the program?? has not been successful.
As happen during Christmas and New Year periods, roads leading to Accra central had been choked with people and vehicles jostling for room to move. All road users including tro-tro, taxis and private cars are finding it difficult to reach their destinations on time to the extent that frustrated? ?passengers prefer to opt out at a point to walk for the rest of their journies.
According to leading police officers in Accra some market women have taken over the roads around the Fire Service offices, Opera Square and the Railway Station close to the Cantamanto Market. The police and the AMA Task force are therefore using all methods available to them including confiscating goods of the traders to check the chaotic situations in the city.
As part of the program a number of policemen and officials of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) were deployed at strategic locations in the national capital to ensure traffic flow in the run-up to the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Under an exercise code-named ??Operation let traffic flow?, the personnel worked on some key streets including ?the Winneba-Mallam Junction road, Nsawam-Ofankor road, Madina-Adentan, Tetteh Quarshie-Spintex-Accra Polo Court, Danquah Circle and ?El Wak road.
As early as 7 a.m the Metropolitan Chief Executive of AMA, Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpuije, led a team of task force and some personnel of the Ghana Police Service and the Motor Traffic and Transport Authority (MTTA) to direct drivers on the Kaneshie highway.
Bollards and reflective signs had been put in place to create a two-way lane for vehicles plying the Kaneshie-Accra and the Kaneshie-Circle roads.
Drivers who wished to offload and load passengers at the Kaneshie bus stop used the outer lane for that purpose, while others ?kept to the middle lane.
Traders at the Kaneshie-Accra bus stop were evicted to create free space for passengers and vehicles.
Personnel of the MTTA and the police service were spotted at every junction at the central business district providing the needed services to commuters.
Ms Ruth Mensah, a trader, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, indicated that the task force had driven them out of the street earlier in the morning, but they had returned to sell their goods, since they had nowhere else to sell.
AMA boss on the exercise
Dr Oko Vanderpuije claims that? the exercise? was?? successful.
He admitted that the exercise encountered some challenges but he was optimistic that it would be solved in subsequent days.
?The challenges were expected,? he said, adding that traffic situation on the Kaneshie highway was better yesterday than it was before.
However in spite of all these efforts by the police and the AMA ?a town planner has described as a waste of time, the Accra mayor?s decision to direct traffic in parts of t he capital.
Speaking to host of Breakfast XYZ Moro Awudu Tuesday morning from the Kaneshie market where he was directing traffic, the Accra Mayor said the move is to ensure that traffic is drastically reduced this Christmas period.
But planner Magnus Quarshie told XYZ News that there are more pressing issues that demand the attention of the mayor than directing traffic.
Although there is nothing wrong with the AMA boss joining the action to chech traffic and congestion in Accra during the Christmas festivities many people such as the planning officer does not thing the move by the AMA boss is proper.
?I shudder to think if that is a proper use of his time?looking at Police MTTU in Accra, AMA, Traffic wardens ? they cannot manage traffic and so the mayor who must have many other important things to be looking at is with us here directing traffic.
?Kudos though but I don?t believe that this is the proper use of his time?.
The issue of traffic jam cannot be solved through a ?Rambo style? procedure adopted by the AMA boss. The issue must be tackled through systematic short, medium to long term projects. This should include the expansion of the road networks in Accra. Apart from that some markets in Accra should be relocated to outskirts of Accra and other towns close to Accra, with incentives provided to attract market mammies to accept the new offer.
Besides? ?relocating the markets, there is the need some large shops located in the business center of Accra to be relocated to the outskirts of Accra. New shopping centers should henceforth be? ?allowed space?? only outside Accra central.
One thing that is responsible for the problem of congestion is the expansion of government and private offices in the ministries area and other parts of Accra. This is responsible for all workers in the area having to commute from suburbs of Accra daily to the Cental Business Center and the Ministries. If the methods proposed above succeed, it is could ?be replicated in other large cities like Kumasi, Takoradi, Tamale, Cape Coast, Koforidua etc, ??in order to avert similar situation in Accra
By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai
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