The media space has been flooded by arguments both in favour and against the construction of a fly-over at Tipper garage, Tanke, Ilorin South Local Government Area of the State. While both sides of the divide have all got beautiful points to advance their arguments, it is quite expedient for us at Harmony Times to further engage the Government on the need to assess the arguments on both sides and how to ensure that the project has a defining impact on the socio-economic prosperity of the state.
Some questions need to be asked with answers in this piece, but Summarily, it will be constructive to limit the questions under the context of identifying the prevailing challenges that have given thought to the need for a Fly over and what are the practicable solutions to fixing the identified problems.
Going forward, it is equally important to note the peculiarity of the Tunde Idiagbon road, that has been corrupted by all and sundry as University Road, as one of the top three economic zones in Ilorin, the state Capital, with a number of banks at the entrance of the area, restaurant and hospitality sites, Schools, religious centres, a densely populated residential area and the University of Ilorin at the end of the straight but poorly constructed road.
It will Interest you to know that Tanke is a Community with about 10 different suburbs (Iledu, Bubu, Akata, Awolowo, Ile-Iwe, Oke-Odo, Oko-Oba, Balogun, Jalala, just to mention a few,) which unfortunately have poor road accessibility, save Awolowo, Iledu and Bubu, with residents and workers in these areas all having to depend on the Tunde Idiagbon Road for accessibility.
What then are the Problems on the Tunde Idiagbon Road/ Tipper Garage junction?
Brief attempts will be made to identify the problems at the Tipper garage roundabout that stares in the face of virtually all road users that ply that route on a daily basis.
The biggest of these challenges facing Tipper garage junction on Tunde Idiagbon road is the illegal and unauthorized parks at different locations by University Bus/Cab operators, Keke Marwa operators, Taxi operators that ply Gaa-Akanbi and Offa garage as well as the Okada riders. They conduct themselves with impunity and reckless abandon at that particular junction without recourse or respect for other road users.
Another conspicuous problem at the junction is the prevailing activities of road side markets at the Tipper garage junction.
While the above are serious impediments to the free flow of traffic at the junction, it is imperative to note the following, perenial potholes riddled road, One way road turned to a Two way road, Bad adjoining roads preceding the junction, the maigida Soludero bus stop where taxis and tricycles drop their passengers and lack of enforcement of the law.
Taking a look at Tipper garage junction vis a vis the circumstances that causes traffic jam and the number of vehicles that ply the road at critical and non-critical time of the day, the inference is that, jam only exists in the morning between 8 to 10am, evening between 5 to 8pm during the weekdays and on Saturdays, persist between 3pm and 8pm, while on Sunday, it is only restricted between 7pm to 8pm, which is on circumstancial occasions.
It is instructive to note that a flyover bridge on Tunde Idiagbon Road will be of no significance towards ameliorating the traffic jam at Tipper garage junction but rather complicate the traffic situation at the junction despite extremely scarce resources that is available to the Government. It becomes compelling for us to dissuade the Government from continuing with the decision to construct the flyover bridge when the level of infrastructural decay that has plagued Kwara State is succinctly considered.
A number of Commentators have suggested the construction of some roads from Idofian and Ile apa that leads to the University as a panacea to the traffic jam, we are of the opinion that while it is important to construct the roads in this area considering the fact that Ganmo, Amoyo and Idofian are the next emerging corridors of development in Kwara State and so that other local Government outside the Ilorin enclave can witness sporadic development, we believe that the roads will not solve the traffic situation on Tunde Idiagbon Road.
It is rather expedient to note that road networks that are before the Tipper garage junction should be constructed to take the burden off the Tipper garage junction. Road network including, Overcomer junction Road, Anchor Hospital road that links Pipeline Junction, Tanke Primary School Road that leads to F Division Road, before terminating at Mark Road and also, Kola Bukoye Road beside Rhema Chapel are a few that can be done.
Other feasible and cost efficient alternatives to the traffic jam is to convert the Road linking Awolowo road from tipper garage roundabout that is just beside the Pipeline major road to a One way road. Overhauling all the illegal bus stops and parks around tipper garage junction and relocating them to another space, an alternative space being the University Bus Terminus, is another option. A discussion and memorandum of understanding can be reached by the State Government, the University of Ilorin and the Principal of the landed property to achieve these options.
Conclusively, it is a common knowledge that where there is no law, there is no sin. Unfortunately, our society is an egalitarian society where there is law and perhaps, there is really no sin. The Kwara State Road Traffic Management Agency has a mandate and we believe that when fully backed by the State Government, they will discharge their duties as should be done.
As a Parting shot, With a flyover bridge at Tipper garage Junction and status quo remains, the traffic jam trouble will never be resolved as most persons causing traffic are those with one interest or the other as it involves, buying and selling of goods and services, illegal parkings and bus stops. With an overhauling of the current traffic architecture around Tipper garage junction, the traffic jam issue will be fixed.
The Gaa-Akanbi- Agbabiaka Road needs the urgent attention of the State Government, because the road is the worst in the Capital city and to say it can induce preterm delivery in a pregnant woman, is not an exaggeration.