Everywhere around the world the problem of traffic congestion is gradually becoming a topic of alarming concern for the people. Travel times and number of vehicles go up abnormally and so do the fuels cost. Increased travel time would mean lower number of hours available for work – official or personal. This is adding on lesser work hour and more wastage of fuel.. The national waste and generation of carbon by the travelling vehicles go up many folds. This causes threat to global environment for green gas effect and there is not even a single positive thing which can be said about traffic congestion.
Traffic congestion is a condition of vehicles on road which disrupts the free flow due to the additional load of vehicles on the road. Such situations lead to longer travel times and slower speed of vehicle. Whenever there is traffic congestion, there is substantial evidence of non-efficient planning or total absence of planning.
Aims and Objectives:
The aim and objective of this paper is to study the ways and means of overcoming this problem which acts makes the nations slow since it not only consumes away the free time of the people but also pollutes the atmosphere. This is an area of major concern in all metropolitan cities and Melbourne is no exception with global impact of green gas emission in the environment.
Traffic congestion is the curse of modern metropolis which is very common across globally and all large cities have to address this problem in recent time. This is not to say that people should bear the problem. The idea is to look into the matter with urgent look at the situation and get started on solving the problem.
Traffic congestion, generally speaking, comes up when the number of vehicles on the road exceed the capacity for which the roads were designed and built. In Melbourne alone the number of vehicles on road has doubled in the last decade while the road area has gone up by about 15%. If the road area in the traffic infested area is examined, the result will show that the increase in the road area is much less than 15%. This is because the business district is full of huge structures which are difficult to be shifted.
According to Lona Glenn and Maria Castle (2015), when the numbers of car travelling people increase and the administration fails to find alternative routes with modes of travel for the people, traffic congestion is bound to take place. The planning of the roads had been done quite some time back and the present day traffic load is far greater than what had been initially contemplated. This is becoming the root cause of traffic congestion in metro city with Melbourne proves no exception (Glenn & Castle, 2015).
In his article “Problems in the urban environment: traffic congestion and its effects”, author R. Robinson finds that the traffic congestion gets very severe during the peak hours of work. Thus the traffic congestion is observed as not only the agent to slow down the speed and inflate the time of travel, but also is causing environment pollution from the exhausts of the stranded vehicles. These vehicles are almost double in number and are creating health hazards for the people. The author suggests that a careful study of the utilization of space needs to be undertaken with necessary restructuring of route management for the traffic through viable options.
As per Engineersaustralia report (2016), Austroads has reviewed the traffic conditions in the big two cities of Sydney and Melbourne in their paper Congestion and Reliability Review. They have stated that over 95% of the traffic congestion is due to the mismatch between the number of vehicles on the road and the number of vehicles which the roads were initially designed to carry. The study was conducted by using Google maps with the study of pattern of roads and respective transportation by vehicles. They have suggested integrated planning of land and traffic by using of smart ramp as well to optimize the signals guiding the traffic (Engineersaustralia, 2016).
In the article titled “Melbourne traffic congestion: Peak traffic now lasts 3.75 hours dire report reveals” authors Alex White and Matthew Johnston in Herald Sun stated that the condition of Melbourne traffic congestion is a direct result of defective planning followed by fixation of faulty priorities set by the administration. They have suggested some specific ways to overcome the problem for the people who takes decision in the states administration. However, the general feeling is that the rate at which population of this metropolis is increasing, some drastic steps are to be taken without any further delay. People are required to spend almost as much time in travelling as they put in at work. The article mainly explores the areas of alternate modes of mass travel and does not get to the crux of the problem (White & Johnston, 2016).
The methodology adopted in this paper is to check the rise in the population and also the number of cars on the roads during all 24 hours of the day. The speed of travel is an excellent indication of whether there is free flow of traffic within Melbourne.
