Effectiveness of Fly Over construction to mitigate Traffic Congestion in City
Chittagong is the prime port and second largest city of Bangladesh. Recently the city has been declared as commercial capital of the country. At present the city accommodates around 3.7 million population where most of the population are engaged in business, commerce and port activities mainly. And the rest are engaged in other urban activities like government service, private service, fishing, agriculture etc. Almost 40 percent of the countries heavy industrial activities includes Dry-duck, Dockyard, Still Mills, Cement clinker factory, Cable manufacturing , Oil refinery, Ship breaking etc are situated in the city.
Moreover the city accommodates huge numbers of light and medium scale industrial activities alongwith the CEPZ (Chittagong Export Pressing Zone). So a large number of people are migrating from surroundings villages to city everyday for getting job and food. A major portion of them involved themselves as Ricksha puller and the rest engaged in port and other activities. So traffic congestions is increasing day by day due to ever-increasing population and traffic in the port city.
In Bangladesh, population and traffic growth rate is approximately 1.5 and 7 percent respectively. But our road expanding rate is not at all mentionable with respect to higher traffic growth. As per BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) source at present the total number of approved vehicle in Chittagong city is 84391. Among these, Bus .-2816, Autoricksha(Taxi)-20847, Tempo-4666, Motorcycle-13470, Jeep-1951, Car-15961, Pickup-3656, Tank lorry-386, Tractor trailer-503, Truck-14065 and Micro-5998. So our city roads are not capable to carry the traffic specially in the peak hours. 25 percent of the city land should be the roadway for ideal situation in the city. At least 15 percent is desirable to expect congestion free road. Dhaka city data shows that less than 8 percent of the city land are used as roadway. Chittagong has not yet specific study in this regard but it might be like Dhaka or even less. So congested road scenario is the normal phenomenon in the Dhaka and Chittagong city. To mitigate the traffic congestion the new road link should be established.
The limitation of constructing new road linkage is the acquisition of land. It is the time consuming process in our country. Not only that a lion portion of the project cost required to compensate the land. As per data the right of way of the major city roads in Chittagong are 100 to 120 feet. But most of the road have approximately 60 feet black top only. So every possibility is there to expand the road as per their right of way to reduce traffic congestion. Moreover this will be less expensive and less time consuming due to land acquisition will not be required in this process. Traffic congestion can be reduced at least in the midblock or road link to? widening the existing road and to construct some vital link in the city. But midblock solution is not the overall solution of congestion.. Some times wide link becomes congested due to congestion in the road intersection.
There are several reasons for congestion such as on-sheet parking, road and footpath area occupied by hawkers, slow and fast moving vehicles run in the same lane, mixed modes of transport, non-motorized vehicles and 3- wheelers, lack of drivers awareness, drivers dareness, shortage and insincerity of traffic police etc. Only 349 number of traffic police and 46 number of surgent (source: Chittagong Metropolitan Police) are working in the city which is inadequate. Usually most of the congestion starts from intersection and spread into the adjacent area and sometimes even throughout the city. Traffic congestion can be minimized with great extent if proper treatment could be done in the intersection.
Traffic congestion in the intersection can be reduced through constructing Underpass or Overpass. Underpass or tunnel construction is not suitable for Bangladesh due to heavy rainfall, flood and routine load shedding. Moreover its construction cost is more compare to Flyover or overpass construction.. Specially small Fly over across the junction is more convenient and easy to construct which gives excellent result in reducing traffic congestion at intersection. It is also cost effective compare to long Elevated Express way. The construction cost of Elevated Expressway over 2 Junctions linked with 1 km midblock is approximately 5 times higher than construction cost of 2 small Fly over at 2 different intersections. Delhi has successfully solved traffic congestion through constructing several number of small Flyover at different junctions. On the other hand, Bangkok is still facing their traffic problem though they constructed a number of long Elevated Expressway investing huge amount. So considering our socio-economic condition, traffic congestion can be minimized successfully in the Chittagong city to construct a number of small Flyover at different intersections