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Traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queuing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction between vehicles slows the speed of the stream, this results in some congestion (Duranton and Turner, 2015). It has been suggested by Hermann (2015) that the level of congestion that society tolerates is a rational (though not necessarily conscious) choice between the costs of improving the transportation system (Infrastructure or management) and the benefits of quicker travel. Others link it largely to subjective lifestyle choices, differentiating between car-owing and car-free households. It has been argued by Blunden (2014) that traffic congestion, by reducing road speeds in cities, could reduce the frequency and severity of road accidents.

Robinson (2015) pointed out that traffic congestion results when there are too many vehicles for the available road space. It may occur on almost any road system but, in general, it is likely to be experienced with greatest severity in and around the major employment modes such as the central Business District (CBD) during the morning and afternoon peaks. On the Lagos-Ibadan express way, for example, delays are not uncommon during the two ‘rush periods at the beginning and end of the business day when flows are about twice as heavy as in the middle of the day. Normally such delay are not particularly severe. They became more so when the available road space is temporarily reduced because of accidents and breakdowns, or when flow volumes are raised significantly (as occurs when the commuter rail system is strike bound). In general terms, the bridge along the express way can handle some 15,000 vehicles per hour without undue disruption unevenly distributed in time and 500 cars converged on it in one minute (a rate of 30, 000 per hour), severe congestion would result (Blunden, 2014).

Traffic according to Omiunu (1988) is all vehicular and all non vehicular movement. In a rapidly growing urban area/metropolis like Ibadan, free flow of traffic is ideally essential for growth of the wide distribution of urban population and variegated urban land uses. Therefore, the relationship between urban land use and traffic congestion cannot be over emphases, because traffic flow is very much dependent on the nature of urban land use. Omiunu (1988), went further to emphasis that accelerated population growth and the increase tempo of urbanization are becoming common phenomenon in Nigeria. In recent years, Ibadan metropolis, a problem which is intimately associated with the dynamics of urbanization.

Miller (2015), stated that, some of the ways in which human activities has increased the probability of traffic congestion is by removing the natural vegetal cover through lumbering operations, overgrazing, mining activities and construction of roads and drainages may result to flooding occurring on major roads and streets which leads to traffic congestion since commuters or roads users has to be limited to a particular road if others have been flooded. Miller (2015) added that when vegetation is removed by human activities, precipitation reaches the stream more directly, often with large load of sediment which increase the chance of flooding which later flow over urban roads and streets leading to traffic congestion in major areas.

The growth of Ibadan Metropolis, has generated several problems to the area, in the cause of urbanization. The most dominant problem is the traffic congestion in the areas, that has led to several damage of life and properties in particular, through series of road accident. Similarly accessibility or movement has also constituted a major problem.

Traffic congestion, whether in road, airline or maritime systems, is a powerful modifier of space and though it is not possible in a short run to look intensively into the effects of traffic congestion on the inhabitants of Ibadan Metropolis since increasing traffic flow through existing transport systems create congestion. This study intends to fill the gap existing in literature on the effect of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

According to Omuta and Onokorhoraye (1994), urban transportation system may be linked to the circulatory system of the human anatomy. In this vein, therefore just as any obstruction of the human circulatory system could lead to its malfunction and even the paralysis of some parts of the body, so could the bottle necks (such as traffic congestion) in the urban transportation system result in the slowing of the urban economy.

Congestion maybe related to one of two sets of conditions-either to conditions-either to inefficiencies within the traffic flow system or to the demand placed on the system (or to a mixture of both). Congestion is a problem related both to space and to time. It is sometimes defined in terms of average traffic speeds achievable in downstream areas in the peak hours (Thomsom, 1977). Congestion according to him may also be defined in terms of actual time spent in a queue, or when ‘traffic flow exceeds 80percent of road capacity’. This means, that from the definitions above congestion itself a major problem facing the society at large especially road users and commuters.

No body enjoys being caught in a traffic jam. It is likely to make the blood pressure jump a few notches and induce the unlikeliest people to ‘use language that would make a sailor blush’. But there are rather more serious social diseconomies which arise from traffic congestion (Rebinson, 2015). Congestion means wasted time or time lost for passengers, crew (or drivers) and for the vehicles itself. It is time which otherwise could be used productively and there is an economic cost attached to it which, although difficult to measure, can be significant. The stop-go, acceleration-deceleration driving pattern and the slow vehicle speeds of congested city driving increase fuel consumption.

Slow speeds caused by congestion also result in the emission of relatively high levels of hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen. This indicates that much higher levels of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons are emitted at speeds of less than 20km/h than at higher speeds. Heavy traffic streams also create high noise levels and prolonged stop-start traffic, particularly in uphill-down-hill patterns, creates unpleasant environments.

