While evaluating some of the most influential issues in regards to congestion, traffic constitutes a matter that is to the large extent interrelated to the road safety. In 2014, The New Geography compiled the cities that face similar issues and researched what was the response to dealing with the global traffic. Also, annual Tom Tm Traffic Index Reports provide the relevant data that illustrates the scope of the issue. According to the most recent report carried out in 2015, the five cities with the highest congestion level constitute the following: Mexico City with the congestion level of 59%, Bangkok, 57%, Istambul 50% and Rio de Janeiro with the 47% of congestion level. The main implication in regards to the cities mentioned is that commuting requires extra time. Another implication indicates that most of the indicated cities constitute some of the largest economies, and, therefore, the number of people circulating there is constantly increasing. However, dealing with the congestion level also carries a historical perspective and illustrates the attitude towards traffic in the larger scope of the good or bad governance issues.
The first striking aspect is that all of the listed global cities comprise of the population, exceeding 800.000. Respectively, local governance system gaines an increasing amount of incomes towards their budgets along with the exceeding expeditures. At least, three out of five listed cities have suffered corruption in the past, or still possess the issues related to the governances. In that regard, the data prepared by Tom Tom Index provides the information for the local authorities on how to deal with various issues related to traffic congestion.
The most prominent case study in that regard would be Istambul. It is worth mentioning that its transportation policy is much dependent on the EU legislation, as the country has been proceeding to the EU acquis for the several decades. In that regard, local governance has been touched in the recent decatdes, yet not so many achievements have been reached so far. The response from the local authorities has mainly been devoted to developments of the new infrastructure, including such that will touch upon transportantion. However, the measurements that have been carried out did not sufficiently consider the influx of the population to that has arrived in the recent years to the city.
In fact, the main innovation that has been put in place was the introduction of the separate bus lanes in the city, that exluded the intersection of cars and public transportation in the city. Such a problem still exists in the majority of the post-Soviet country but have been taken care of in Turkey. However, the issue has not been fully resplved as the level of congestion then shifted to the highways which currently constitutes 79%. What’s more, traffic congestion regularly causes dissatisfaction from the local population as the average daily delay while commuting is estimated as 30 mins in the average time of 29 mins to reach the final destination. While compiling the number in the annual measurements, it would be evident that an individual spends about 110 hours per year for commuting from one destination to the other.
The major issue that remains to be tackled in Istanbul is the diminishment of the level of congestion on highways. In fact, for the past 20 years, not much has been done, as people still suffer to be stuck on the highway. The main way that could be yet undertaken would be the compliance with the EU transportation policy and taking into account the experience of countries that managed to tackle congestion successfully, as none of the EU countries appears to be on the list.
- TomTom Traffic Index. (2016). Tomtom.com. Retrieved 24 March 2016, from http://www.tomtom.com/en_gb/trafficindex/expertview
- Kirkpatrick, N. (2015). The 10 cities you are most likely to get stuck in traffic. The Independent. Retrieved 24 March 2016, from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/istanbul-revealed-as-the-most-congested-city-in-the-world-10149543.html