Lagos tales

Lagos Traffic: The Survival Kit

It is no news that the Lagos traffic gridlock is not for the faint-hearted. If you live in Nigeria, it is impossible to be unaware of the Lagos traffic gist. To some Nigerians in other states, the traffic situation is over-flogged, however, if you have ever lived in Lagos you would have a totally different view.

The length of time Lagosians spend in traffic on a daily basis is quite alarming. The traffic situation in Lagos has remained a major hassle in the city, it is even rumoured that you can shop for your household needs in Lagos traffic. Despite the fun and entertainment Lagos offers, the traffic condition is one of the downsides which take its toll on your entire day.

In this article, we will be discussing a number of things about Lagos traffic and how to survive in the gridlock.



Why is the traffic so bad in Lagos

Traffic In Lagos

Lagos being a mega city is a hub for thriving business, top class citizens and a good number of tourists. It is often referred to as the land of opportunities as chances of getting a job in Lagos are quite high. Lagos is the biggest and most populated city in Nigeria.

One of the characteristics of big cities is traffic congestion of which Lagos is not exempted. The Lagos traffic commonly called go slow by locals is a challenge that has lingered for a long time. Mostly owing to the constant influx of persons from different parts of the country. The rural to urban migration is one of the reasons Lagos state is overpopulated.

The city is known as “the land of the Nigerian dream”. Although Abuja is the capital of Nigeria, Lagos is referred to as the commercial capital of the nation. Lagos is to Nigeria what New York is the United State of America. Most people come into Lagos in search of greener pastures as the city is seen as one where the streets are paved with gold. In spite of the chaos in Lagos as well as the strain on social amenities, it remains the city of hustlers and Nigerian’s favourite city.

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Another reason why the traffic situation in Lagos gets worse as the day goes by is as a result of the poor condition of roads in Lagos. There is hardly any stretch of road that is completely free from potholes. During the rainy season, living in Lagos can be a complete nightmare as the roads are mostly flooded due to blocked drainage channels.

Traffic congestion is a general transportation challenge in Nigeria as a whole. However, in Lagos, the gridlock gets even worse as a result of an increase in the number of vehicles without an equivalent development in the transport facilities. The motorable routes in Lagos can hardly accommodate the population in the state which is one of the reasons a 20 minutes journey takes up to 2 to 3 hours.

The lawlessness of residents in Lagos has contributed to the problem of traffic congestion in the state. Driving in Lagos requires a lot of patience and calmness as you are bound to see other drivers whose behaviours would almost drive you over the edge. Lagos drivers hardly obey traffic rules. The problem of on-street parking is caused by residents as well as other forms of trading activities which disrupts the free movement of cars.

How to survive the Lagos Traffic Jam

Lagos gets chaotic, Lagos respects no one, Lagos is the city that never sleeps. The smell from dirty gutters, dust and carbon monoxide haunts residents. The noise from the traffic, traders hauling for customers, the constantly furious touts and unending traffic congestion makes Lagos quite a dramatic city. However, Lagos remains “the land of dreams” therefore surviving in Lagos traffic is a fit for the smart.

This article offers you ideas on how to meander your way through it all. Here are some ways you can survive the Lagos traffic:

Get insight on peak hours in Lagos

Although Lagos is said to be the city that never sleeps, there is always a way to stay winning and happy. Understand the city and when things work,  this is the first step to avoid getting stuck in traffic. Typically, Lagos is known for the bustling and hustling lifestyle with everything moving a very fast pace. However, there are certain times of the day when the traffic situation better than others.

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Whether you are self-employed or work for an organization, knowledge on the rush hours in Lagos is essential. Most offices resume by 8:00 am and close by 5:00 pm. For those who work on the Island and live on the mainland, your best bet is to live home before 6:00 am. As morning peak hours begin from 6am-9am.

Depending on the distance from your house to your desired destination on the Island, chances are you would get to work before 8 am or a few minutes after. The same technique applies after the close of work. It is advisable to leave work before 5 pm to avoid the traffic that builds up from 5pm-8pm.

Traffic Gridlock in Lagos

Get a house in proximity to your office or business station

Lagos is divided into mainland and Island. The distance from your home to your regular destination plays a role in deciding your traffic fate. For those that work on the Island, it is advisable to get an apartment or a house close to your office or business station.

This saves you the stress of dealing with traffic in Lagos on a daily basis. It also saves you time and money. For middle or low-income earners, is this solution is your best bet both in avoiding the gridlock and reducing your expenses on transportation.


Tune in to Lagos Traffic Radio

A lot of Lagosians are unaware of the traffic radio station that was launched in May 2012. This is a strategy put up by the Lagos state government to reduce the high volume of traffic and inform Lagosians about the gridlock. The Lagos Traffic Radio, 96.1FM, offers first-hand information on alternative routes and roads where the traffic is worse.

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The Lagos Traffic Radio broadcasts traffic situation at regular intervals. If you own a car, before heading out or while on the road, you can tune in to get the latest traffic gist. This radio station works with the Lagos State Road Maintenance Agency (LASMA) to help residents plan their routes and schedule their daily movement effectively.

Go digital – get the Lagos Traffic App or use the Google Traffic

The advantage of technology to National development cannot be overemphasized. Lagos Traffic App was developed to help Lagosians get proper information on traffic on various routes. The app tells you whether the route is blocked, free or moving slowly.  It also gives you a heads-up on the condition of roads in Lagos.

Google Traffic is a feature of Google Maps. It can either be seen as the Google Maps website or you can download it the app on your phone. Google Traffic works with GPS location to calculate the length of time it will take to get to your desired destination.


Use a Bike Service

Although this is not a very safe means of moving on the highway, it is still an alternative means of transportation and a fast one at that. You can find some local bike riders at various popular bus stops such as Ikeja Along, Oshodi, Abule-Egba, Ikorodu, Victoria Island and others. In recent times, some transport companies have brought up the Bike services with trusted drivers. This service is, however, more expensive than the regular bus charges.  

Living in Lagos can be adventurous for smart residents. It can also be challenging if you are new and clueless. However, with this article, you sure can go wrong escaping the Lagos traffic situation. Kindly share your thoughts with other readers



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