There are numerous other diseconomies of traffic congestion. Vibration caused by constant and heavy traffic loads is creating foundation problems for older building in Nigerian cities and elsewhere, road maintenance costs may be higher under congested traffic conditions, and the number of accidents, as well as their disruptive effects, are likely to be greater in congested conditions. When queues grow longer and travel time exceeds acceptable will seek alternative solutions and that planners. In the short term, car commuters are likely to try and find ‘black street’ alternatives which often cause local residents great distress and may result in reclassification of streets or their closure to through traffic. The problems associated with traffic congestion may even constitute one of the most important factors, in the longer run, leading to the development of new transport technology. Induce course, though, the process leading to traffic congestion will repeat itself; this study is carried out to proffer lasting solution to the aforementioned problems and make appropriate recommendations.

1.3     Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is examine the effects of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis. In order to achieve the above stated aim, the researcher designed the following objectives for the study; to:

  1. Identify the various causes of traffic congestion in the area.
  2. Examine the effects of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis.
  3. Identify the major problems associated with the effects of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis.
  4. Examine the major causes of road accident as a result of traffic congestion in the area.
  5. Suggest and recommend possible solution to the problems associated with the effects of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis.

1.4     Research Questions

The following research question will be answered in this study;

  1. What are the effects of traffic congestion in Ibadan metropolis?
  2. What are the various causes of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis?
  3. What are the major causes of road accident as a result of traffic congestion in the area?
  4. What do you think are the major problems associated with the effects of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis?
  5. 5.What do you think are the possible ways to proffer lasting solution to the problems associated with the effects of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis.

1.5     Research Hypothesis

          The following hypothesis will be tested in this study;

Ho:    There is no significant re

1.6     Significance of the Study

          This research work will cover the whole of Ibadan Metropolis and its to look intensively at the causes of traffic congestion and its effect on the landscape of Ibadan Metropolis. It would offer suggestion on the effect of traffic congestion in the study area.

          Therefore, the study will help to unfold the deteriorating effect of traffic congestion and other related land use in Ibadan Metropolis, and also to look at the various causes of road accident as a result of traffic congestion in the area and also to look at or proffer solution to combat the traffic congestion problem (s) in the study area.

1.7     Scope and Limitation of the Study

          The scope of this research work was strictly based on the effect of traffic congestion in Ibadan Metropolis; and to offer suggestion on the effect of traffic congestion in the study area.

          The scope was initially designed to cover all the streets in Ibadan Metropolis. However, because of limited time and financial constraints, the scope was scaled down. In this regard only selected major streets were covered in this study. The time was also short to carry out the research work coupled with academic work.

          These limitations notwithstanding, the data obtained and generated from this study and research finding will be of invaluable assistance of the management of road induced traffic congestion problems.

1.8     STUDY AREA

1.8.1  Location and Size

          Ibadan is one of the ancient cities located in the western region of Nigeria. It used to be the capital territory of then western region administrative headquarters. It is also the state capital of Oyo state; and the third largest metropolitan area in Nigeria, by population after Lagos and Kano with a population of over 3 million, and the largest metropolitan geographical area in Nigeria. At Nigerian independence, Ibadan was the largest and most populous city in the country and the third in African after Cairo and Johannesburg.

          Ibadan is located in south-western Nigeria. It lies between latitudes 070 231N to 070 471N of the equator and longitudes 030 001E to 030551E of the Greenwich Meridian. It is 128km inland northeast of Lagos and 530km southwest of Abuja, the federal capital, and is a prominent transit point between the coastal region and the areas to the north. Ibadan as earlier said had been the centre of administration of the old western region since the days of the British colonial rule, and parts of the city’s ancient protective walls still stand to this day. The principal inhabitants of the city are the Yorubas. The area of Ibadan covers a total land mass of 3,080km2 (1,190sq mi) with a population of about 3.2million (Federal Bureau of Statistics, 2011 estimate). The population density of about 828 perkm2 (2,140 per sq mi) and a metro density of about 250 per km2 (600 per sq mi). the Ibadan metropolis comprise of various religious group which include Islam, Christianity and the Yoruba traditional religion.

          Ibadans and urban area has experienced a rapid increase in size over the years, due to the presence of various administrative ministries and companies, as a result of the urbanization of the area. This attract people from surrounding area, to itself, because of its employment opportunities, thus resulting in overcrowding, increased demand for housing, shortage of social infrastructures and of course traffic congestion. The implication of these increase in size, is that too many commuters and road user on the road especially major roads and express way may result not only to traffic congestion which may damage vehicles, but also cause serious accident which may claim lives and properties.

1.8.2  Relief and Vegetation

          Ibadan lies within the western zone, the area is characterized by heavy rainfall, high temperature and the resultant rainforest with tall trees and luxuriant plants. The area has cocoa and palm trees and the vegetation here is a typical rainforest with swamp in most areas. Ibadan could be described as having a flat terrain, (including Ibadan Metropolis), the area is about 100-350meters above sea level. About two third of the area has undulating landform, within these area, there are a number of elevated patches of land. The area has a multiplicity of lakes and streams bordered by mangrove trees prominent among such rivers are the River Benue, the Ibadan Lagoon etc.

