In the metropolis of the city, one is bound to see Lagosians crossing a busy highway rather than use a footbridge constructed for that purpose.
Human behaviour is driven mostly by a perception of what the person considers good for them.
Depending on the person, that could be good right now or good later on. And what is defined as good often is influenced by what has been good in the past.
Apply that to Lagos, keeping in mind that Lagos rewards speed (“Be smart! Be sharp!” is probably one of the first things a Lagos kid learns.) So we are conditioned to think ourselves smart when we do things that feel sharp.
With the aforementioned reasons, I present nine reasons why Lagosians will rather cross than use a footbridge.
In a city teeming with millions of people and riddled with bad roads and rickety vehicles, most Lagosians are always in a hurry to get to their destination and this behaviour trickles to pedestrians who see no sense in going the long way of ascending series of stairs rather than just take the short way of crossing the road.
Defiance Of Authority.
Lagosians defy any decree that seems problematic to our day-to-day activities but here is the catch. It is not the inconvenience that leads to this defiance rather a determination to disrespect and disobey the law.
We are quick to call the bluff of the higher-ups because we believe they don’t deserve our respect ergo, they have to right to require us to follow the law even if the said law is benevolent.
This is the reason you will see “okadas” riding one way on a lane meant for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) buses.
Many of the pedestrian bridges are simply unsafe for pedestrians especially now that some of them have been renovated; it functions as lairs for vagrants and robbers alike.
Why would I go take the risk of using the bridge when there are possibilities of being robbed?
I’ll simply cross the road that is known to be safer if I am careful to “look my left and right before crossing” (I remembered that phrase from primary school)
It simply isn’t reasonable to use a footbridge quite far from where you want to cross from and this due to a lack of adequate bridges across the city. The ones built are far in between and many aren’t built at the bus stops.
For example, between Charly Boy in Gbagada and Anthony Oke, there is only one pedestrian bridge. ONE! It is simply farcical to expect any right-thinking person to board a bus from Charly Boy to Anthony just for the sole purpose of crossing the road. Ridiculousness.
Horrendous Human Traffic
To save time, the human traffic on some of these footbridges could really make using the bridge a horrendous and time-wasting activity. Considering also that Lagosians are always in a hurry.
I always cite the example of the old pedestrian bridge at Ojota.
Very High Bridges.
Climbing some bridges across the metropolis is akin to participating in a quest for hidden treasures in a reality show. It is just too tiresome, especially when compared to the alternative.
The risk of crossing directly is the better investment.
The Herd Mentality.
It takes loads of cojones and mental strength to use a bridge when 20 other people are trying to cross the same road that doesn’t seem especially busy at the moment.
There is the slight pull of “do I think I am smarter than them” that occurs when one decides to do things differently.
Genuine Health/Mental Issues.
Some people suffer from acute cases of acrophobia (fear of height) whilst others feel pain due to bodily infirmities such as weak joints and physical disabilities.
The onus is on the government to make a provision for people who are in this category.
Frankly, some of the layout in the city are constructed without the pedestrians in mind which is why you see a lot of people defying the law. The image below whilst unrelated should prove my point further.