Mixed and merged spaces: the paradox of Ghanaian Roads.

Mixed and merged spaces: the paradox of Ghanaian Roads.
Source: Amarkine Amarteifio
Date: 07-11-2018 Time: 10:11:46:am
Amarkine Amartefio

All roads are constructed to serve the community by connecting them easily to other communities for socioeconomic interactions and development. They must do this by facilitating movement and accessibility.

In Ghana, we have normalized the use of interactive roads. Almost all our roads and streets double as market places. We sell right in the middle and the sides of the roads.

And so are our pavements—they also double as places for hawkers and vendors and small-scale table top businesses.

Additionally, our roads also double as permanent mechanic workshops, car washing bays, car parks, lorry stations, taxi ranks and drinking spots.

It is also not unusual to see cars for sale permanently parked right on the road thereby narrowing the road and making it dangerous for human and vehicular activity.

As if this doubling is not enough, various banks have also mounted their ATM money vending machines at various junctions. 

As a people, we have over the years made peace with the dangers of the road and street space. We have adjusted so comfortably in a space where previous generations feared to tread.

As a result, almost all roads, streets and highways have become doubles for many aspects of community life. 

The case of the Madina-Adenta Highway and many others in the country reflect this unfortunate trend in our social comfort with road dangers. 

How do we define an accident as an unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally when every morning, we all watch our youth INTENTIONALLY make the middle and sides of the roads their workplaces? 

How do we define an accident as an unplanned event when our authorities planned to construct the road and later find money to do the bridges that serve the community?

How do we solve this? Are we prepared to remove our youth from the middle of the roads? Are we prepared to demonstrate our value for human life by clearing our roads of all trading and commercial activities to facilitate safe driving?

Are we prepared to bring back road safety and directional signs and remove all the huge billboards in the median and sides of the roads which compromise visibility?

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