Commuters could attest to the worsening traffic situation especially during rush hours.
The issue has been compounded by the negative attitude of some selfish drivers, who normally charge multiple-fares instead of one. For example- some drivers instead of charging to Brikama straight, would charge Banjul to West Field, Latri Kunda, Tabakoto and Lamin, Farato and then to Brikama. Under normal circumstances, these non-ending stops should be charged as one-way. This act by some drivers is appalling considering the monthly wages of Gambian civil servants.
Again, The Gambia needs enough annex roads and major routes linking major towns to make easy flow of traffic. For example, there should be additional major roads linking Sting Corner and Tabakoto/ Abuko or there about. Another one should be created to complement the coastal road intersection, which is also becoming a busy route especially closing hours.
It is a clear fact, any major expansion also comes with its corresponding costs and the Gambia’s road infrastructure is not an exception. But unless and until a major expansion is carried out, commuters in The Gambia would continue to encounter daily traffic jams. Could you imagine if one leaves his or her work place only to return home at night- when in some cases your children are fast asleep.
It is high time government and concerned government agencies put in mechanisms to find a permanent solution to this traffic jam, which has already been pestering commuters for years.
The issue is further compounded by the condition of our roads. The narrow nature of roads which has been the same in terms of length and width, the number of vehicles has increased exponentially over the years with private cars occupying a significant chunk of the road space.
Then we have assorted vehicles of various shapes plying the same road which ultimately slows down traffic significantly. Traffic Police should also enforce traffic rules with many vehicle drivers getting away with major traffic violations.
A major offence is the practice of commercial vehicles stopping randomly at spots that are not designated stops but convenient to pick up passengers. Sometimes, this major traffic violation goes on under the noses of the traffic police and causes acute disruptions in the traffic flow. Unless these factors are addressed first, the country would continue to have traffic jams in major cities resulting in long queues and unnecessary delays. But more importantly, designated bus stops at vantage points on the routes should be mapped out to ensure free flow of traffic. It is high time government and concern agencies try to find alternative roads to fix the country’s traffic jams. Editors note: This Editorial was first published by The Point in January 2020.