A brilliant letter to the editor in this week’s TFT.
The traffic situation in Lahore is alarming. Almost every main road is jammed and measures need to be taken quickly before the situation gets out of hand. We always hear people blaming the Government for not doing enough to counter the situation. Phrases like “not enough roads,” “useless traffic wardens” and “careless planning” can be heard almost everywhere one goes. I believe that it is not a problem of a lack of roads or careless wardens, but a problem of too many cars on our streets. If we want to relieve ourselves from the stress caused by long traffic jams, we need to find ways through which we can reduce the number of cars on the road.
Schools should start offering bus services. For every bus that carries about 40 children there will be at least 20 less cars on the roads. Furthermore, carpooling, which is very popular in most developed countries, should also be adopted by people in Pakistan. It not only reduces travelling costs, but, more importantly, it leads to fewer cars on the road and hence less traffic jams.
Members of the upper-middle and upper class, who own most of the cars, should stop being so status conscious and start using public transport. It is worth noting that while most of these people hesitate to use public transport in Pakistan, they freely use public transport when in other, developed countries. Although the public transport systems in developed countries are undoubtedly better, it is hard to deny the fact that “status” is an issue for upper-middle and upper class people when using such modes of transportation.
Lastly, people should walk or use bicycles if they have to go somewhere close. This not only saves them from having to bear the traffic but is also good for their health. It is not very unusual for people in this country to go to the market, which is usually walking distance away, in a car and then waste a large amount of time looking for a parking space.
These are just a few of the many steps that can be taken to trim down the ever increasing number of cars on the roads. Although the Government is, to a large extent, responsible for not providing proper transportation infrastructure, the people of this nation should also take responsibility for the part they play in the problem.