Each day in the City of Accra is characterized by intense traffic. However, the situation becomes worse during the Christmas season.
Accra’s current population of over 2 million and an additional 1.5 million visitors and commuters doubles during the Christmas festivities. The Central Business District (CBD) becomes everyone’s destination during these times, experiencing more intense traffic jams day and night.
Traffic congestion condition in Accra occurs as a result of excessive use of road infrastructure beyond capacity, bad attitude of drivers such a wrong overtaking, one-way driving, disobeying traffic signals and dropping and picking of passengers ad well as stopping /parking indiscriminately on the shoulder of the road.
Any city that is economically active and vibrant will rarely be free from traffic congestion. This can also be considered as an indicator of economic growth even though its impact on urban lifestyle can be an indicator of a deterioration of urban life.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) as part of efforts to enhance mobility, traffic flow and maintain sanity in the CBD before, during and after the Christmas festivities, has deployed some strategies to deal with the issue.
These include public education, enforcement of road traffic regulations, and provision of adequate parking spaces to help manage traffic congestion in the CBD.
The Assembly in collaboration with the Accra Central Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) has deployed more Police Officers and Metropolitan City Guards to manage and ensure free flow of traffic. Arrests and prosecution of recalcitrant motorists who flout road safety regulations is also a part of this strategy.
Towards this end the Assembly in partnership with the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (AMA-BIGRS) has supported more the Accra Central MTTD with policing accessories to enable the Department work more efficiently.
The Assembly has also liaised with parking enforcement agencies and equipped its metro security department to intensify parking enforcement in the city. Parking at unauthorized places contribute to traffic congestion and is an offence under Act 683 of the Road Traffic Act 2004 and AMA bye-laws.
It will interest you to note that there are about 3,657 off-street- parking spaces and over 1000 on-street parking bays in the city to address the parking needs of commuters but drivers due to their indiscipline nature choose to park on pavements and pedestrian walk ways , shoulders of the road among others .
Available off street parking spaces in the city and their capacities are as follows; Ridge Car Park 500, SSNIT Pension House Car Park 627, Accra Financial Centre Car Park 80 , SIC Life Mall Car Park 60, The Octagon Car Park 1500, Accra City Car Park 500, Rawlings Park 320 and the Makola Shopping Mall Car Park 310.
To most city dwellers and visitors, traffic congestion is just an irritant, a financial loss, as well as an easy excuse for being a habitual late comer but the AMA recognizes that ensuring and maintaining sanity, free flow of traffic and increasing mobility in Accra cannot be attained by city authorities and MTTD alone but by city dwellers alike.
As we enjoy the holidays, let us all be mindful of the effects of reducing traffic congestion by parking at the right places, respecting road signs and also obeying road traffic regulations.
AMA wishes you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Afi ooo afi!!