Finally, thanks to Governor Fashola and his visionary leadership, NIGERIA is having road infrastructure that can be used as a showpiece compared to what obtains in other parts of the world.
Before our very eyes, the Lekki-Epe Expressway is wearing a new look – classy! With the streetlights, wide three lanes each way, drainage and pedestrian walkways where needed, this is impressive. Coupled with these are the road furniture in place, I simply beam with smiles when I drive on this road – there is great hope for NIGERIA with visionary leadership. Suffice it to say that I have been a regular commutter on this road for 15 years and we have never had it this good. YES, I know that the citizens of this area are still at war with the governor requesting that the toll gates be reduced in number and the toll fees slashed down. My thoughts on the appropriateness of these demands, I will keep to myself for now.
Now, I do have concerns about the roundabout and hopefully I will be representing the views of many. Firstly, I think that having roundabouts on this piece of road was ill-advised. Given the volume of traffic on the road and being labelled as an expressroad, I would think that our road planners should have opted for flyovers. At the very least, the intersection at Lekki Phase 1 and Ajah ought to have had flyovers and not roundabouts. We are already experiencing the end result of this less than perfect choice, “go slow” at these roundabouts.
The other concern that I have is with the “massive” size of these roundabouts. For those that cared to listen, I have said that these should earn us a place in the Guinness Book of Records – they are just disproportionately wide when compared to the three lane roads they serve. The concern is much more than the diameter of these roundabout but for the safety risks they present to the road users. Here is the issue – as you approach the roundabouts, the three wide lanes that you have been driving on suddenly tapers into two lanes. Lekki Construction Company would argue that we still have three lanes at the roundabout but this is not true. If you take the measurement of the three lanes away from the roundabout and compare to the said “three” lanes that go round the roundabout, you will know that the latter measurement is much smaller than the previous. This ought not to be. All drivers, approaching the roundabout, have to be extra cautious as they cannot retain their lanes, in defiance of other traffic, without ending up in an accident. In normal climes, each driver is expected to retain his lanes and not crossover to othersblanes. If you keep to this rule, at our roundabouts in Lekki, this is a sure recipe for an accident. The attendant effect of this is the traffic build up at each of these roundabouts in the mornings and late evenings.
I hope LCC and Lagos State Government read this and take necessary measures to either reduce the roundabouts or increase the width of the road going ound it – as a nation, we cannot afford more deaths on our roads, especially those that can be prevented.