          The implication of the presence of the rivers and lakes is that during the rainy season which is usually long, they over-flow due to inadequate drainage channels area and flood water often collected in the low lying terrain forming pool of water. The relatively level terrain make run off generated by heavy rainfall very slow thereby resulting in flooding of major roads which in turn lead to traffic congestion.

1.8.3  Climate Characteristics

          Ibadan and environs falls under the equatorial region, that experiences rainfall throughout the year. The rainfall is well distributed, and there is no month without rain and there is a distinct dry season. Based on the data obtained from the meteorological department at Ibadan from the period of 2001-2015, the annual average rainfall is the same throughout the year. During the rainy season, rainfall intensity and magnitude recorded falls between March to November with a short break in the month of August, while dry season last from mid November to February. The implication of the high intensity and high magnitude rainfall on the humus, clayish, soil particles in Ibadan is that there is much capacity loading to the generation of much runoff and consequently resulting to the flooding of major roads which leads to traffic congestion occurring the streets and major roads.

          Ibadan metropolis has a uniform temperature throughout the year. The mean month temperature is around 27.05oc with little variation. Thus, the annual range of temperature is 5.30c. Consequently, the implication of this temperature is that the process of evapo-transpiration is greatly accelerated resulting to high rainfall which can cause the flooding of streets and major roads which in turn results to traffic congestion.

1.8.4  Drainage and Soil

          Ibadan and its environ lies within the fresh water swamp forest region of Nigeria, where water is constantly supplied by heavy rainfall and rivers, evaporation is reduced to minimum by high relative humidity and drainage is rendered almost impossible by the level topography (Ileojo, 1981). The implication of this is that whenever there is heavy rainfall, the runoff (water) and thus accumulates on the adjoining low lying terrain causing flooding of major roads resulting to traffic congestion.

          Ibadan is located in the zone of alluvia soil, which are reliable to flooding in the south-western zone of Nigeria. The soil type are muddy, grey in colour and usually water logged or poorly drained (Ileoje, 1981). The result of this soil type, is that it has a low rate of infiltration, thus during heavy rainfall, where rainfall intensity exceeds infiltration capacity water begin to accumulate on the soil surface and general high storm runoff which result into flooding of streets and major roads leading to traffic congestion. Furthermore, due to the poorly drained soil, it often takes quite sometime before flooded water drains or dries off in the area, some flood last for weeks or even months. This stagnate water on the road may damage the road tile and lead to vehicular hold up.

1.8.5  Socio-economic Activities

          The people of the area engage in a wide range of economic activities. These include farming, fishing, hunting, pottery, trading etc. farming is the largest employer of labour. Over 50% of the people are engaged in either subsistence or commercial agricultural. Apart from the crop cultivation, there is also rearing of animals such as poultry, piggery, fishery, sheep’s, goats etc. These crops (yam, plantain, cocoa, cassava, vegetables, etc) and animals constitute the commodities trade.

          Apart from agriculture which generate income to the people, there are also government and private establishments that provide job opportunities to the inhabitants in the areas. They include privately owned business such as filling station, mechanic workshop, restaurants, shops, business centre (i.e computer and photocopy centre), transportation parks, private schools etc. government owned establishment includes the customary court, general hospital, local government council secretariats, federal and state ministries, government offices and filling station. Sand is also mined locally from the river that flows through the area. This mining establishment also provide job opportunities to the inhabitant of the area. This implication of this is that, it may encourage rural-urban migration of viable youths from villages to the metropolitan city to search for job which will better their life thereby increasing the number of road users and commuters on the road leading to traffic congestion which in turn affect the inhabitants of Ibadan Metropolis.

1.9     Definition of Terms

          The following key words were defined in this section as applicable to the research work:-

  1. Traffic:This has to do with pedestrians or vehicles on roads, or the flux or passage thereof.
  2. Congestion: An access of traffic.
  3. Effect:The result or outcome of a cause.
  4. Metropolis: A large busy city, especially as the main city in an area or country or as distinguished from surrounding rural areas.
  5. Town:A settlement, an area with residential districts, shops and amenities, and its own local government, especially one larger than a village and smaller than ac city.
  6. City:A large settlement, bigger than a town.
  7. Transpiration:The act of transporting, or the state of being transporting, or the state of being transported, conveyance, often of people, goods, etc.
  8. Road:A way used for travelling between places, usually surfaced with asphalt or concrete, which are designed in most cases to accommodate many vehicles travelling in both direction.
  9. Accident:An unexpected event with negative consequences occurring without the intention of the one suffering the consequences.
  10. Causes:the source or reason of an event or action.


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