Traffic, everywhere every time in Lagos; Are there solutions?

Posted on | november 30, 2011 | No Comments

The current state of the Lagos traffic situation is not nice. It is more of a burden to anyone except for odd reasons. Road traffic in Lagos comes for any reason and at any time on any route within its borders; this situation is biting and it is not excessively talked about for solutions.

Lagos road users are probably used to it and most solutions generally suggested are either not workable or are capital projects that cannot be afforded in the near term. Lagos rail project is on and the government is also working on water transport to take the burden off the road.

These solutions are necessary and extremely useful because of subtractions that will be taken from road traffic along those routes. The population of Lagos is rising so is the number of vehicles on the road for private and public use; road expansion around most routes in Lagos is unlikely making future eventualities for the traffic situation in Lagos mired in a negative outlook.

Traffic solutions may not be government’s priority towards development but it is so needed that other solutions considered may be developed only to be lost with traffic-related issues. Government has so far tried for solutions but should rigorously do more.

Moving ahead with Lagos peculiarities towards traffic solution will help the realization of the objective quicker and sustainably. All suggestions for solution should come to table but will be placed in order of feasibility and sustainability before approval for execution.

Simple overlooked solutions to complex capital solutions should be considered for the present and towards future thinking for the situation. The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) overlooked by many when asked about traffic solutions is important for traffic both for now and in future.

May be a restructured and ‘expanded’ LASTMA to come in a program for new and existing officials in 12 – 18 months will see ‘overlooked’ LASTMA as a major solution for the Lagos traffic situation. Smart traffic technologies seen as expensive and capital-intensive used in advanced countries for similar solutions will also be considered for the short and long term.

Common suggestions like 4th mainland bridge, more rail lines and advancement of water transport carriers will also be pursued as Public-Private Partnership projects or solely as government project in line with solutions for the situation. These suggestions however cannot be used in all the routes in the state, and for adequate planning and budget constraints, simple solutions are more likely in the near term.

Route specific solutions, prohibition of ‘the normal’ as habits of motorists within routes and situations, change of focus for law enforcement officials in the state and more will help in their own way for road traffic solution on the short term. Deployment of these simple solutions will come after studies of effects (both positive and negative), adequate information for the public will also follow through various means to reach majority.

Lagos: short term traffic solutions for the long term is a research draft that submits some of the simple solutions required to save Lagos from its peculiar traffic situation in Nigeria. These solutions can be pursued and achieved; they can be sustained and will not just help the present, but will save the future from traffic uncertainties.

Action should follow the draft in programs that can start now to around 12 – 18 months; discussion in forums and conferences towards this will be necessary too. So with these, traffic situation will be different from the way we have it now.

Re;ated links:

  • Lagos: short term traffic solution for the long term
  • Lagos traffic solution discussion forum

AUTHOR: David Stephen
E-MAIL: Stephen [at]


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