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FUTURE LAGOS | The Lagos Tour: Roundabouts, Bridges, and Bottlenecks




‘Reviving a city from past neglect through construction and maintenance of new infrastructure – adequate to accommodate rapid population growth – is expensive and also not an easy task.’

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‘The Lagos Tour’ is a monthly feature from Future Lagos that explores the city using photography and this month we have looked at mobility between Lekki and other parts of Lagos.

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by Nkemka Uche

Read previous editions of The Lagos Tour

The Lekki – Ikoyi Link Bridge is a cable bridge that links Lekki to Ikoyi. The bridge was commissioned on 29th May 2013. Access to the bridge from the Lekki Peninsula side is in Lekki Phase I, a fast growing neighborhood built in the late 1990s. Lagosians have fallen in love with this bridge, as Instagram can attest to. The bridge has sidewalks (rare on any other bridge in Lagos) and is also a major route for runners in Ikoyi and Lekki. It is a benefit to all that Lagos has a new bridge but I’m not carried away for the following reasons –

photo credit @captafolly

Source: @captafolly

Built Too Late:

This bridge was built too late. Years of poor planning explains why Lekki Peninsula was developed without considerations for a bridge linking it to Ikoyi/Lagos Island. Reviving a city from past neglect through construction and maintenance of new infrastructure – adequate to accommodate rapid population growth – is expensive and also not an easy task. Therefore, the current administration should be commended on their efforts. However, Lagos still needs more bridges.

More Bridges:

We need a bridge between Victoria Island and Lagos Mainland. We need a bridge between Lekki Peninsula and Lagos Mainland. We need a bridge between Victoria Island and Apapa.

 

Currently there are only three bridges linking Lagos Island to Lagos Mainland (3rd Mainland, Eko, and Carter). Also, all traffic between Lagos Mainland and Victoria Island/Lekki Peninsula pass through Lagos Island/Ikoyi.

Bridge Night by @uwayemen

Source: @uwayemen

 

From observations around the city, the majority of traffic jams are caused by bottlenecks. For example, heading west on Ozumba Mbadiwe Road after the tollgate, the road merges from more than five lanes into three lanes. To make matters worse, busses abruptly stop for passengers on the outside lane immediately past the first traffic light. This has become a makeshift bus stop due to its proximity to businesses in the area and the water transport terminal. Apart from wide roads merging into narrow exits, roundabouts also create bottleneck scenarios.

Roundabouts:

There’s a roundabout at the intersection leading towards Lekki-Ikoyi Bridge in Lekki Phase 1. During peak hours, when commuters are on the road, traffic stretches from the tollgate on the bridge on to the roundabout and blocks off passengers who aren’t turning unto the bridge. This could easily be solved if a flyover had been built above the roundabout, as it would separate cars travelling in either direction. Why, isn’t there a flyover? I don’t know. Perhaps it is because it cost less to build a roundabout than a flyover.

Source: @dayvhid

photo credit @justleke

Source: @justleke

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FutureLagos

Olamide Udoma is a researcher, writer and filmmaker holding degrees in BSc Architecture, MA Design and MPhil Infrastructure Management. Olamide has worked in London, South Africa and Nigeria with various organisations focusing on transport management, slum upgrading and housing rights in urbanising African cities. At Our Future Cities NPO, she is the Lagos manager and editor.