This is a question that many thinking Nigerians are asking. Why risk getting hit by a car over taking the existing pedestrian bridge?
Everyday on our way to work, we see this happen over and over again even though the Lagos state government does everything in its power to enforce the use of pedestrian bridge. Last month I was on the phone with my brother and all of a sudden I heard him shout, then said he was going to call me back. I was scared to the marrow, wondering what could have gone wrong. Many things crossed my mind; Did he hit someone’s car? Did his car get hit? I continued to ponder in fear and just then he called back to tell me a pedestrian trying to run across the highway got knocked down flat by a car at Onipanu, Ikorodu road.
And that got me thinking about a question I posted a year ago on Quora. So I logged back into to check the answers. Here are some replies I got.
Answer by Amadasun-Efe
“There is only one reason and one reason only why anyone would decide to cross a busy highway as opposed to using the pedestrian bridge, and that is: As a matter of distance, you will get to the other side faster if you cross the highway.
So I guess the real question would be, is a few minutes of extra time enough to risk your life? Well I guess the answer is Yes.
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Personally I feel impatience is the bigger problem at play here, and that this is just a by-product of it. That is why in addition to people crossing a busy road with traffic, you also see people fighting to enter bus, you see people using a 2 lane road as a 4 lane road, causing unnecessary traffic hold up in the process. Virtually any place where you have to line up to get service, you will see someone cutting the line because they just can’t wait.
Solve the impatience problem, and all these other resulting problems will go away.”
“They are not thinking. It’s more than impatience, it’s a lack of using our God given intelligence. Because the time they use to wait and dodge vehicles while crossing is more time they would have used crossing using the bridge provided.”
Onodje Daniel, “Everybody keeps forgetting how high those bridges are. Is the pain of climbing 60 – 70 steps greater than the risk of getting run over by a car? In most cases, yes. It is possible to get run over. I’ve barely escaped it a few times but it is still less stressful than walking all the way down to the bridge, climbing up the bridge, walking along the bridge and climbing down again then walking up to the point on the road across from where I started.”
Aghogho Bernard, “HMM…..After perusing the comments, i didn’t see any justification of aerophobia. However truth be told, its a culture issue. You can argue for and against in context of this subject. impatience, you would say. How about people who don’t even have anything doing, who you expect to take their time and use the bridge. Sure if you do some kind of survey a lot of issues would arise. Let me guess some
1. state of the bridges in Nigeria.
2. Aerophobia: some people don’t go well with height.
3. Stress of Climbing: Considering the Seniors. Solution would be underground bridges with security like other countries.
Sure others would have a lot to say”
Mayowa Okelana, “Just one word: impatience”
Marc Dawodu, I often find that amazing. It takes approximately 3 minutes to cross a bridge if you’re quick about it and 3 months to get a cast off your arm or thigh if you get knocked down by a fast moving vehicle, that if you don’t die.
Your taxes pay for the bridges, bloody use them.”
Elatuyi Olanrewaju, “There are many reasons for this…one is impatience of many Lagosians, then the poor state of many pedestrian bridges and poor construction of bridges as seen in the steepness.”
“Inpatience and too much love for sharp sharp”
Yogesh Natverlal Panwala
“Distace between two pedestrian bridges is too …o big. at times more then one km apart”.
“Funny we had the same discussion at my office the other day. You see an empty pedestrian bridge and then a large crowd of people trying to cross the busy high way… This is the “Nigerian Ignorance” a massive epidemic in this country. You just cant be too impatient that you would risk dying because you want to cross the road. Nigerians just don’t think! Its normal to suffer than to live life well…for an average Nigerian… I doubt if there would be any solution with this generation all we should do is teach our children the best way to do things.“.
Finally from Emmanuel Akpunku
“Nigerians are hard working people… The irony is we love shortcuts and will take d easy route if we find one. And generally, its just the indiscipline that trickles down from the top. thrz nothing wrong wit taking a bridge no matter how high or how long“.
So there you have it.
Image Credit: PMNewsnigeria