Traffic in KarachiSubmitted by: Nabeel Ahsan Rizvi, Ahmed Ahsan, Bareera Siddiqi, Usama Battla and Urooj FatimaCauses of TrafficThe roads in Karachi everywhere have become narrow as compared to the number of vehicles running on them. The work in progress at various places is also a cause of traffic jams.
The traffic usually remains jam every day.In the morning, there are long lines of vehicles which move slowly. Everyone looks in hurry and wants to go fast and reach their destinations as soon as possible. Especially the motorcyclists, rickshaws and bus drivers break traffic rules and create problems for others, they believe that why should they stop on signals or for anybody they keep moving and then end up creating a block from all 4 sides as the slow movement from all sides soon leads to merging together and hence blockage. Nobody can move then everyone looks at each other blame each other and keep honking.
Everyone moves with their own will, not accepting their mistakes nor having the intention to fix themselves due to this a traffic mess is created.After having a hectic day at work people want to rush home and relax. But instead, they end up spending several hours in the traffic jams on this road.The main problem with traffic jams in Karachi is that there are so many vehicles on the roads. Lots of new vehicles are registered daily and they come on the roads which is why the quantity of vehicles increases in Karachi.Another major problem that causes traffic jams are the wrong parkings as there are no proper parking spots people just park wherever they prefer there is no common sense that they are blocking the road or causing inconvenience to others. They have the attitude that at least I found my parking whatever problem it is causing to others is not my problem they will manage on their own.
A two-lane road gets smaller with parking firstly and then double parking further blocks the road causing hindrance, so on a two-lane road only one lane can move so creates a bottleneck which causes a jam by slowing the traffic not allowing it to pass swiftly. Another problem that causes traffic jams is that these small dhabas and cafes place their tables on the road using government property as means of generating revenue, with the placement of these tables they shorten the width of the road hindering the traffic. Buses and rickshaws just stop anywhere to onload and offload passengers which leads to a sudden halt in the moving traffic creating a traffic jam. Another leading cause for traffic jams are people choosing to go wrong way rather than going 200-300m to make a U-turn and go properly.
They block the traffic and cause problems and inconvenience to others and it takes them much longer to get there than it would have if they had made a u turn properly, it would save the precious time of others as well as their own. People think they are saving time a fuel by going wrong way thinking of it as a shortcut and they think they are being smart by doing this. These kinds of traffic jams happen due to the illiteracy of the people they fail to understand what is right and what is wrong. A handsome number of drivers who have licenses do not know traffic rules they are just on roads driving like that because they got their license without giving a test and paying under the table.What leads to people behaving in such a way is the ignorance of law, people are no longer afraid of going against the law they know nothing will happen and even if they are caught they will pay a few sums of money and they will not be penalized.
The police take bribes for breaking traffic laws and to allow double parking and to allow parking in a no parking zone. Police also take their share in allowing these cafes and dhabas to place their tables and chairs on the road hindering traffic. They are involved that is why people do it they know nothing will happen they will not be fined or anything they will just have to pay a small share of money so this encourages the people going against the law as they know there is no punishment or penalty for it.Traffic situation in Karachi is getting worse with each passing day. On one hand vehicles are increasing exponentially while roads are getting blocked due to the mega-development drive of the City District Government of Karachi (CDGK). Instead of doing the development work in phases, the CDGK has opened all fronts in one go, leaving Karachi digged up from one end to the other.People tend to use private transport instead of public transport and this is also a major problem. If 50 people who travel to work in their own cars take a bus instead, there will be automatically 50 less vehicles on the road.
Traffic jams are becoming common in Karachi. Their main cause is the absence of effective traffic management. Karachi has about 15,000 mostly individually owned intra and inter-city buses. There are no bus terminals, bus depots or bus workshops for these buses. As a result, they use the roads for this purpose. Congestion is also created by port related heavy vehicle traffic that passes through the already congested roads of the city. Estimates for this traffic vary from an average of 36,000 to 50,000 vehicle trips per day.
