Aug 23, 2017 Last Updated 2:11 PM, Jun 12, 2017

Chaotic Melanesia

Peak hour traffic into Suva Peak hour traffic into Suva Photo: Samisoni Pareti
Published in 2017 April
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Is Melanesia the new Asia with its chaotic traffic ills

AS an office worker in Suva, Fiji’s capital, Andy is used to spending a good part of her morning and afternoon stuck in bumperto-bumper traffic. “That’s my life story,” she commented on social media. Another working mum, Violet, joins her soldier husband and three children as early as six o’clock for school drop-off before heading to work to beat the morning traffic.

She is not due to start work until 8am. The story is no different to that of other working mothers and fathers and school children living in Melanesian cities of Port Vila, Honiara and Port Moresby. “Honiara is one of the worst unplanned cities in the Pacific,” reports Island Sun newspaper publisher, Priestly Habru.

“One does not need to look far from the traffic congestion in peak hours to see the poor planning of the Solomon Islands capital city.” The same is true for Port Moresby, capital of Papua New Guinea. “In peak hours, at almost every intersection and roundabout, vehicles queue up bumper-to-bumper with traffic flow reducing to a crawl every day of the week.

Some areas of the city have become terribly congested that a trip that normally would have taken 10 minutes is taking half an hour. Others that would normally take 20 minutes are taking one and a half to two hours at the wrong time of the day,” writes Sam Vulum, editor of the The Sunday Chronicle newspaper in Moresby. 

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