Bloomberg Philanthropies optimistic about road safety intervention in Accra

The delegation crossing the N1 Highway at the La Paz Intersection[/caption] A delegation from the Bloomberg Philanthropies in the United States of America has paid a three-day working visit to the city of Accra to acquaint with the progress of work on road safety. Accra was selected among 10 cities in the world in 2015, when the Bloomberg Philanthropies launched the initiative for Global Road Safety to promote safer streets. The delegation toured the Lapaz Intersection on the N1 Highway in Accra to observe the road safety enhancement works carried out at the intersection. Members were optimistic the intervention would go a long way to improve pedestrian mobility and reduce fatalities. Madam Becky Bavinger, a Global Public Health Officer with the Bloomberg Philanthropies, in an interview with the media, said the current work at the intersection was the best option considering the volumes of pedestrians, adding that the physically challenged persons could now cross the 14 lanes with ease. “There are a lot of pedestrians who cannot use a footbridge; the elderly, children, people in wheel chair among others, so this is a much better system to allow all pedestrians to cross the 14 lanes with ease,” she said. She stressed the need for the police to intensify enforcement at the intersection to compel drivers to reduce their speed and ensure that all buses were picking and dropping passengers at designated locations, adding that pedestrian education on the use of crossing is equally vital. Ben Welle, a Senior Associate Urban and Transportation Planner with EMBARQ, a signature initiative of the World Resources Institute, described the intersection as a dangerous one and stressed the need for drivers to reduce their speed when approaching the intersection. He pointed out that the intention for redesigning the intersection was to give pedestrians more priority to ensure safety. He noted that pedestrians in urban areas do not normally use footbridges, stressing that the best thing to do in such situations was to improve the safety condition on the streets. The delegation also observed the random checks by the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service on drunk driving. Majority of the drivers, who went through alcohol level detection on the spot tested 0.08 to 0.27, an evidence of driving under the influence of alcohol.

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