Accra could come to a virtual standstill in the next seven years if urgent action is not taken to manage the influx of vehicles into the city centre creating a gridlock.
Of concern to Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, is the increasing rate at which vehicles enter the business.
Closely linked to the situation is the incidence of vehicular knockdowns mainly due to shoppers parking their vehicles on the shoulders of the streets compelling pedestrians to walk on the streets.
An estimated 58% of knockdowns within the city centre is the result of inappropriate parking, a situation the Mayor condemns, stressing that pedestrians have the right to “walk freely everywhere in the city centre” just as drivers have the right to drive without any hindrance.
Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Friday, Mr. Adjei Sowah listed a number of car parks built in the business district where people can park their vehicles at a fee.
The car parks which he said have the capacity to contain thousands of vehicles, could be located in the plush Octagon building, National Theatre, Ridge enclave and the Rawlings Park.
“All these car parks have enough capacity to absorb the numbers…but people prefer to park in front of shops to buy their wares” which he said is unacceptable.
He, therefore, cautioned those who park on pavements to shop, of strict enforcement of the city’s by-laws henceforth.
Another issue the Accra Metropolitan Assembly has had to battle with over the past decades is the level of noise, which Mr. Adjei Sowah admits “is increasingly becoming part of our lives.”
From the blurring of sounds from drinking pubs to loud music from moving vehicles selling goods to preachers who mount sound systems at bus stops and transport terminals to preach, city dwellers continue to lament about Accra’s noisy life.
“Together with the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency], we should be able to address this issue because it is becoming too much,” the Mayor acknowledged.
“I don’t want to be seen to be against people’s business but you should know that your business also has limitations,” he addressed owners drinking pubs who sometimes extend their operations onto the streets.
He said very soon, the Assembly’s task force “will step up its efforts to focus more attention on some of our religious bodies” to enforce the by-laws and ensure the noise generated is within acceptable limits.
Listen to an extract from the interview in the audio attached: