Pedestrian bridges anywhere serve to protect pedestrians from being knocked down by speeding vehicles. Thus, pedestrians are expected to use those bridges usually built across the highways.
Before the construction of the pedestrian bridges at Unizik Junction, Awka and MCC Park, Onitsha, tales of accidents involving speeding vehicles and those attempting to cross the roads had abound. It was to arrest that trend that the Anambra State Government of that time decided to build the bridges.
Since then, the spate of accidents has greatly reduced, with the few recorded ones involving those who shunned the bridges and preferred to dash across the roads.
Now, if there is any place in the capital city of Awka where another pedestrian bridge is needed, that place is the Regina Caeli Junction along the Enugu/Onitsha Express Way. The necessity of a pedestrian bridge there is occasioned first by the distance between the one at Unizik Junction and the roundabout at Aroma Junction and the fact that Regina Junction is the only other major junction between Aroma and Unizik.
Regina Junction is the only other gateway inside the old Awka town and as well connects people living in Okpuno and those living in old Awka. This is why it daily witnesses heavy human traffic as those living across the two divides criss-cross the junction.
Because there is no bridge and given the distance between the junction and the two other junctions, the people resort to making a dangerous dash across the express from both sides. When they come to the middle of the express, they are forced to get inside the deep drainage and then labour to get up before dashing across the other section of the road. Often times, people who are not strong enough to get up the drainage on their own, like pregnant women and the elderly, wait till they get help from other people.
Now, even standing in the middle of the express waiting to cross the other section of the road is dangerous in itself as the people can get run over by speeding vehicles which are overtaking other vehicles or those that may have brake issues.
This is why it has become expedient for the state government to consider building another pedestrian bridge there as a matter of urgency.
It is our contention that this junction is even where one of the flyovers should have been built, given the volume of human and vehicular traffic there. A flyover there would have served the populace better than the one at Amawbia Junction, for instance, where there is less human and vehicular traffic.
But since that has not been the case, at least the construction of a pedestrian at Regina Junction will go a long way in helping people living or doing business across the two divides to cross the road without risk.
Asking them to either cross from Unizik Junction or Aroma Junction is out of the question as both are too far from Regina Junction, especially as commercial motor cyclists and tricycles have been banned from operating along that stretch of the express way, meaning that those people will still have to either trek up or down to Regina Junction.
We therefore urge the Anambra State government to do the needful by building another pedestrian bridge at Regina Caeli Junction, Awka.