The chart and graphs have been given indicating that the speed of traffic in Melbourne is the slowest (Chartingtransport, 2017). That Melbourne has a traffic congestion of menacing proportions is neither a new discovery nor the theme of this discussion, but that this has been established to be the worst in the country with value addition to this discussion. In essence, there are many suggestions in the literature surveyed above which includes increasing the frequency, efficiency and availability of alternate methods of public transport. The basic point is that by increasing the methods of public transport, it will be possible to meet the needs of the people who use that facility. But this article does not emphasize on the people who have their own vehicle with effect of subsequent delay on the road.
Merits and Demerits:
The merits of the case in respect of Melbourne are many. The prime one is that this city is very highly disciplined and the people have the tendency to prioritize social problems than individual problems. The administration of Melbourne has to accept that the issue of vehicle movement on the road is being not properly handled related to movement issue and need immediate measures to provide with some practical solution to mitigate the problem. The solutions suggested below would never succeed in case of Melbourne if the same is not endorsed by people of Melbourne travelling by own vehicle. Though the pollution level of Melbourne has increased substantially, Australia, being a rather sparsely populated country, the pollution has not yet reached alarming situation in macro level with respective damage to the environment of the country.
On the other hand there is only one big demerit. The administration of Melbourne would have to endure a slight loss of face since they have put on a bigger than life stance before the public during all these years. The main need is that of the real intention of the administration of Melbourne to stem the rot.
The solutions suggested for Melbourne traffic congestion problem can be divided into the short term and long term efforts. Under the short term activities, the first thing to do would be to ensure that vehicles with odd and even registration numbers should be allowed on the roads of Melbourne to ply on alternate days. This will compel the car using public of Melbourne to share vehicles, which should be treated as administrative compulsion for the people of Melbourne with owned cars. This would be no loss of face in the social circuit for the people of Melbourne possessing own vehicle. Next probable solution for Melbourne traffic congestion problem is to ensure immediate redressing of the problem of environment pollution in the business area by rearrangement of duty hours The companies of Melbourne may even restructure temporarily their weekly off days to some other days within the week. By this process, the need to travel will also get reduced and everyone will not be required to make a beeline for office at the same time in perspective of Melbourne. There is no doubt that this will create difficulties for the working people of Melbourne but the people of this city are sensible enough to respond favorably. The third step would be to encourage big employers of Melbourne to set up their operations out of the business area. Thus the traffic would not be heading in the same direction. This will result to minimizing the rush of Melbourne. While this is easier said than done, it may be noted that no new offices and establishments would be licensed in Melbourne to get established in the business area which has to bear the brunt of the traffic congestions. This will avoid the proliferation of traffic congestion problem in Melbourne (Abc, 2008).
The long term actions of mass transport, widening of roads and such other activities may continue since that has much display value sought by a section of the administration of Melbourne.
The traffic congestion problem in Melbourne is a challenging task, but the silver lining is that other cities in the world have successfully handled much worse problems. With effective cooperation of the citizen of Melbourne, this problem will also get contained and kept within manageable proportions.
Abc, 2008. Solutions sought for Melbourne's traffic congestion. [Online] Available at: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-01-22/solutions-sought-for-melbournes-traffic-congestion/1020142 [Accessed 21 March 2017].
Chartingtransport, 2017. Update on trends in Australian transport. [Online] Available at: https://chartingtransport.com/ [Accessed 21 March 2017].
Engineersaustralia, 2016. Sydney and melbourne worst traffic congestion. [Online] Available at: https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/portal/news/sydney-and-melbourne-worst-traffic-congestion [Accessed 21 March 2017].
Glenn, L. & Castle, M., 2015. Cause & Effect Essay: Traffic Problems of a Big City. [Online] Available at: https://www.scholaradvisor.com/essay-examples/effect-essay-traffic-problems-of-big-city/ [Accessed 21 March 2017].
White, A. & Johnston, M., 2016. Melbourne traffic congestion: Peak traffic now lasts 3.75 hours dire report reveals. [Online] Available at: https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/melbourne-traffic-congestion-peak-traffic-now-lasts-375-hours-dire-report-reveals/news-story/a79ce1d229682519b8975aa0f63fc7f5 [Accessed 21 March 2017].