How to cope with Traffic on Third Mainland Bridge


Mindfullness_angry_driverDear motorists of 3RDMB,

When I see you in traffic every evening during the week I see the frustration in your faces. I see the hurt in your bloodshot eyes (from staring too long at brake lights). I feel the pain in your arms (from latching unto your steering wheels for 2 hours). It’s insane to say the least. On 3RDMB rush hour in the morning is between 5.45 and 10am while in the evening it’s typically between 6.30 and 9.30 pm. After 7 years of being a victim of locomotion (loco as in ‘crazy’ in Spanish) and getting high on ‘secondhand exhaust fumes’ I believe at this point it is my civil duty to share how you can cope with the menace that is the traffic on 3RDMB:

Rule 1: Wise up

I hate unpleasant surprises; 3RDMB being in my top 3. That’s why I log in to GIDITRAFFIC, TSABOIN TRAFFIC TALK and TRAFFICBUTTER APP on Twitter for the latest updates on all my routes out of the Mad Arena more commonly known as the Marina. These info sources are a Godsend if you have access to the Internet and want online real-time news about the state of traffic on all major Lagos routes. If you’re more of the radio listening type you can tune in to 96.1 Traffic FM and get the scoop there. Even if all your other alternative routes are experiencing traffic at least you’ll know which one has that broken down trailer blocking two-thirds of the three-lane road!!! Don’t drive off without getting your traffic information right or you’ll be singing ‘Bumper to bumper’ @wandecoal

Rule 2: Snack up

If you’re driving a brand new car and your rule of thumb is never to eat in it then think again. Motorists would agree that by the time you’re motionless on 3RDMB at about 9.30pm and you start nodding off to sleep on the wheel, you’re gonna need more than your stereo to keep you awake. But help is on the bridge. They roam the tarmac with multiple bags of popcorn, cartons of plantain chips and other munchies. I call these heroes Teenage Hell-bent Ninja Hawkers. Have you seen them run after motorists to make that sale? Usain Bolt aint got nothing on these guys and I say that boldly because he’s not running between the narrow spaces of moving trucks and danfo buses. If you haven’t noticed them by now then they’re better ninjas than I thought. The first set of hawkers when you get close to the UniLag waterfront section of 3RDMB sell Popcorn. A few 100 metres down the bridge you begin to see plantain chips and the occasional coconut chips and chin-chin. If you still haven’t made up your mind about what snack you want after this point then get ready for…(drumroll)…Rat poison. I still don’t get the connection and I’ve debated this severally with my passengers. Why have snacks, drinks and rat poison sold in that order? Don’t ask me. Ask the Teenage Hell-bent Ninja Hawkers. I’m yet to see a rat invasion at the end of 3RDMB so for now I ain’t buying.

Rule 3: Wind up

Last but not least, switch on that air conditioning and wind up your windows. Why? Because this is Lagos where open car windows are an invitation to robbery attacks. Some of the hawkers I mentioned earlier are informants and robbers in disguise. That said, keep your windows low enough to let your snack have easy access into your car and then wind up immediately you’ve paid the hawker. This is no time to be a cheapskate with your fuel consumption. ‘Ember’ months are in and the armed robbers are out. So unless you’ve got a car with external gadgets to apprehend or maim your attackers, EVERYBODY’S WINDOWS GO UP!….AND THEY STAY THERE! AND THEY STAY THERE! AND THEY STAY THERE! NOT DOWN, NOT DOWN, NOT DOWN or all you do is SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM lol.

Even as I type this article on this fine Saturday I’m already dreading 3RDMB blues which set in round about 5pm every week day. Well, it is what it is. Remember, Wise up, Snack up and Wind up.

Till Monday when I see you on the bridge, this is the Crazy Nigerian zooming off!

Why my mechanic should be jailed!


This gallery contains 3 photos.

Looking around the city of Lagos alone, one could argue that Lagosians lack a maintenance culture. Though, the federal government in August 2012 decided to maintain/repair expansion joints of the heavily strained Third Mainland bridge – the longest bridge in … Continue reading

Like a bridge under troubled motorists


This gallery contains 2 photos.

It seems like it was all a dream when Third Mainland Bridge was partially closed for urgent repairs for over a month (the tremors were becoming worrisome), thereby disrupting the regular movement of motorists commuting between Lagos mainland and Lagos … Continue reading

Entry #75 – Fuel my hunger

I barely slept last night. Why? Because my subconscious was worrying about the low fuel level in my car tank. I could see the fuel gauge (in my dreams) hovering above the ‘E’ until my journey came to an unexpected halt in the middle of Third Mainland Bridge at 8pm when 3 ‘Samaritans’ offered to assist me then brought out guns, robbed me and threatened to make me swim with the fishes…I think that’s the point when I woke up at 4.27am (Note to self – Don’t eat sugary cereal just before bedtime…ever!)

Just 2 days ago a 7-day nationwide strike was announced by the ‘association of corrupt fuel tanker drivers’ in the country which meant such tankers would not deliver fuel to Petrol/Diesel filling stations, which in turn would not sell fuel (or would sell at an inflated price if you were desperate enough). Today the strike was abruptly called off and I was relieved since I had sped past 30-something queuing cars at 5.15am around a filling station on my way to work. My fuel tank just made it to the office without putting me through an embarrassing ordeal of ‘pushing an automatic transmission car’ (yeah, think about it). 

My fuel gauge is now resting firmly on the ‘F’ and my air-conditioning is back on full blast!Needless to say that whilst I had fed my car I was tempted to feed my belly too as I drove past the best surprise that is now 2mins from my street – KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN (KFC)!!!!. The ‘Colonel’ arrived in Nigeria earlier this year and opened 2 outlets – one in Ikoyi and the other in Victoria Island. Now I’ve got one within walking distance from me in Ikeja! I think its time to grab a bucket. MMMmmmmMMM!  😀