[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any pedestrian bridges constructed in Abuja have been turned to mini-markets by hawkers, as residents prefer to cross the expressways at great risk.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports some residents have complained that the location of most of the bridges were often too far from their bus-stops.
A resident in Lugbe, near Abuja, Mrs Victoria Duru, said she preferred to cross the road by ‘making a dash’ instead of using the bridge.
She said that her bus stop was too far from the bridge.
She said she was aware of the dangers associated with crossing the busy express road but still prefer it instead of trekking to the pedestrian bridge.
“I know the danger associated with crossing the expressway, especially during the busy period, but I still prefer to cross the road by sprinting across.
Another resident, Mrs Yinka Adedeji, said her fear for heights and the energy used to climb the bridge had hindered her from using the bridge.
“I have phobia for heights and there is no way I can walk without looking down. Moreso, it takes physical strength to climb that bridge.
“Again, one cannot put out the fear of being robbed especially at night,” she said.
Mr Uche Philip, a businessman, said that using the bridge was safer in spite of its challenges.
According to him, it is better to use the bridge than to risk one’s life dashing across busy highways.
“Not doing so can be dangerous. In fact, I will advice that more of these bridges should be constructed in some strategic locations of the city to avert unnecessary deaths of residents.
“Also, there should be people like the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency officers who will monitor the bridge against hawkers because people leave all kinds of dirt and refuse on the walkway.”
Similarly, Mr Yahaya Nasiru, a civil servant, said that using the bridge gives one a sense of sanity.
“When I see pedestrian running across the highway, I assume they are not mentally alright or else, how can one explain the situation.
“I think a task force should be in place within these bridges ensuring that people who want to cross the expressway are either penalised or are fined to serve as a deterrent to others,” Nasiru said.