Describe the Traffic Safety and Streets Issues Facing Communities

Describe the Traffic Safety and Streets Issues Facing Communities.

While urban transport has had a tremendous liberating impact, it has also posed a very serious problem to the urban impact in which it operates. Buchanan gave a warning in 1963 when he wrote Traffic in Towns, that “the motor vehicle has been responsible for much that adversely effects our concrete surrounding.

There is its direct competition for space with environmental requirements, and it is greatest where infinite is limited… the record is one of steady encroachment, often in minor instalments, but cumulative in effect. There are the visual consequences of this intrusion; the crowding out of every available square grand of space with vehicles, either moving or stationary, and then that buildings seem to rise from a plinth of cars; the devastation of architectural scenes; visual effects from the cutter of signs, signals, bollards, railings, etc., associated with the employ of motor vehicles”.

Michael Thomson’southward classic book Groovy Cities and Their Traffic (1977) provides a useful breakdown of the ways in which virtually people are dissatisfied with the ship systems of their cities. He has given seven problems of urban transport, interrelated with each other every bit shown in Figure v.ii.

1. Traffic Motion and Congestion:

Traffic congestion occurs when urban send networks are no longer capable of all-around the volume of movements that use them. The location of congested areas is determined past the physical transport framework and past the patterns of urban land use and their associated trip-generating activities. Levels of traffic overloading vary in time, with a very well-marked peak during the daily journey-to-work periods.

Although most congestion can exist attributed to overloading, there are other aspects of this basic problem that also crave solutions. In the industrialised countries increasing volumes of individual car, public send and commercial vehicle traffic have exposed the inadequacies of urban roads, especially in older city centres where street patterns accept survived largely unaltered from the nineteenth century and earlier.

The intricate nature of these centres makes motorised movements difficult and long-term car parking almost impossible. In developing countries the problem is especially acute: Indian and South-East Asian cities oftentimes have cores composed of a mesh of narrow streets often accessible only to non-motorised traffic.

The rapid growth in private car ownership and use in western cities in the period since 1950 has rarely been accompanied past a corre­sponding upgrading of the road network, and these increases will probably go along into the twenty-beginning century, further exacerbating the problem. In less-adult countries car ownership in urban areas is in at a much lower level but there is evidence of an increased rate in recent decades, especially in South America and Southward-East Asia (Rimmer, 1977).

Satis­manufacturing plant definitions of the saturation level of car ownership vary but if a ratio of 50 cars to 100 persons is taken then in several US cities the figure is at present over eighty per 100, whereas in Southward-East Asian cities the level rarely exceeds 10 per 100. One factor contributing to congestion in developing world cities is the uncontrolled intermixing of motorised and animal-or man-drawn vehicles. The proliferation of pedal and motor­cycles causes particular difficulties (Simon 1996).

2. Public Transport Crowding:

The ‘person congestion’ occurring within public transport vehicles at such peak times adds insult to injury, sometimes literally. A very loftier proportion of the twenty-four hours’due south journeys are made under conditions of peak-hour loading, during which there will exist lengthy queues at stops, crowding at terminals, stairways and ticket offices, and excessively long periods of hot and claus­trophobic travel jammed in overcrowded vehicles.

In Japan, ‘packers’ are employed on station platforms to ensure that passengers are forced inside the metro trains so that the automated doors can close properly. Throughout the world, conditions are difficult on good days, intolerable on bad ones and in some cities in developing countries nearly unbelievable every 24-hour interval. Images of passengers hanging on to the exterior of trains in India are familiar enough. Quite what conditions are like inside can only be guessed at?

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3. Off-Peak Inadequacy of Public Transport:

If public transport operators provide sufficient vehicles to see peak-hour need there will be insufficient patronage off-peak to keep them economically employed. If on the other hand they tailor fleet size to the off-top need, the vehicles would be so overwhelmed during the meridian that the service would most probable break downwardly.

