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 “Traffic congestion makes it hard to move”
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 “Traffic congestion makes it hard to move”

Rush hour traffic is a problem for drivers, pedestrians and the economy, writes Luchelle Feukeng, 23, a Correspondent from Yaounde in Cameroon, who looks at causes and solutions.

At certain hours in the politic capital of Cameroon, it becomes really difficult for road users to move from one point to another. It is possible to remain at the same point for more than 30 minutes. This phenomenon is due to many factors and has many consequences for the economy.

Thierry Saoundé is a young Cameroonian. He lives in Odza, Yaoundé and works at Biteng. Normally, when he takes a taxi, he spends around 30 minutes before reaching his workplace.

But with classes resumed, he must absolutely leave his house at 5:45 AM if he wants to make good time. Otherwise, he will be obliged to spend more than an hour to cover the same distance. And to this duration is added the other 30 minutes that he spends just to find a taxi that is going to the same direction he wants. It is really difficult for Thierry to reach his workplace on time.

“If I sleep too much, I will forget about the idea of being on time at work, especially on Monday. I am obliged to be on my way at 5:45 AM at least. When you start searching your taxi at 6:30 AM, it will be very difficult for you to be taken. Taxi drivers favour students, instead of workers and others passengers,” he says.

Thierry faces the same difficulty when he is leaving work for home. From 6 PM, traffic congestion reappears. The cause: students and workers are going back home. The situation remains unchanged till 8 PM at least. This situation will be worse if it rains. It can be quite possible for a person to be forced to travel to his house or a very long distance on foot. Especially in this context, the prices rise and the faster you want to go, the better price you must propose to the taxi driver. For those such as Christie, taking a taxi in the morning has become a real nightmare. It is really difficult firstly to find a taxi that will take you, and secondly to move with the traffic in the street.

At at least half a dozen major locations, traffic flow is forced to a notoriously slow pace. Traffic congestion is caused by many factors: the narrowness of roads, the absence of traffic lights, or even an accident due to the careless way of driving of many road users. When there is traffic congestion, many drivers want to overtake others and it sometimes creates accidents.

Traffic jams are also caused by the deficiency of the road on one hand, and the abundance of cars on the other. Even pedestrians sometimes cause road congestion. For example, when they are hailing the taxi and do not stand away from the crossroad, it blocks the traffic behind them.

Congested road traffic has many consequences. It is at the origin of many losses in enterprise because of many employees and patrons who may come late. It destroys the economic fabric because the transportation charges during rush hours are more expensive than during the normal period.

To remedy to this situation, we think that the government should proceed to the installation of traffic lights for better regulation of traffic circulation. In the same way, the construction of new roads should be considered. More police should be engaged to guide the traffic, especially at cross roads. Taxi drivers should be educated in driving school on good manners and tolerance, as many traffic congestion situations are caused by two drivers who leave their cars on the street and start fighting, thus blocking the others.

Surely, it does resemble a nightmare to try moving in Yaoundé streets at some hours of the day. But we think that the sun will soon shine. In the bigger picture, one can notice that many measures are being taken to solve the problem, but more effort from both the government and the population should be supplied.

Reach me on Twitter @feukengluchelle

photo credit: mripp Rush Hour via photopin (license)
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About me: Hi, I am Luchelle Feukeng. Journalism is my passion. My dream is to become an international journalist. I like writing on everything that is related to ICT. I want to become the queen of the web through my writings. I think a computer and little effort are enough to change the world.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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