Traffic Jam in Dhaka City

The questions asked focused mainly on three issues: (a) the nature of the problem as perceived by the surveyed residents, (b) their understanding about the causes of these problems and (c) their recommendations on solutions to these perceived problems. Some preliminary results from this survey were presented at a workshop, which was participated by persons associated with the formulation and implementation of traffic policies, rules and programmes . This Draft Final Report benefits from valuable discussion and comments received at the workshop. The methodology of this survey is explained below in brief.It is easy to see that the study extended beyond a standard opinion poll and entered the arena of investigative research in seeking some explanations to perceptions as well as behaviour. The findings are presented mainly in the form of self-explanatory tables with some introductory highlights and conclusions.

A further extension of the survey is currently being completed to cover the very poor and the rich categories of residents as was recommended by several participants at the workshop mentioned earlier. Reasons behind traffic jam (a)City lay-out (master plan) and over-population: [pic]Lack of proper maintenance causes the vehicle to stop without any prior notice. During the rainy season the situation becomes more critical while the roads go under water due to heavy rain. (c) Heterogeneous vehicles and inadequate public transport: Dhaka is a city of heterogeneous vehicles. Human puller to latest model automobile, mechanical to non-mechanical, slow to fast-moving, nothing left on the road of Dhaka. It is quite difficult to control all these vehicles on the same road as they have different speed capacity. Besides this, public transport system in Dhaka city is not adequate and properly-routed.

Instead of big and spacious buses, presence of large number of mini-buses and private vehicles can only contribute to carry few passengers, but not to reduction of traffic congestion. (d) Rail crossing: Everyday we are experiencing movement of 74 trains to and from Dhaka. On an average, it takes five minutes to get the clearance for each crossing. Thus in one crossing, everyday the vehicles stop for six hours that is really difficult to offset. (e) Insufficient parking arrangement and road blockage: Limited parking arrangement is another major cause of excessive traffic in Dhaka City.It has become a regular practice to park the car on road. Even during rush hours, people are seen loading and unloading their vehicles on a busy road.

City transports also stop here and there without any valid reason. The three major bus stations, Sayedabad, Gabtoli and Mohakhali do not have sufficient capacity to accommodate all the buses operating from here. A recent addition to road blockage is the long queue of vehicles at CNG stations, which is really difficult to overcome. Challenges we face (a) People are not law abiding: At this stage, I am going to mention a few problems that we always face to address the traffic issues.Most important problem that we realize β€˜people are not law abiding, they do not want to follow traffic rules’. Pedestrians show less interest to use footpath, foot-over-bridge or under-pass. Similarly, drivers neither try to maintain the speed nor follow the lane.

In most cases, as the punishment is nominal, they tend to breach the rules again and again. (b) Inadequate logistics: Our traffic management system is not automated and well-equipped. All the junctions are not facilitated with signal lights. Where there are lights, most often those remain out of order.Moreover, uneven flow of vehicles from different directions reduces the affectivity of traffic signals. Besides, we do not have sufficient vehicles to chase a car or bus committed an accident. (b) Shortage of Manpower: We do not have sufficient and well-trained human resources.

Four thousand officers work in two shifts- morning and afternoon. Due to administrative and other involvement, only fifteen hundred officers can be engaged in one shift to control the movement of millions of people and vehicles in Dhaka City. This figure is quite insufficient to manage the existing traffic scenario.

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