Circle traders to picket over faulty traffic lights

Traders in and around Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra are gearing up for a massive demonstration against city authorities over what they termed as, rampant killing and maiming of pedestrians due to malfunctioning of traffic lights in the area.

Today investigations have revealed that the traffic lights that allow pedestrians to cross the Accra to Achimota Highway from the former Vodafone Ghana headquarters in Accra to Odo Rice have been malfunctioning for more than a year now, leaving motorists and pedestrians vulnerable to road accidents and knockdowns.

Today investigations revealed that before a pedestrian could cross the road, he or she would have to meander his or her way through a fleet of vehicles or wait for several hours.

Our checks further revealed that the situation exposes school children and women to high risk.

The traffic at the Vodafone area is not powered by solar, which the DUR under the Ministry of Roads and Highways, began rolling out in 2014.

In an interview with a section of the traders, they said that they often witness vehicles knock down pedestrians. According to them, a day never passes without someone being knocked down by a vehicle.

“Everyday vehicles knock down people here and we carry them to the hospital because the traffic lights are not working. The drivers too do not exercise patience when crossing, especially the private ones,” an angry Nigerian trader told Today.

Fred Acheampong, who deals in mobile phone accessories, expressed his disgust about the state of affairs. According to him, the situation was getting out of hand and he believed the only solution was to embark on their planned demonstration to draw the Accra Metropolitan Assembly’s attention to it. “I think the only language that our authorities understand is demonstration and we are going to do it,” he said.

The President of Circle branch of Association of Mobile Phone Dealers, Raymond Ahenkora, told Today the association together, with other groups, will be embarking on the demonstration on Friday, August 3rd, 2018.

“A lot of people are dying, while others are being maimed due to the malfunction of this traffic light. We cannot hold it any longer. After the demonstration, if they don’t come to fix it we will hit the streets again,” he warned.

“A lot of people are dying here and it’s about time we drew the attention of the President and his people to it. The only solution is the demonstration which we will embark on next week,” Juliana Larye, a trader, told Today.

The DUR Engineer in charge of Development and Traffic, Nana Kwame-Fori Obuobi, was not available for comment at the time of filing this story, but sources told Today that DUR was holding discussions with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) to find a solution to the problem.

There are 239 intersections with traffic lights in the Accra. Out of the number, there are 31 solar-powered intersections under maintenance, with total intersections, including those still under defect liability, standing at 72.

The Accra traffic lights are managed by three companies — Facol Roads, 36, Signal and Controllers, 43 and Angel Data, 92 — with the rest being under warranty.

In 2014, the DUR rolled out a project to power traffic lights in the city with solar energy.

Such a move became necessary because it wanted to eliminate chaos at road intersections in the city, often caused by power outages.

Currently 31 intersections, including Achimota Neoplan, the Nationalist Park, the American House, Kawukudi Junction, the Flagstaff House and the Fiesta Royale Hotel, are being run on solar power.

 

Story: Kofi OWUSU TAWIAH

Writer’s Email: kofi.tawiah@todaygh.com

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