Tempest of madness
Like animals

Moresby’s worsening traffic jams & the need for planning

Waigani traffic at peak hourLISA KIPA

An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PNG Chamber of Mines & Petroleum
Award for Essays & Journalism

THAT dreadful sound of the alarm clock - awakening me suddenly from my sleep. Look around in a daze. If only I could stay in bed a few moreminutes….

Living in Gerehu, one of the largest suburbs in Port Moresby, five is the most convenient time to wake up and get ready to leave for school or work.

Why? Well you don’t want to get stuck in traffic, which would take 30 to 40 minutes to negotiate, depending on what time you leave.

If you’re single, it’s a relief that you just have yourself to worry about but, if you’re married and have children, then you have to prepare breakfast and lunch for them.

In modern day PNG we send the kids off to school with lunch money. But we don’t know whether the child is eating a nutritious meal or spending the money on junk food.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a spacious house, you have extra room to accommodate help who may, at times, be willing to get up and prepare breakfast.

So you leave early, at around six, and arrive at work at seven. You stay at work until five or sometimes later. You go home and waste another 30-60 minutes in the traffic. It seems as though heavy traffic is inevitable.

Those hours wasted in the traffic can’t be regained. We waste time in the traffic jams, precious time we could spend with family and friends or go home and do something productive.

I feel as though waking up early, going out while your young child is still asleep and coming home to find out he has gone to bed is a loss and disappointment.

You do not get to appreciate and be a part of your child’s development as much as you’d like. That is the sacrifice one has to make.

And so I waste at least six hours a week queuing up in the traffic.

The Nine Mile traffic has been a relief. Thanks to the road expansion project, it’s a breeze for residents who live in the Eight and Nine Mile areas, on the Malolo estate and further up.

Thank goodness the Baruni road is under construction. Commuters going to downtown appreciate it as it saves them time and the hustle of going the long way around.

The only way forward is to accommodate this traffic issue in the future is to expand the road system.

We are likely to have more and more cars on the road resulting in more and more traffic jams.

Proper research should be conducted and case study on other countries done and PNG should prepare itself for change.


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Robin Lillicrapp

Oh, POM. I imagined for a minute you were referring to Melbourne, where I'm living.

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