Ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebration, one of the things that have continued to cause frustration and lamentation during both events which have gone beyond a cultural, social, and religious celebration is the issue of chaotic traffic jams.
As it has been a tradition in the southern-eastern part of Nigeria, most events including burials, traditional and white weddings, festivals, community and family meetings, church events are mostly scheduled during this festive season. During this season, most families return home in anticipation of meeting loved ones.
Although not peculiar to the southeast, one of the challenges returnees face is the issue of traffic congestion due to heavy vehicular movement. In Anambra, although traffic jams are prevalent in most urban areas especially during rush hours both in the morning and evening, during festive seasons like Christmas and New Year, the situation exacerbates.
With few days to Christmas, despite the Omicron variant of Covid-19, already, there is heavy vehicular movement currently being witnessed in most road junctions.
Anaedoonline.ng look at five roads affected by traffic congestion in Nnewi.
1. Ibeto Junction
Ibeto Junction is arguably the busiest junction in Nnewi. With the ever-increasing economic activities and the high population in Nnewi, this is one of the roads to avoid especially during rush hours.
The junction leads to the popular bank road which is the area that has the highest concentration of banks in Nnewi. The junction also connects to Nnewichi, the part of Nnewi that has the highest residential houses, especially for non-indigenes. For those who also plan to Journey from Nnewi to Onitsha through the old road section, it will be difficult not to pass through Ibeto Junction.
The road capacity has further been reduced with the continuous dumping of refuse in the junction. This has reduced the size of the road. The failure of the government to dualize the road and also fully relocate the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, has continued to contribute to the traffic congestion of the road.
2. *Okpunoeze Bus-Stop*
Traffic congestion in Okpunoeze Bus-Stop is becoming a recurrent affair especially during rush hours and festive periods. The cause of traffic in this particular junction is majorly because of the impatient drivers who want to reach their destinations at the same time.
Okpunoeze Bus-Stop appears to be the quickest route for most commuters going to Umudim, Otolo, Ozubulu, and other towns outside Nnewi. It also covers the area that has the highest population of residents in Uruagu, where the popular Nkwo Nnewi is located. The potholes in the junction is also contributing to the traffic jam in the area.
3. *St. Mary’s Junction*
This is one of the strategic areas in Nnewi which is located along Nnewi/Oba New Road, before the popular Cathedral Church of St. Mary’s Uruagu Nnewi. The road is one of the entry points of Nnewi and exist point Nnewi, especially those traveling to Onitsha, Orafite, and other towns.
Traffic congestion in the area is traced to the issue of lack of traffic lights and wardens and the inability of the government to dualize the road which was marked for dualization in early 2000. The potholes leading to the junction have also become a problem. For motorists, it is always frustrating plying that road during the festive period.
4. *Izuchukwu Junction*
Izuchukwu junction is the major entry point to Nnewi. Apart from connecting four different roads, it also connects Nwafor Orizu Roundabout, the center of Nnewi which also connects the four major roads which connect the four quarters in Nnewi; Otolo, Uruagu, Umudim, and Nnewichi.
The junction remains the busiest in the town in Nnewi as it also serves as the exit point for those moving outside Nnewi. The has the highest concentration of motor parks. The road also leads to the popular Diocesan Church Center (DCC), St. Andrews Anglican Church, Nkwo Nnewi, which is seen as a mecca for those seeking a spiritual solution to life problems. Although, traffic wardens are always stationed in the junction, traffic jams is aggravated due to the narrowness of the road and heavy vehicle movement.
5. *Owerri Road*
The narrowness of the roads and refuse dump sited on the road is one of the contributing factors to traffic congestion in the area. It is also the exit point for a vast number of visitors and residents. There urgent need to expand the road. The traffic congestion witnessed in the area especially during rush hours and festive periods is terrible.
Other areas include, Nwanyi Bus-Stop, Amuko Junction, Eke Amaobi, and traffic light.
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