Traffic congestion on Mumbai’s major road networks is slowing down your drive back home to a mere 20kmph, the civic body’s survey of the city’s mobility shows. The main reason for the crawl of the vehicles is the increasing number of private vehicles on roads and lesser parking slots that results in double parking on even narrow roads.
According to the BMC’s Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP), on 67% of road networks, vehicle speeds are less than 20kmph during the evening peak hours. In the western suburbs alone, 78% road networks are bringing down your speed.
The CMP is a report on the city’s population growth, travel patterns and traffic scenario. As part of the study, the BMC-appointed consultant looked at speed and delays during the morning and evening peak hours — around 8am to 10am and 5pm to 9pm.
The findings were no better when traffic was studied in non-peak hours, when 52% of road networks in the island city and 45% in the western suburbs saw vehicles moving at 20kmph or less.
Experts say the numbers reflect poorly on Mumbai’s traffic scenario, as the ideal speed should range between 30 kmph and 35kmph in urban areas.
“The traffic management in an urban set-up should be designed in such a way that speed is around 30-35 kmph. It should never go below 20 kmph, as this will hamper the city’s traffic management. In such a scenario, the only option is to augment public transport to restrict usage of private vehicles,” said Ashok Datar, a transport expert.
The slow crawl also indicates that the number of privately-owned vehicles in the city has gone up. The CMP says the number of cars and two-wheelers have increased by 8.4% and 6.5% respectively in the past seven years.
The CMP has a solution — strengthening public transport by creating separate bus lanes, investing more in metro and monorail corridors and the creation of a traffic advisory panel to co-ordinate more effectively.
“It is a comprehensive study that looks at various parameters. We will make use of the data for effective policies,” said SVR Srinivas, the additional municipal commissioner in-charge of roads and traffic department in BMC. He said the study has been sent to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) to be incorporated in their larger plans.