Lagos traffic, aka ‘Go Slow’ is one of the major topics of discussion whenever anybody wants to talk about Lagos. It is why those who live outside of the state fear coming to the state and it is why those who live in the state learn to manage the time they move around. For those who haven’t truly witnessed Lagos traffic, it might seem like just a myth until one truly sees it.
Severally, there have been reports of people sitting in Lagos traffic for more than five hours. On some occasions, we’ve heard reports of some others who park their cars on the road to look for a hotel to spend the night, simply because continuing with the traffic isn’t a good idea.
Through all of these, it is important to note that residents of Lagos face Lagos traffic almost every day. Sometimes, it is heavy and still, but other days, it is light and moves slowly.
Trying to get the effect sitting in Lagos traffic has on people, we spoke to two people who live in Lagos and understand Lagos traffic well, and here is what they have to say.
Tayo – The stress is unimaginable
The first piece of advice I give anybody at all is that if you cannot handle stress, you have no reason to be in Lagos.
I live in Ikorodu and work in Ikeja, and knowing how crazy the traffic from Ikorodu can be, I wake up as early as 4 am every day to get ready for work. Normally, that is supposed to help me beat the traffic but most times, it doesn’t. All it just does is help me buy a bit of time. It’s either I stand for hours on the BRT queue or use the other commercial buses and still end up sitting inside traffic.
I’m only 27yrs old and I already have white strands of hair covering both sides of my beards. Most people find that to be cool but deep within me, I know it is evidence of stress.
I wake up early and get back late from work. I barely get in six hours of sleep and there are times I feel like I’m losing my mind.
Vanessa – I’m too disorganized to be productive
Imagine sitting in traffic for three hours to get to work, on a journey that shouldn’t be more than 45mins. Every morning when I’m getting ready for work, it worries me that I have to go through the same thing every day.
I live in Ebute Meta and I work in Victoria Island, and it’s supposed to be a straight journey, right? But Lagos traffic is not anybody’s mate.
Sometimes, it is a car that broke down on the road. Other days, it is two crazy drivers fighting each other and blocking the road. Every day, one thing will always happen to cause traffic.
The mental torture of sitting through that everyday fumbles with everything. I’m not able to think clearly for the first two hours after I get to work. I’m just there disorganized and tired. Then there are the few hours before closing as well when I have to think of how to get back home.
It’s really a daunting experience and a lot of people live through it every day.
It is important to note that the Lagos State Government has been working on ways to reduce traffic in the state and one of the ways to tackle this is through the creation of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) which has been working tirelessly to create a road transport system that will ease traffic in the state. Over the years, there has been a reduction in the rate of traffic due to the work put in place to handle it.