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Opinions of Thursday, 15 October 2015

Columnist: Samuel Tei Adanu

Crossing the deadly Madina-Adentan road: Who cares?

Residents of Adentan and its surrounding communities are appealing to the minister of roads and highway to complete the three footbridges on the Madina Adentan road
According to them, there have been many deaths as a result of accidents on that road.

When Daily Graphic visited the area, it observed the risk pedestrians take when crossing the road.

Despite the few road markings, oncoming vehicles do not stop for pedestrians to cross the road because it is a highway.

Watching the pedestrians cross the main intersection at Zongo Junction, near Madina, was a frightening experience.

Even though they tried to be cautious as they crossed, the vehicles kept speeding, and the absence of traffic lights at the junction made matters worse. What has even more worrying was the difficulty the police officer at post had while directing traffic because of the absence of the traffic lights. As a result, both drivers and pedestrians vied for the right of way.

Female porters (Kayayee) were also seen rushing to the road to catch the attention of their clients, criss-crossing the road without checking whether vehicles were approaching. Some of them also sat on their pans in the median road with their children while waiting for their clients.

When asked whether they were aware of the dangers, one of them, Amina Yakubu, said “I have a daughter to cater for and I cannot afford to struggle with the other porters so I sit here in the median of the road to catch the attention of my clients before they get to the station”.

Francis Pumi, a driver’s mate told the Daily Graphic that although dangerous, “I have no other alternative but to jump over the wall because it is faster and easier that way”.

Michael Awumi, a foam seller, also asked, “how can I walk close to a kilometer to use the zebra crossing when there is a shortcut to the other side of the road? As you know, time is of the essence,” he added.

Kwesi Awotwi, a tyre seller , said: “I have to jump over at all times, sit and wait for the road to be clear before crossing; a practice I am used to and I know my God will always protect me”.

The most disturbing part of the problem was the fact that children were spotted jumping over the wall despite seeing the speeding vehicles approaching them on the dual carriage road.

Mr Seth Ashiagbor, a driver at the Madina station, said he and other drivers parked on the shoulders of the road to pick passengers instead of going to the station in order to prevent the passengers from crossing the road. This situation, he explained, always caused a confrontation between them and the police.

According to a source at the ministry of roads and highways, frantic efforts are being made to complete the road to ensure safety of pedestrians. The contract for the road, he said, had been reviewed so expressed the hope that it would be completed before the end of the year.

The source also said that due to the dangers on the road, the ministry was appealing to the residents to use the zebra crossing for their own safety.