WATCH : Why we have traffic congestion : A simulation of the flows of private vs other transport modes | FUTURE CAPE TOWN

“unsurprisingly, cities continue to be developed around the last mode to cross the line, the private car”

Which mode do you think will be the first to cross the line? When citizens continue to focus on the car as a preferred mode  of getting around in a city in the quickest time, questions must be posed as to what cities are focusing on more during the development phase- people or the private vehicle.

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In an age where it is apparent that more freeways and extra lanes are creating more congestion on the roads, this video by PTV group demonstrates that urban congestion cannot be eliminated by designing cities and infrastructure for more cars. This is why walking and cycling are fundamental in reducing congestion on the roads. In this clip, the public transport modes are the first to cross the line but funding and infrastructure for these modes is hardly ever placed at the front of urban development and unsurprisingly, cities continue to be developed around the last mode to cross the line, the private car.

Apparently, the advantages of the private car are no longer relevant- the ability to move fast no longer results in shorter travel times unless more space is created for private cars. So two strategies are given as a reaction to this discovery: firstly, car traffic could be assigned more urban space. However, this implies that the density of other urban functions, which increasingly – as distinguished from traffic areas – are seen as the actual factors defining urban life, is reduced.

As examples of such strategies, one might first think of wide urban arteries with six, eight or even more lanes, such as those found in today’s metropolitan agglomerations.

Will 23 lanes be enough?” — references Atlanta’s proposed expansion of Interstate 75, making it wider than an aircraft carrier is long.

The second, converse strategy for urban traffic is to place emphasis on other traffic modes which require less space than the car and so reduce congestion of cars, which brings us back to the FLOW project.

This animation and article, adapted from the FLOW project where cities collaborate with scientific institutes and universities, interest groups, mobility and communication agencies, and technical partners, to which PTV Group belongs. In particular, PTV Group contributes to the development of a method to assess measures for cycling and walking, with a special focus on the potential for congestion reduction.

  • Find our how you can play your part at the Mobility Indaba
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  1. This video was sourced from the PTV Group with content by Tobias Kretz
  2. Read the original blog post about the FLOW project by the PTV Group

  • Mossel

    Every civil engineer and urban planner knows this. It is political will that is lacking. Citizens of SA love their cars, thus if a politician can get the City to build more roads, the citizens are happy. And a happy citizen in turn makes for a happy politician.

    Cape Town is long overdue with regards to alternative modes of transport. Almost everyone I have spoken to in the Northern and Southern suburbs ask me the same thing: When is the MyCiti bus coming to my neighbourhood? And all I can say is: not anytime soon.