Cutting those road woes

Fred Wesley | Wednesday, September 13, 2017
IT appears that traffic jams are getting out of hand in some of our urban centres.

It is a harsh reality of life in modern Fiji, it seems.

With the heavy influx of vehicles into our country, traffic jams have become part of the daily landscape in centres such as Suva, Nadi and Lautoka.

Not that they aren't a growing menace in other areas such as Labasa on Vanua Levu as well.

We sit nowhere near the traffic jams in major cities around the globe. However, we wonder whether there will be a reprieve any time soon?

Mexico City was tagged with the worst traffic congestion in the world last year.

Drivers there spent nearly 97 per cent extra time during the morning hour and 94 per cent extra time during the evening time to arrive at their destinations.

They were recorded having spent about 219 hours of extra time travelling through traffic each year.

We come nowhere near the statistics.

However, we wonder whether we are heading that way.

On Monday morning, September 11, it took more than an hour to get from Kinoya to Suva by car, a journey that should take under 20 minutes at a reasonable speed.

Traffic crawled almost at a snail's pace, broken only by a number of impatient drivers of buses and taxis cutting their way on to the wrong lane to get to the head of the queue.

The queues are a norm now in the big city.

You can either not accept it, or you learn to live with it. Traffic congestion isn't going away any time soon.

Add the additional number of vehicles that join the queues each year on top of new drivers, and you have a potent mix that has everything from frustration to anger, and the occasional addition of road rage.

We raised this issue once this year. Do we really have to go through this daily?

Surely the powers that be are aware of this growing reality.

Can we hope there are plans to address this concern?

Are our roads to the city designed to effectively cater for the demands of a growing population?

Are there plans in place to relieve traffic congestion?

While we are at it, what is a good time to dig up roads leading into the Capital City for instance? What is a good time to fix our road woes?

Do we even have the desire to do something about the rising frustration and anger that is part and parcel of daily commuting life into and out of Suva for starters?

Surely the stress that emanates from daily travelling in some of our centres isn't very good for the heart and mind.

Sceptics will insist that we try and live with traffic jams, embrace the fact that it is a reality of life these days, and try to stay calm. Others may insist that we change our departure times from home.

That could mean leaving as early as 6am for an 8am start in Suva for instance, for workers living in Nausori that is. When you factor in the traffic congestion after work and school, it does add up to a rather long day at the office for many people.

Surely someone should have an answer somewhere.

Home | Top