Risky venture: Commercial Motorcyclists Hamper Road Work in Ganta

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The Chinese road construction company, CHICO, is finding it difficult to smoothly operate equipment in Ganta as commercial motorcyclists continue to use the main road, which is under construction, despite signs displayed to redirect vehicles and motor bikes.

All the company does is lay cones and tape, or pieces of planks across the road to stop vehicles from plying the portion of road being worked on. But the motorcyclists, instead of going by the signs, forcefully ride in areas that have been cordoned off, thus causing the machine operators to frequently give way while working.

The company also has men standing by the signs to direct motorcyclists and drivers, yet the cyclists continue to demonstrate their intransigence toward the directives of the road workers.

Onlookers attracted to the road work were on Saturday, July 11 seen screaming and shouting as the cyclists defiantly drove in-between the road building equipment, and in some instances, narrowly escaped accident.

The same continued on Sunday afternoon when the company was demolishing some structures on the road, getting some to blame police for not helping to control the traffic as work goes on.

Most of Ganta’s alleys are opened, making it easy for vehicles coming from Monrovia or Saniquellie and Saclepea to bypass the area where work is ongoing.

Despite the availability of such alleys to allow for traffic detours, motorcyclists use the main road where construction work is going on, thereby causing impediment to the work.

Reacting to the event, Nyan Dookpah, a popular Nimba folk musician, said, “This is the risk they take and, when some of them die in the process, they carry on mob violence and burn people’s vehicles. It is the same [thing] one of them did a few months ago and died while attempting to cross in front of a speeding truck from the side of the road, and at the end, those in the commercial motorcycle business burnt the truck.”

Another onlooker reacted, “They are doing this so when any of them dies they will attack the Chinese people equipment to loot and burn it. Now they are not seeing their actions, but as soon as accident takes place, you will see all the motorcyclists coming out with violence.”

When the Daily Observer contacted the Ganta City Council on the problem, Administrative Assistant, Bob Emmanuel Paye referred reporter to the Liberia National Police (LNP) Traffic Division responsible to control traffic.

Effort made to reach the police did not materialize as the Traffic Commander identified as Nyanamah was said to have gone to the checkpoint along the Saclepea Highway where many vehicles were being directed to attend market in various towns in the week.

Meanwhile, motorcycle transport business in Liberia has over the time been quite disastrous despite the higher profits it brings. It has been associated with too many accidents leading to crippling and death of many people.

As accidents occur and a motorcyclist becomes a victim, other motorcyclists usually resolve to violence, which leads to destruction of properties including police depots and private vehicles.

The situation has led to a strict regulation in Monrovia where commercial motorcycles are no longer allowed in the city center or along main thoroughfares.

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