Following the rampant knock downs of pedestrians on the Madina-Adenta highway, the government, through the Ministry of Roads and Highways, quickly awarded on contract the construction of six footbridges along the corridor to solve the problem. Three of these bridges have now been completed, whilst the remaining three are at the various stages of completion.
Though the contractors are yet to officially hand them over to the government, they have given access to pedestrians to use the footbridges. But, The Chronicle is seeing a development that would throw to the back the need to construct the footbridges in the first place. Pedestrians, instead of using the new bridges, are still walking across the ten-lane super highway without thinking about their own safety.
The bridges in front of the West Africa Secondary School, SDA and Ritz junctions – all at Adenta – have been completed, yet pedestrians are seen scaling over the barrier in the median and walking across the road. These pedestrians know what they are doing is very dangerous, but let a car knock down someone, and the same people will be in arms against the government for not ensuring their safety.
To ensure that the footbridges are patronised, The Chronicle is suggesting to the Ghana High Authority (GHA) to erect strong barriers in the median to compel the pedestrians to us them. A typical example is what has been done at Kaneshie in Accra. The two footbridges in that area are well patronised, because there is no way a pedestrian can cross the road without using these two bridges.
For the safety of the road users, the footbridge at Madina Zongo Junction should be the ideal means of crossing the road, but The Chronicle can bet on its last pesewa that this would not happen. The people will still be crossing at the busy intersection, thereby creating a traffic jam and putting their own lives at risk.
This is the reason why we think preventing them from crossing the road instead of using the footbridges would be best way to permanently prevent road accidents on the corridor. Madina Zongo Junction is one of the busiest spots in the Accra Metropolis because of its proximity to the equally well-patronised market in the area.
The GHA must, therefore, move a step ahead of the thinking of the people, and block them from crossing the road haphazardly.
We admit though, that the GHA has started what looks like a wire mesh fence in the median, but this would not work, as the miscreants in the area would destroy them in their quest to have easy access to the road, thus wasting the resources expended on it. What should be put in place now is a concrete wall with barbed wire on top of it. The construction of the six footbridges on the road corridor, which also leads to the Presidential Lodge at Peduase in the Eastern Region, cost the nation a lot of money.
But, if after spending these huge sums of money, the safety of the pedestrians can still not be guaranteed because the road users are refusing to use them, then it becomes a waste of state resources.
This is why we think the GHA should do something about the situation, otherwise the same old story – constant knocking down of pedestrians – would be told.