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General News of Wednesday, 25 April 2018


‘Cosmetic’ solutions won’t fix Ghana’s traffic problems – Transport Engineer

Traffic jam (File Photo)

A transport engineer and development planner, Dr Kaminta Bayizie has said Ghana’s development problems cannot be solved with what he described as “cosmetic” solutions and called for a systematic and comprehensive approach instead.

“What we are missing is that we are not looking at solving the problem comprehensively. We are just looking at what the department of planning at KNUST calls cosmetic approach to planning. Instead of looking at the problem in a comprehensive way we look at it at [a] spot and say this is what is happening here so let’s solve it. But when you solve it, it leads to the opening up of the problem either upstream or downstream,” he noted.

The development planner suggested on the Citi Breakfast Show on Wednesday in connection with the sudden traffic congestion near the newly opened East Legon tunnel which was constructed to reduce vehicular traffic on that stretch.

The new tunnel [8.5 meters wide] was opened to traffic on Monday and replaces the old 4-meter wide tunnel, which caused massive vehicular traffic during rush hour because it could only carry one stream of oncoming vehicles at a time.

Although the new project is yet to be completed, the Ghana Highways Authority said the tunnel had been opened temporarily to the public enable the contractor to work on other portions of the road.

Traffic will persist

But Dr Bayizie explained that the traffic congestion would continue because the cause of the problem is not being solved.

“…This is something that we’ll continue to see in the near future. What should be done is that we should look at the whole network of Accra as a complete system, identify where all the problems are likely to be. If you don’t do that and we take individual points and solve the problem, this is what you are going to have.”

Dr Kaminta said he developed a transportation master plan for the country of Bahrain in 2002 and it has been a real saver for that country till date.

He said Ghana could do the same to help solve Ghana’s vehicular traffic woes.

“In the past when I did a transportation master plan for the country of Bahrain, we did this in 2002 and we were looking at what will happen to traffic in the year 2030.

So if you go to Bahrain today and you see any road construction, that road construction is supposed to resolve traffic which is expected to come in the year 2030 because we were able to do all the projections and predictions and determined how much traffic is coming up depending on new developments that are going to come as a result of the city expanding. So it’s something that we have to look at in a very comprehensive way,” he added.