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Opinions Sat, 7 Aug 2010

Easing Traffic Congestion On Accra-Kasoa Road: A Must For GHA

A GNA Feature by Boakye-Dankwa Boadi

Accra, Aug. 7, GNA - The traffic congestion on the Accra-Kasoa road is so stressful that the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) must do something about it immediately to prevent the premature death of users of that road due to stress.

This Writer had heard about the nerve-wracking experience that commuters between Accra and Kasoa went through daily but had not experienced it until the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing conspired with the Social Security & National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to uproot him from his Switchback Road Government Flats at Cantonments to the Ministry's Estate at Dunkonah on the Accra-Kasoa Road, behind the "Shoprite Shopping Mall".

To show the gravity of the situation let us do a little mathematics. Whereas it took 10 minutes for this Writer to make the seven-kilometre journey from his former residence to his Office at the Ministries in Accra, it now takes him 150 minutes to make the 21- kilometre journey from Dunkonah to the Office. This means that while the distance increased only three folds the time increased 15 times. What a way to waste useful man hours!!

This Writer is aware that traffic congestion is not peculiar to Accra. Indeed it is a common characteristic of all primate cities. Lagos, the Commercial Capital of Nigeria, is notorious for its traffic congestion. The difference between the Lagos situation and that of Accra, however, is the attitude of the Authority responsible for Lagos roads and that of GHA.

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While the Authority in Lagos is daily trying to find ways and means of resolving their problem GHA has thrown its hands up in despair saying nothing could be done about the situation on the Accra-Kasoa road until the contractors working on an interchange at the Mallam Junction finished their work.

As part of resolving the problem in Lagos, the Authority has introduced the even number and odd number days. Under the system vehicles whose registration numbers begin with even numbers are allowed on certain streets in Lagos on specific days while those with odd numbers also have their days. Recently they have dedicated portions of Lagos roads to busses only.

This "nothing can be done" attitude of GHA, to say the least is unacceptable. When this Writer went to the Office of the GHA on Friday 6th August 2010 to discuss the problem, an Officer who was supposed to be the Corporate Public Affairs Manager was so rude to tell him that he had more important things to do and that he should go and put his ideas on paper. He refused to direct him to the Technocrats responsible for that particular schedule when requested to do so. Meanwhile, there was an old man in his office, who claimed to be the Senior of Former President John Agyekum Kufuor at Prempeh Collage, who kept on interrupting the discourse.

The attitude of this old man was so reprehensible that this Writer was compelled to tell him at one stage: "With people like you claiming to have the blue blood of Asante royalty flowing through your veins, no wonder Asante has gone into the self-destruct mode."

This Writer would like to strongly recommend to the Chief Executive Officer of GHA to send his Public Affairs Manager for a refresher course because from all indications he has become rusty and does not seem to know how to handle the different publics he has to deal with. Pardon this Writer for the digression.

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This Writer had gone to GHA to discuss and suggest for the consideration of the Technocrats the usage of the Theory of Time-Space Coordinates, which is derived from "The Law of Parsimony" (i.e. "Saving Time and Motion") to resolve the Accra-Kasoa traffic congestion.

Apparently, when this Writer attempted to lay the theoretical basis for the discussion it was over and above the head of the Public Affairs Manger and the old man and they probably thought this Writer was a mad man, hence their attitude.

The proposal is very simple. It involves borrowing a lane from the less busy carriage way during certain time of the day. For example during the morning rush hours one of the lanes on the Accra-Kasoa carriageway would be made available to the Kasoa-Accra bound vehicles to be used as a fast lane for non-stop-drive to Accra.

Then during the evening rush hours one of the lanes of the Kasoa-Accra carriageway would be made available to Accra-Kasoa bound vehicles. This method is not new. It has been applied elsewhere including Santiago, capital city of Chile, reputed for its heavy traffic congestion.

Ghanaians should be up-and-doing. Knowledge is awash and there is no problem that the human mind cannot resolve.

Columnist: GNA