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A long-term solution is needed for Eid holiday traffic

  • Published at 12:00 am September 8th, 2016
A long-term solution is needed for Eid holiday traffic

The roads and highways are clogged once again with unbearable traffic ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, putting holiday-makers in an unbearable situation.

We have been here before -- every Eid, the rush of people going home for Eid brings our entire road and highway network to a gridlock.

Despite promises of massive plans to tackle Eid traffic rush by the government before Eid-ul-Fitr this year, the city saw next to no improvement in traffic management -- citizens witnessed the same old pattern of traffic congestion.

It is baffling how this problem keeps recurring, with so little progress in alleviating the traffic.

To compound the traffic issue for holiday-makers, there are the cattle-traders trying to get their livestock into cattle markets as fast as possible.

Stopgap solutions like deploying rover scouts to assist traffic police are not enough to tackle a problem of the magnitude that Dhaka and its connecting highways experience around the Eid holiday season.

We need to think broader and more long-term: Building more flyovers, foot over-bridges, bus stations, and, most importantly, making space for dedicated bus lanes on our roads are but some of the ways that our severe traffic situation can be brought under control.

Dhaka residents waste an average of 11 minutes at each major intersection and bus corridor. The long waits can add up to a staggering amount of wasted time, and lost energy and efficiency for commuters. In other words, traffic stands directly in the way of Bangladesh’s economic progress.

We, as a nation, seem to be trapped in a spiral, where Eid traffic worsens every year. We need to break this pattern and end the public misery that we have grown so used to witnessing.