If you have to live in Lagos, knowing and understanding that traffic is going to be a part of your everyday life is important. As stressful as it is to even think about it, gradually, you’ll get used to it and know how to cope or make your way around it.
If you ask anyone who has lived in Lagos for a while, the chances of getting more than a hundred tips from them are high, because every day is a lesson in Lagos, especially when it comes to Lagos traffic.
We spoke to three people who gave us tips on avoiding Lagos traffic, and they all have something in common.
So like I always tell people that want to move to Lagos, there are basically three ways to avoid traffic in Lagos which are; Wake and leave home early before peak traffic period, stay home/work till late, and leave home/work after peak traffic period, or DON’T COME TO LAGOS.
Out of these three tips, the third is the most effective tho because at least if you are not in Lagos you can’t experience Lagos traffic.
But generally, timing is important in avoiding traffic in Lagos, know the time when traffic builds up and traffic is less along your routes, know alternative routes to your work/home so if route A is blocked because of traffic you can always use route B.
The ability to take bikes is very important.
If I’m in traffic in some places or some areas I’m going to, I can just take the bike to avoid the traffic. An example is taking a bike from Palmgroove to Fadeyi to beat the traffic. This will take only fifteen minutes of my time and that’s way better than sitting for thirty minutes in traffic.
Importantly, it is all about knowing your way around Lagos, knowing alternative routes to use. That way, you can easily beat traffic. An example is going to the Island from Yaba. It’s better to pass through the streets rather than be stuck on the main road.
Timing is important, and the moment you miscalculate, you might spend three hours on a forty-five minutes trip.
My tips are, know how to use bikes, know the street shortcuts, know alternative routes, and know your timing.
Half of the time, traffic is unavoidable in Lagos. But on the other half, you’ll get stuck in traffic if you don’t plan your journey well. There are places in Lagos where you go and meet traffic throughout the day. Those places, I mostly avoid going there except it is totally necessary for me to go there. The tip in that is, don’t go to places you are not totally needed.
Secondly, timing is important. There are some parts of Lagos that have heavy traffic in the morning because of people rushing to get to work. While there are places that experience heavy traffic in the evening because of people’s rush to get home from work. Knowing that timing and being able to work around it is an important part of beating traffic in Lagos.
The most important part, however, is knowing alternative routes. It helps a lot because no matter how well you plan your journey, and how well you know the timing, there are times those never work. On those days, everything falls back on how many alternative routes you know, and how well you can use them.
So, plan your journey, understand timing, and know alternative routes.
There are just 2 major ways to avoid Lagos traffic and both Depends on your destination.
If you live on the mainland and you have an appointment on the islands by 8 am/9 am in the morning.
You have to leave your house as early as 5 am in the morning, that time the road is still very free. Any other time later than that, you’re on your own.
Motorcycle has been banned from plying Express & some major Lagos road but still saves people from traffic.
If you’re someone very familiar with Lagos, you can go through short corners to beat the traffic on the express or major roads using a motorcycle tho you’ll have to spend X4/X6 of your usual transport budget.
You will be making a big mistake if you step out of your house without proper planning, but you will be making an even bigger mistake if you just assume ‘there won’t be traffic.’
To live in Lagos is to know the workings of the state. We hope that these tips will help you better navigate Lagos traffic and ease the burden off you a little bit.
Bonus: Use tools like this one to determine where there is traffic before you hit the road.