By Yemi Adeleye/Florence Onuegbu
Lagos – The Lagos State Government has commenced reconfiguration and remodelling of 60 traffic-prone roundabouts across the state as part of efforts to reduce travel time and congestion.
Dr Frederic Oladeinde, the Commissioner for Transportation disclosed this at a news conference in his office before embarking on inspection tour of the roundabouts on Friday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the reconfiguration is starting with Ikotun, Allen, Maryland, and 2nd Lekki Roundabouts.
Oladeinde said that the development had become imperative to combat gridlock and increase the capacity of the junctions to accommodate vehicular pressure and demands.
“We have since the early days of the administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, committed ourselves to ensuring reduction in traffic congestion by resolving key gridlock points.
“We started off through discovery of 60 gridlock junctions and areas across the state.
“Seven pilot scheme were unlocked, we progressed in the traffic management measures to 27 locations and now we are working on four major junctions by removing the roundabouts presently causing chaos during turning movements.
“The identified four roundabouts are Ikotun, 2nd Roundabout on Lekki-Epe Expressway, Allen Avenue Roundabout and Maryland,” the commissioner said.
According to him, apart from the pedestrian activities and chaos during turning at the junctions, the roundabouts have insufficient capacities to cater for the traffic volume during peak hours.
He said that the four roundabouts, billed to be delivered in four months, would improve travel time, free flow of traffic and by extension promote economic development and growth of the state.
Oladeinde said that the junction-improvement work would include removal of roundabouts and separate streams of traffic through Traffic Signal Lights (TSL).
He added that the work would synchronize all TSLs through intelligent traffic systems which would recognise the densities of traffic streams and give priorities accordingly.
The commissioner said that the project would also introduce stacking lanes for both left and right turns at the junctions, which will contribute to increasing the capacities of the roads at the junctions, thereby reducing travel time.
Oladeinde said: “On some corridors, we will upgrade alternative routes so that traffic can move upstream of choke points and separate pedestrian vehicular conflict by re-erecting the pedestrian barriers
“We do not only discuss issues affecting the sector but also proffer solutions to them.
“The government will continue to curb abuse of all traffic laws and violation, reduce traffic congestion by resolving key gridlock points, and deploy technology to aid enforcement of traffic rules.
“We will also provide intelligent transport systems to optimise the transport network, and accelerate the implementation of the multimodal transport system to give people options.”
He urged motorists in the locations to exercise safety precautions and cooperate with traffic management officers for free flow of traffic for the period of construction.
He said that the projects were in the interest of the public.
According to him, despite the construction, the government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), will deploy enough officers to ensure free flow of traffic.
The commissioner said that 12 to 15 of the identified gridlock-prone junctions required major interventions and the state would be taking it four or five at a time so as not to turn the entire state into a construction site.
He said that the government was also working hard to complete the blue rail line, boost water transport and carry out the bus reform programmes for the good of commuters.
Oladeinde reiterated that Lekki toll would be completely cashless from Jan. 1, 2020 with a view to removing problem of collecting balance by motorists, which had been responsible for gridlock around the toll points.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso added that some of the roundabouts had outlived their usefulness, hence the determination and commitment of Gov. Sanwo-Olu to remodel them to address traffic issues.
“We are thinking everyday on how to resolve traffic gridlock and challenges in the state.
“We want motorists to obey traffic rules and be disciplined while driving,”Omotoso said.
In his remark, the General Manager of LASTMA, Mr Olajide Oduyoye, assured that traffic officers would be on ground to monitor compliance, while urging motorists to obey them.