Most of this traffic consists of trucks and much of it of NLC trailers and container carriers which, in addition to creating traffic problems, destroy the city roads.The expansion of inner city markets has taken place in Karachi. The lanes and even the access roads in the inner city are too narrow to be used by the heavy trucks that serve these markets. Cargo is moved by trucks to suzukis, and from suzuki’s to hand carts and then in some cases it is carried by hand to the storage areas which are, due to shortage of space, increasingly on the upper floors of the buildings. Due to these reasons, traffic movement in the inner city is difficult, to say the least and there is large scale pollution.
Another major aspect of congestion in Karachi is related to the movement of large oil tankers through the city. Oil is stored at Karachi port from where it is pumped to the refinery. From the refinery it is pumped back to the port from where the tankers take it to the interior of Sindh and to other provinces. Most of this movement today is through Clifton, Defence and the National Highway.These are the major causes for traffic in Karachi and are leading to day by day increase in traffic and worsening of the situation.Negative Impacts of Traffic CongestionMillions of people deal with traffic congestion on a daily basis. It has, hence, been a growing problem and concern for people in metropolitan areas (mostly). Traffic congestion can have many negative impacts on lives of the people, on their health, on the environment, and on efficiency of the economy of that region.
At the most, the very common and much known impact of traffic is the large amount of carbon emissions that harms the environment, severely. Despite the growing number of hybrid vehicles, it still produces enough emissions of gases to pollute the environment and further, add on to global warming. The global warming, as a result, has grave consequences on the ecosystem; it alters the earth’s climate system, its land, atmosphere, oceans, and glaciers, etc. The traffic also increases smog in the air, which further contributes to health issues for people such as respiratory problems, asthma, etc.
People suffer from mental stress/tensions and depressions, due to road rage; it causes people to be impatient and aggressive. This aggressiveness, perhaps, proves to be a danger for the drivers in form of road accidents, etc. Another big implication of traffic congestion is time wastage and inefficiencies caused by it. As obvious, roughly, almost everyone has the same working times/schedules i.e.
beginning to work/study early morning and back to homes in evening. So, every mornings and evenings (except weekends) are high times when almost everyone comes on the roads to go to their workplaces, schools, colleges, institutions, etc. and therefore cause traffic congestion. Now, if a worker blames traffic for getting late for work, then it’s a very genuine reason, which many of us might consider a lame excuse.
The time by which one gets late is the time wasted and hence is an evidence of inefficiency at work. It can, then, be concluded that lack of efficient traffic management systems results in further inefficiencies at work and therefore has a collective impact on the economy of that region. People get late to work, they are stressed out before even getting to work, the important and emergent deliveries are delayed, the cost of extra fuel consumption every day, the depletion fuels to be used for production processes; these all, to count a few, are impacts of traffic and causes of inefficient economy. Also, is it really possible for people to get aggressive and stressed out in traffic for hours before getting to work and then be efficient or productive at work? There is no way one could work to his/her maximum capacity in such level of stress and aggressiveness. Rather, workers/managers might, as a result of aggressiveness, make wrong and short-sighted decisions for their companies, which might result in failures of their businesses, eventually adding to failure of the economy. It is obvious that for efficiency and productivity, everything has to work in a systematic way with least time, fuel, and money wastages.
Therefore, in order to ensure that all other systems are efficient and effective, a country needs to develop efficient traffic management systems for the sake of country and its people. Solutions to Traffic ProblemsCarpooling People travelling daily to same office or surrounding area and coming back should travel together. In this way hundreds of cars on road can be reduced to few cars only. Organizations should also encourage and support such actions of their employees. As a bonus you save on fuel, vehicle depreciation, carbon emission, daily driving hassle and travelling with friends / colleagues is always better than travelling all alone.
However, this will be most beneficial when companies offer conveyance facility to its employees. During past year, Uber, Careem, BYKEA and other companies did not only realized the deficiency of public transport facility in Pakistan but also came up with effective, efficient and cheap solution of carpooling.Capacity and ConnectivityIn most of the cases, roads don’t have perfect capacity and connectivity with other areas. This means that there is no proper lane driving and there are less lanes on the roads as to what it should have actually been. There is no well connectivity between the roads. A new road which goes directly to the right area will replace the longer route and will reduce driving time as well as congestion.Public TransportIn Pakistan, specifically in Karachi, the public transport system is very poor and is incapable of catering the needs of growing population due to which vehicle ownership has increased drastically in recent years. The public transport system needs to be planned and put into effect as this will not only decrease the annual depreciation of vehicles but will also provide easy and timely solution to travelling issues.
