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Opinions of Tuesday, 29 May 2018


Ghana Highway Authority, deal with Mallam-Kasoa gridlock

Roads and streets are vital to civilization because they sustain a range of activities that are important to human existence.

As the population increases, with its attendant urbanization that correlates with an increase in economic activities, there is the need to build more roads and streets to accommodate the new development.

In view of this, huge budgetary allocations are made to construct more roads, expand existing ones or put old ones into shape.
More streets are also built or reshaped to accommodate the increase in vehicles and economic activities.

It is, therefore, disappointing when roads are not able to serve their purpose, whether temporarily or otherwise.
It is disheartening for one to get to a section of a street or road, only to discover that it has been blocked for a social activity such as a party or a funeral.

In such an instance, the best the organizers could do is place directional and informational signs to alert commuters to such a roadblock.
But this is never done and there seems to be no authority that takes responsibility to ensure that the right thing is done.

At other times, construction works create worse problems, especially when commuters have no alternative roads to use.

A case in point is the current work on a drainage system that is being constructed at the Mallam Junction.

The construction work has resulted in a huge and unbearable gridlock to the extent that residents and commuters spend many hours through Mallam Junction to and from Kasoa daily.

The Daily Graphic is in no way downplaying the positive effects that the construction of the drainage will have on the overall socio-economic life of the people of Accra, as it will help deal with the perennial flooding in most parts of the city.

But we are of the view that the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) could have done better if best practices had been followed.
Fortunately, there are other routes that the GHA could have negotiated to be used temporary.

In this connection, we join residents to urge the authority to liaise with Pambros Salt Ltd to open the route to Dansoman for vehicular use to reduce the needless suffering by commuters.

It is a serious economic issue for a worker to spend over three hours in traffic on a journey that normally takes 45 minutes. The man hours lost cumulatively is a huge economic loss to the state.

A Texas A&M Transportation Institute study in 2011 in the USA found out that traffic jams cost the United States $121.2 billion. Of that figure, only $2.7 billion paid for the 2.9 billion gallons of fuel wasted by idling vehicles.

In 2017, a senior lecturer of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Business School, Dr Jonathan Annan, revealed in a study that Ghana lost billions of cedis worth of productive hours from the many man-hours wasted on the road due to traffic congestion.
Alarmingly, he added that the figure constituted about 10.5 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

This is evidence of the seriousness of the congested traffic on our roads and we should not do anything that will compound the situation, especially when there is something we can do to avoid or reduce it, as in the case of the heavy traffic caused on the Mallam-Kasoa road arising from the Mallam Junction drainage construction.