Opinion | The best way out of our jammed streets
Traffic crawls on the roads of India’s biggest cities and there’s little space for more tarmac. Keeping some wheels off the streets may solve the problem, but such a policy needs to be fair
That India’s big cities are choking on traffic is well known. But just how bad is the problem? A Mint study, reported in “Plain Facts" on Monday, examined vehicular traffic speeds along 300 arterial roads in the country’s top six metropolitan regions. On average, it takes 39 minutes to cover a 10km stretch in Kolkata, 37 minutes in Mumbai, and 34 minutes in Bengaluru; vehicles in Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad fare better, but not by much. Expansion of road networks is what many of us clamour for, but space is scarce while demand for road usage is both high and rising rapidly. To decongest our most crowded cities, thus, we need to look at solutions that serve to moderate demand, rather than wait for mega road projects to materialize. A vast highway system off the coast of Mumbai with feeder links to the city, for example, would be welcome, but is not on the horizon yet.