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35RE: [carfree_cities] DoMoreRoadsSolveTrafficCongestion??

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  • Ronald Dawson
    Apr 5, 2000
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      Thank you Sujit, I had to check out my Atlas to see where Pune is and your
      not to far from Bombay or Sholapur. It's interesting to know that in India,
      you are having the same problems as we are in the west. The trick is how to
      resolve them. Your on the right path that more roads, more often than not
      exasperate a situation, by inducing traffic. In other words expanding to
      fill the void.
      We value your input & thanks for joining, Dawson

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Sujit Patwardhan [mailto:sujit@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2000 10:10 AM
      To: carfree_cities@...
      Subject: [carfree_cities] DoMoreRoadsSolveTrafficCongestion??

      4 April 2000

      Hi All,
      I'm Sujit Patwardhan from Pune, India, representing an environmental NGO
      called Parisar. Pune is a city with a population of around 2 million. The
      city has a rich history and culture and has changed during the thirty years
      from a being an educational city to an industrial city. Luckily the
      industrial development has taken place only on the periphery so the city
      proper (with its core area of heavily congested old city ) is mainly
      residential and commercial shopping etc. Two rivers pass through the city
      (one meandering right through the congested parts) join at a point
      northeast of the city and continue eastward downstream out of the city
      The Municipal Corporation has no master plan for traffic and continues to
      follow outdated methods to tackle the traffic problem:-- of making more and
      more roads (wherever there is scope to do so), widening existing roads by
      chopping off roadside trees (using the argument "people's lives are more
      important than trees"), and demolishing old buildings when roads are in the
      old parts of the city, building fly-overs (which are very capital
      The public transport constists of around 800 to 900 buses. Most of these
      are old, heavily polluting and not run very effciently, as a result of
      which the population of private vehicles (75% of which are two wheelers)
      has soared from 200,000 two wheelers in 1991 to 425.000 two wheelers in
      1999. More than 90,000 new vehicles are added to the vehicle population
      each year. This total vehicle population of over 425,000 vehicles
      translates into a density of around 12,000 vehicles per 100,000 population,
      even surpassing Bombay (the most prosperous city in the country)
      which has "only" 4,000 vehicles per 100,000 population.
      Air pollution levels in the city are already 1.5 times higher that the
      level considered "safe" by the Central Pollution Control Board". This is
      bound to get worse if so many new vehicles are added to the road each year
      (even though lead free petrol has now replaced leaded petrol).
      The city administrators are ignorant of the more innovative methods of
      controling traffic, such as :- introducing disincentives on private
      vehicles, making parking costly, increasing the wheel tax, banning
      motorised vehicles in certain areas..at certain times etc encouraging and
      improving the public transport system, encouraging non polluting modes of
      transport like the bicycle (traditionally Pune was a city of cyclists but
      no one rides cycles anymore,. except the poor who have no choice).
      Most ordinary citizens, frustrated by traffic jams and congestions also
      believe that the only way to beat congestion is to make many many new
      roads, Only after we explain the futility of this method and show them
      statistics of how little the congestion will reduce even if additional
      roads are constructed, do they see the issue clearly, but this is a very
      slow process and the majority of citizens still believe that more roads
      will solve traffic congestion.

      Sujit Patwardhan
      Yamuna, ICS Colony, Ganeshkhind Road, Pune 411 007
      Tel: 5537955

      "In nature there are neither Rewards nor Punishments---
      there are Consequences."

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