TRAFFIC jams continue to remain a major problem in most cities around the world, especially in developing regions, resulting in massive delays, increased fuel wastage and monetary losses.
The problem of congestion exists in every major metropolitan area in the world, and during peak-hour traffic, congestion in almost all large and growing metropolitan regions around the world indicate that this problem is here to stay.
Traffic congestion can have significant adverse economic, social and environmental impacts within densely populated urban areas. Dar es Salaam is one of the core center for the country’s development, High population growth and the continuing rapid rate of urban growth have put significant pressures on existing urban infrastructure and resulted in significant unplanned development.
Traffic congestion in this city is felt by everyone, and has become a burden to the economy and frustrates efforts to improve the lives of the city’s residents. Many people in Dar rely on public transport to go from one point to another, and being stuck in a traffic jam for hours can be very frustrating.
A study by the Centre for Economic Prosperity (CEP) indicates that a motor vehicle often spends up to two hours to cover a 16-kilometer trip, a distance which could have taken only 15 minutes if there were no traffic congestion.
In my own observation, several roads face serious traffic jams due to the presence of heavy commercial lorries, and to curb this problem I believe restricting the movement of large (exceeding 10 tons) trucks on busy routes with high traffic, such as Bagamoyo, Morogoro, Nyerere and Mandela roads should be observed.
The movement of the trucks should be allowed only outside of rush-hours, especially at night. The use of smaller delivery vehicles to transport goods during the daytime should be encouraged instead. The city is already implementing a number of strategies in order to minimize traffic congestion.
However, many of the strategies are focusing on improving the capacity of roads in terms of increasing number of lanes, proposing new overpasses and underpasses at the main road intersections and improving public transport.
However, these strategies cannot fully overcome the congestion problems in Dar es Salaam on their own unless efforts are made to redistribute services and community infrastructure.