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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Experts: Traffic congestion rises with surge in private car purchases

  •  Advocated for bus route expansion
  •  Called for research to create car-free roads
Update : 20 Sep 2023, 07:48 PM

Due to lack of quality public transport,  people have resorted to purchasing private cars, resulting in increased numbers of cars, usage, and worsened traffic congestion, experts said.

Meanwhile, none of the flyovers built one after the other could ease traffic congestion. The newly partially opened Elevated Expressway has also not reduced traffic congestion but has increased in some places.

Private cars occupy more space on the road, and carry fewer passengers. Now is the time to create an effective public transport system and pedestrian and bicycle-friendly cities along with controlling private cars to ensure sustainable transportation in urban areas.

Speakers came up with the remarks at a seminar on “Need for Control of Personal Vehicles and Steps Taken for Transportation in Dhaka” organized at Zahur Hossain Chowdhury Club on Wednesday.

Institute for Planning and Development (IPD) Executive Director Dr Adil Mohammed Khan said: “The rise in private car ownership, usage, and traffic congestion is due to poor public transport. To address this, he recommends increased state investment in pedestrian-friendly infrastructure and sustainable transportation systems in urban areas.”

Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) Joint Secretary Humayun Kabir Sumon said: “Despite celebrating World Private Car Free Day in Bangladesh since 2006, there has not been any noticeable effort from policymakers. It takes political will to regulate private cars and build a multi-media-based integrated communication system."

Protyasha Anti-Drugs Club General Secretary Helal Ahmed said: “Policymakers' daily activities and projects are primarily car-centric, leading to neglect of walking, cycling, and public transport. To enhance pedestrian safety, there is a need to impose speed limits on private vehicles and reduce incentives offered by both private and government organizations to their employees for private vehicle use.”

WBB Trust Director Gaus Piyari said: “As part of the 2023 World Private Car Free Day celebrations, We have organized children's sports events, including rallies and cycle rallies, on car-free roads in Khilgaon, and Mohammadia Housing Society. These efforts aim to increase awareness about the importance of limiting private vehicles and creating safe walking environments.”

Sadia Afroz, an associate professor Department of Urban and Regional Planning at BUET said: “The importance of identifying stakeholders to address issues in creating pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environments. BUET is willing to support research efforts in this regard. There is a need for planned car-free school zones in urban areas to ensure a safe and comfortable transportation environment for children.”

IPD Director Ariful Islam said: "People come to this city for education, employment, and medical treatment due to Dhaka-centric development. To control car usage in Dhaka, we must prioritize nationwide development initiatives. Emphasizing the school district concept is essential, ensuring children can walk to nearby schools and providing equal access to education in all areas. These efforts are crucial to regain Dhaka's livability."

Poribesh Bachao Andolon (Poba) Chairman Abu Naser Khan said: "Development must benefit the general public. This requires research and projects to create car-free roads, expand bus route rationalization, reduce costly projects like expressways and flyovers, increase investment in public transport including buses, trains, and waterways, and establish a multimedia-based integrated communication system."

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