Dhaka’s traffic congestion is still aggravating although 56 per cent of the city’s commuters travel areas within 10 kilometres of their homes, reveals a BRAC University research report.
Even if, it finds, about 40 per cent (38%) of the city dwellers live close to their workplaces, one-quarter of the working hours of Dhaka people are lost in traffic congestion.
The speed of vehicles in Dhaka city has slowed down over the years -- 21.2 kilometres per hour in 2004, 15.1 kph in 2009 and 6.8 kph in 2015, said the report titled “State of cities: Traffic congestion in Dhaka city -- governance perspective”, released on Tuesday.
Attributing to earlier reports, the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) of BRAC University, said the cost of Dhaka’s congestion is about $11.4 billion a year or loss of around 7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).
“Despite various measures traffic congestion is growing with major economic, social and environmental impacts,” said the university’s research report.
However, overpopulation, as Dhaka witnessed five times increase in its population in the past 35 years, is only the number eight cause of the congestion while management issues are said to be the root causes of traffic congestion in Dhaka city.
The report, based on its survey, blamed haphazard parking for 23 per cent of traffic congestion, high number of private vehicles for 21 per cent, violation of traffic rules for 20 per cent, road construction nine per cent, excessive modes of vehicles for seven per cent, haphazard crossing for six per cent, movement of very important persons (VIPs) for five per cent, overpopulation for four per cent, and railway cross for two per cent.
“When an influential person operates on a route, entrance to that route for any other person appears to be impossible,” observed the report.
It recommended that Dhaka’s severe traffic congestion can be reduced significantly at low cost by improving governance and strengthening institutions responsible for traffic management and enforcement.