Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering, Islamabad
Mohammad Imran, Department of Engineering Management, Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering, Islamabad Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Mohammad Imran, Department of Engineering Management, Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering, Islamabad. E-mail: email@example.com Abstract
Traffic congestion is a vexing problem felt by residents of most urban areas. Despite of high gasoline prices, rush hour gridlock and pollution, seemingly nothing can interfere with people’s love affair with the car. Building more roads cannot provide the answer to better traffic management as it cannot keep pace with the ever increasing vehicle population as well as limitation of the environment’s ability to sustain the impact. Unlike authorities in cities across the world where people are encouraged to make greater use of public transport, residents of Islamabad are handicapped to exercise this option due to absence of a mature and well integrated mass transit system. An intelligent traffic management system which can ensure smooth flow of traffic to manage congestion (delay, reliability and network resilience) for all people and freight movement on the road network is required for Islamabad. This paper therefore argues the case for a better integrated approach towards road network management for ensuring mobility of people and goods through integration of governance management issues, information technology and traffic routing systems. 1.Background
Interest in ITS comes from the problems caused by traffic congestion and a synergy of new information technology for simulation, real-time control and communications networks. Traffic congestion has been increasing worldwide as a result of increased motorization, urbanization, population growth, and changes in population density. Congestion reduces efficiency of transportation infrastructure and increases travel time, air pollution, and fuel consumption. In the developing world, the migration of people from rural to urbanized habitats has progressed differently. Many areas of the developing world have urbanized without significant development of road network as well as unplanned formation of suburbs. In Islamabad for instance the population is supported by a multimodal system of walking, bicycle transportation, motorcycles, mini buses, taxis and cars. Many urban poor, living on the outskirts of Islamabad, cannot afford to travel to economically active areas. Those who can are dependent on a public transport system, which generally has a low service level. In many cases, informal minibuses or taxis provide the only public transport available. Many vehicles used in this informal system are not road worthy. For those who cannot afford the minibuses or taxis, the only option is walking or riding bicycles. In case of affluent urban inhabitants private car ownership is high and public transport is not considered an option. Highways and secondary roads provide access to all parts of the city. Moreover, private cars are expected to play an even greater role for transportation of the urbanites in the future as well. The data held with Motor Vehicle Registration Authority of Islamabad indicates that the number of vehicles using the road network of the city continues to be higher than the month before. The high fuel prices do not seem to have a restricting effect on car usage in the city. The ever increasing vehicles plying on the city’s roads pose a significant safety risk due to limited space available on the road network, exert pressure on the ever increasing conflict between further developments of road network in relation to other land uses, degrade air quality and exacerbate feelings of inequities in the society. This trend re-emphasizes the need for ITS and efficient road network...