Copied: Street palm trees and road safety

From The Nation: Motoring

Hazard perception is a very vital skill in driving and road safety administration just as environmental analysis and diagnosis is a very vital tool in governance. Without any iota of doubt, tree planting in Abuja, Lagos and a few other state capitals is commendable and should continue. There is, however, a need to avoid creating avoidable problems while trying to solve a problem. My advice to the state governments and the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory is that they should avoid creating road traffic problems in the process of beautifying the environment. I have seen several palm trees planted by the road medians in Abuja and Lagos. They look very beautiful now but they will, without doubt, create serious traffic crisis later in the future. The taller they grow, the longer the palms become and the more difficult the trimming becomes. The palms and the fruit bunches do fall off on their own when dry. How many times and how long will traffic be stopped for the trimming of palm trees when they grow taller and bigger? What of the dangers of the branches or bunches falling on moving vehicles and Pedestrians. I have seen many trees planted by governments being cut down or badly trimmed when they are already touching the electric wires which were already there before the trees were planted. There are trees and flowers that can beautify the streets without growing very tall up to the level of touching the electric cables or disturbing traffic flow. Some of the trees are planted on underground electric cables and or too close to the drainage and road kerbs. As the trees take roots and grow bigger, they reduce access to the underground cables, destroy the drainage (gutters), pull down road kerbs and destroy the tarred roads through their strong roots. It is, therefore, expedient for government authorities to study the environment and know the right type of trees or flowers to plant in each location to avoid wasteful spending of the n-ation’s hard earned resources.

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