GARRISON ROUNDABOUT; ILL-CONCEIVED AND RETROGRADE.
The Inter-ethnic Network for Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi flays Governor Wike over the construction of a traffic rotary at the Garrison Junction axis of the Port-Harcourt/Aba expressway.
Modern traffic rotaries are commonplace all over the world and have proven to be an effective construction tool for easing off the growing menace of traffic congestion in most modern cities. However, its drawbacks are as severe as its merits if not well-planned, designed and wrongly built.
It is an indisputable fact that aside promoting free flow of traffic, roundabouts also cut down the probability and degree of collisions, reducing T-bone and head-on collisions by lowering traffic speed. Given the fact that low speeds are a basic requirement for traffic engaging a roundabout, they are naturally built to slow traffic approaching it to ensure safety. As a result of the requirement for low speeds, roundabouts are practically not used on expressways designed for high speed traffic like the Port Harcourt/Aba road.
The Port-Harcourt/Aba expressway is about the busiest highways in Port Harcourt designed for high speed. It is therefore, poorly considered for the State Government to install a roundabout at the Garrison Junction axis of the road considering its very busy nature. In building rotaries, several factors are considered, particularly, the traffic conditions of the area. The Garrison Junction axis has a very high traffic density, it therefore, follows that the construction of a roundabout at this junction, will further increase traffic density and lower traffic flow rate thereby, giving way to severe traffic jam along that axis.
Also, considering the fact that over 90 percent of traffic flow along the Port Harcourt/ Aba highway is in the North-South direction it will be naturally difficult for drivers on high speed to give access to vehicles coming from the East-West direction; another recipe for increased traffic congestion.
We are worried that the decision of the Wike-led Government to install a roundabout at Garrison junction was actuated by impulse and transience, rather than by long-term benefit of the project. The original design for Garrison Junction is the construction of a flyover which is more effective in reducing traffic congestion as against a roundabout. It is appalling that the Governor would jettison the original design for one that is less effective.
We note with sadness that the Wike-led Government has shied away from undertaking major projects that fosters sustainable developments, rather, the State is inundated with low-profile projects which includes filling of potholes, building of motorparks and of course, the commissioning of Christmas trees. It is on record that the Amaechi-led Government embarked on massive road projects including the completion of the Eleme and Obiri Ikwerre interchanges. These two project greatly reduced the growing traffic concerns around the areas where they were constructed.
The Governor is advised to stick to the original development design and plan for Port-Harcourt or alter it only when there is s better and more effective alternative. It is ridiculous to think that installing roundabouts everywhere would solve the traffic congestion issues that have overtaken our roads. The Wike-led Government should quit dragging the State backwards with its low-grade and low-class projects. Port-Harcourt should consciously be administered to follow after Cities like Lagos, Abuja, Calabar and other emerging new Cities in the Country.
Ubima, Rivers State.
December 4, 2017.