Task2 - Infrastructure >> Car Ownership & Traffic Jams

"Car Ownership & Traffic Jams"

Car ownership has increased so rapidly over the last thirty years that many cities in the world are now 'one big traffic jam'?

How true do you think this statement is?

What measures can governments take to discourage people from using their cars?

As urban populations continue to rise throughout the world, so has the need for transportation. Citizens of the world's cities must commute from their places of residence to their workplaces. To do this, a variety of transport options have been utilized which include a combination of public and private transport alternatives. However, with the rising middle class, particularly in Asia, car ownership and usage has increased exponentially. As a consequence, traffic in many of our cities has been gridlocked, and town planners are in urgent need of solutions.

While economic growth has delivered benefits to many, including the opportunity to purchase and make use of a motor vehicle, our cities are struggling to deal with increased commuter traffic. It is true that when many of our city's transport infrastructures were built, the number of cars on the road was significantly less than today. Ho Chi Minh City is a good example. This city is a densely populated city where the majority of inhabitants have traditionally utilized motorcycles for their transport requirements. A recent development has seen more and more motor vehicles being used on streets of Saigon. Consequently, peak hour traffic crawls along at a snail's pace or is brought to a complete halt.

There are solutions to the problem, and, to their credit, the town planners of Ho Chi Minh City are working to ameliorate the problem. Public transport infrastructure, such as rail, is currently being constructed in Saigon to offer a viable alternative to commuting on the road. Further to this, the cost of registering a motor vehicle is high which tends to discourage the general public from using cars.

To conclude, administrators need to be aware of the current and future challenges affecting city life. Transportation solutions are a major responsibility for town planners who need to mitigate the traffic problems resulting from the growing use of motor vehicles.