Thursday, May 07, 2009

Seen in Maputo #4: Traffic

Since moving to Maputo in early 2006, the increase in vehicles on the streets has been one of the more apparent changes. Obviously the traffic in Maputo can't be compared to that of Luanda or Joburg, but it is definitely getting bad. Whereas before I never took traffic into account when planning how much time I'd take to arrive at a meeting or to visit a friend, I now automatically factor in between 5 and 20 minutes depending on the day, the time and the route.

Particularly bad spots I frequently deal with:

- Julius Nyerere in front of Hotel Avenida
- the road along the canal that leads to Shoprite and the airport (I believe it's called Av. Joaquim Chissano, but not sure)
- Av. Salvador Allende just before Eduardo Mondlane (all the cemitery traffic)
- the Marginal along Costa do Sol on a Sunday evening
- the JAT building parking lot, and the stretch of Av. 25 de Setembro in front of the building, in particular at rush hour

People often ask me what changes I anticiate seeing in Maputo in 5 or 10 years. It's always a difficult question, but one clear answer is this: terrible traffic, the result of (seemingly) increased incomes and a population that exceeds what the city infrastructure was originally designed to handle.

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