Traffic FlowIt is observed that most of the times the issue cannot directly be related to the number of cars being increased. The issue at most places is the quality of roads due to which the drivers do not speed up their cars due to bumps and open holes on the roads. It is essential that the roads are built with strong and concrete material to overcome the issue of traffic flow.Moreover, individuals who are interested in traffic management issues can form a group and provide facilities to different institutes such as banks, schools, colleges, universities and etc.
who will bring their own traffic and road stop signs at rush hours.TrainingSome of the drivers in Pakistan also lack proper driving training due to which they keep on shifting lanes which disturbs the lane driving. It is essential that driving institutes train the drivers well before they start driving and license should only be issued once the drivers are well trained and tested.Use of TechnologyMost drivers can relate to being stuck in traffic wondering if a green light should have lasted longer in a particular direction given the traffic on that side. This can be resolved through adaptive signal control technology, wired together through an IP network adjusting to the demand of traffic in real time.Laws and RegulationsA system which enforces proper traffic laws and there is zero tolerance on traffic violation where heavy penalties are imposed on all violations will resolve the traffic issue to high extent. Strong action against corruption in this area is also necessary to avoid immoral and unethical practices in this area.
Therefore, Implication of these measures are highly expected to combat the increasing traffic issues in the country, particularly in Karachi.CAUSES OF ACCIDENTS Most of the developing countries face the problem of road traffic injuries, which is one of the major concern for them. On the basis of WHO data, out of the deaths owing to injuries 25% are caused by road traffic. There are various reasons for road accidents including:Over-speeding.Drunk and driving.Drugged.Driving on the wrong side.Using mobile phones while driving.
Not using helmets while riding bikes.Reckless driving by teenagers.Driver fatigue.Listening to music.As per a research, conducted by Royal auto-mobile club, listening to any kind of music while driving is extremely dangerous which is because it diminishes the capability of driver to take timed and correct decision quickly. Various kind of songs and music have various impacts on driver’s mind while driving. For example, heavy-metal music having approximately 60 beats per minute creates brutal and harsh effects, which will lead to over-speeding, breaking signals, less tolerant and impatient reactions.
Apart from it listening to traditional and classical music creates a soothing effect on driver’s mind which leads to absent mindedness and making driver numb. According to a study report, the music increases the reaction time of the driver. Therefore many western countries are in favor of imposing laws to limit the listening to music while driving.Another reason for this increasing no. of road accidents is improper road structure, as it weighs up to 35% as a reason for road traffic injuries.
“This ratio translates into at least 10500 road injuries every year, which is a huge number. We believe that this problem should be resolve in current road development works which are being carried out in the city,” these were the words of Prof Mir Shabbar Ali. The head of Urban and infrastructure engineering department in NED University of engineering and technology. According to him, the major element in faulty road design is removal of service lane (especially in Karachi’s situation) which compels to opt for driving on wrong side of the road. Another element for faulty road design is risky U-turns.
As researched, more accidents occur when drivers attempt to use U-turns with medians. These poorly structured medians are often broken and are without reflectors which leads to a crash at least once. Recently the civic agencies have demolished two or three medians from most busy U-turns.
Other causes of accidents include, Unsafe road environmentsUnsafe road environments mean those factors which cannot be control the by drivers, for instance blunt visibility caused by darkness, slippery surface, lack of safety facilities, inefficiently repaired vehicles, pedestrians or other vehicles that suddenly get in the way.Insufficient driver knowledgeTraffic accidents majorly result from ignorance. Most driver’s skills are obtained through experience. This is the reason that why so many new situations lead to injuries. If you know exactly the results when you accelerate or suddenly stop under special circumstances including rain, snow or a winding road, you would be careful not to speed or brake suddenly.
Failure to recognize dangerWhile there are some drivers who slow down upon recognizing potential threats of certain situations, while others do not see any possible peril. These differences in danger identification stem from experiences and, in particular, various standards. Drivers with inviolable wish to reach at their destination as soon as possible are more likely to take risks. Bibliography:https://www.dawn.com/news/1311949https://www.dawn.com/news/1208372