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N1 Highway Lapaz intersection enhanced to improve safety

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah (hand raised) and other officials inspecting the main Lapaz crossing point of the N1 highway. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah (hand raised) and other officials inspecting the main Lapaz crossing point of the N1 highway. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Bloomberg Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) yesterday inaugurated enhancement works at the Lapaz intersection of the N1 Highway to improve safety, especially for pedestrians.

The enhancement work included the widening of the median at the intersection, lowering the curbs (restraining bricks) to make them disability-friendly, increasing pedestrian crossing time from 18 seconds to 41 seconds, and re-marking the intersections.

The project funded by the AMA and BIGRS is aimed at improving mobility of pedestrians and reducing pedestrian fatality at the intersection.

BIGRS is an international philanthropy that focuses on improving road safety in cities.

Commissioning

In an interaction with journalists after inspecting the enhancement works, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the AMA, Mr Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, said the assembly had also noticed that vehicular flow in the area was given much attention than pedestrian safety.

He said a data collection exercise conducted by the AMA-BIGRS teams last year showed that there were about 203,661 pedestrian activities at the intersection, with vehicles travelling at speeds ranging from 90 kilometres to 120 kilometres per hour (km/h) on the N1 Highway.

“On the average, 16,972 pedestrians were counted in an hour, demonstrating that measures needed to be put in place to protect the lives of these people,” he said.

Reduction

Mr Sowah said although the enhancement work was a temporary measure, there had been significant reduction of road casualties at the intersection since its completion last month.

“The last check by the assembly clearly shows that road crashes at Lapaz, which had the highest number of all road crashes in Accra, had reduced due to the enhancement works,” he said.

He said the assembly would continue to collaborate with the National Road Safety Commission and other organisations to improve the quality of life of people living within the city.

Commuters

Some of the people who commute through the Lapaz intersection said they were impressed with the enhancement works done, but urged the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service to come on time to direct traffic at the intersection when the traffic lights were not functioning.

The Coordinator for the AMA-BIGRS initiative, Mr Osei Kuffour, and the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Okaikoi North Municipal Assembly, Mr Boye Laryea, in separate interviews, expressed their commitment to work with relevant authorities to achieve a reduction in fatalities resulting from road accidents.