With more vehicles on the road than ever before, many of them guzzling large quantities of gas, combined with heavily overpopulated cities, major cities around the world have a real battle on their hands to reduce the levels of traffic an congestion on their city streets. This is an issue for many reasons, it causes havoc on the roads, leaves people disgruntled and it also does heavy damage to the environment.
Given that this is such a hot topic of many cities, i spoke to the Managing Director of the International Road Transport Union, Boris Blanche, about what was being done to reduce heavy traffic. Boris is an expert in this field with a wealth of experience in the road transport sector, here is what he told me about what is being done to help reduce heavy traffic in major cities.
Fining and charging seems to have become a popular way to discourage people from using their cars in busy areas. In London for example there is a congestion zone and driving within requires you to pay a fee, a rather large fee at that. The penalties for driving in a congestion zone without having paid are very heavy too which has meant that there are far less vehicles on the road in these areas.
Public transport investment is the number one way that cities can take back their streets and reduce traffic and more and more cities are realizing this. In most cases, public transport can take larger groups of people, in the same physical space as a normal vehicle, thus reducing how many vehicles on the road. Modern public transport links are also far more eco-friendly than cars and can be managed better, plus the fact that in the case of an underground metro, they are much faster. Cities are now investing heavily in updating their transport links and modernizing them to give the best service, and reduce the traffic within the cities.
Many cities are looking to close of parts of the city during off-peak times so that tourists and locals alike do not have to worry about heavy traffic, and can instead walk around in peace. With this taking place during off-peak times only, it means that there is far less traffic being pushed to other areas of the cities.
Cycling has been actively encouraged in many cities around the world and many cities now have public bike rentals which you can pick up and drop off wherever you like, and lock and unlock them using a smartphone application. This is a great step for traffic reduction and has helped to drastically cut short journeys which people previously took in cars. These bikes are now being rolled out across many more cities in the world after the success that cities like Miami, London and Mexico City have had.