This disparity of vehicle use is the hub of the urban ship problem for public transport operators. Many now have to maintain sufficient vehicles, plant and labour merely to provide a summit-hour service, which is a hopelessly uneconomic apply of resources. Oft the only way of cutting costs is by reducing off-acme services, just this in plough drives away remaining patronage and encourages farther car use. This ‘off-peak trouble’ does not, even so, afflict operators in devel­oping countries. There, speedily growing urban populations with low car ownership levels provide sufficient off-peak demand to keep vehicle occupancy rates high throughout the day.

Difficulties for Pedestrians:

Pedestrians form the largest category of traffic accident victims. Attempts to increment their safe have usually failed to deal with the source of the trouble (i.e., traffic speed and volume) and instead have concentrated on restricting motility on foot. Needless to say this worsens the pedestrian’due south surround, making large areas ‘off-limits’ and forcing walkers to utilise footbridges and underpasses, which are inadequately cleaned or policed. Additionally there is obstruction by parked cars and the increasing pollution of the urban environs, with traffic racket and exhaust fumes affecting about directly those on feet.

At a larger scale, in that location is the problem of access to facilities and activities in the city. The replacement of small-scale-scale and localised facilities such as shops and clinics by large-scale super­stores and hospitals serving larger catchment areas has put many urban activities beyond the reach of the pedestrian. These greater distances between residences and needed facilities can but be covered by those with motorised transport. Whereas the lack of prophylactic facilities may be the biggest problem for the walker in developing countries, in avant-garde countries it is the growing inability to accomplish ‘anything’ on pes, irrespective of the quality of the walking surround.

5. Parking Difficulties:

Many car drivers stuck in city traffic jams are not actually trying to go anywhere: they are just looking for a place to park. For them the parking trouble is the urban transport problem: earning plenty to purchase a car is one matter but being smart plenty to find somewhere to park it is quite another. However, it is not only the motorist that suffers. Cities are disfigured by ugly multi-storey parking garages and cityscapes are turned into seas of metal, as vehicles are crammed on to every foursquare metre of basis.

Public ship is slowed past chock-full streets and movement on foot in anything like a straight line becomes impossible. The provision of adequate car parking infinite within or on the margins of central business organization districts (CBDs) for urban center workers and shoppers is a problem that has serious implications for land use planning.

A prolifer­ation of costly and visually intrusive multi-storey car-parks tin simply provide a fractional solution and supplementary on-street parking oft compound route congestion. The extension of pedestrian precincts and retail malls in city centres is intended to provide more acceptable environments for shoppers and other users of city centres. Withal, such traffic-gratis zones in turn produce bug every bit they create new patterns of access to commercial centres for auto-borne travellers and users of public transport, while the latter ofttimes lose their sometime advantage of being conveyed directly to the fundamental shopping surface area.

6. Environmental Affect

The performance of motor vehicles is a polluting activity. While there are innumerable other activities which crusade environ­mental pollution as a consequence of the tremendous increases in vehicle ownership, society is simply now beginning to appreciate the devastating and dangerous consequences of motor vehicle usage. Pollution is not the but consequence.

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Traffic noise is a serious problem in the primal expanse of our towns and cities and there are other ecology drawbacks brought virtually through trying to accommodate increasing traffic volumes. The vast diver­gence between private and social costs is one, which has and so far been allowed to continue without whatever real bank check. Peradventure more agonizing is that lodge is largely unaware of the longer-term effects of such activity, and while the motorcar is by no means the only culprit, information technology is a persistently obvious offender.

Traffic Noise:

It is generally recognised that traffic noise is the major surroundings problem caused by traffic in urban areas. Dissonance became a pressing problem tardily in the 1950s and in 1960 the Government prepare upwardly a committee to look into the whole issue. This committee, headed by Sir Alan Wilson, pointed out with reference to London that traffic noise “is the predominant source of annoyance and no other single racket is of comparable importance”.

Traffic noise is both abrasive and disturbing. Walking and other activities in urban areas tin be harassing and, perchance more than important, traffic noise penetrates through to the interior of buildings. Working is therefore more than difficult since noise disturbs concentration and conversation. High noise levels can as well disturb domestic life every bit sleeping and relax­ation become affected.

Traffic dissonance tends to be a continuous sound, which is unwanted by the hearer. It is caused every bit a consequence of fluctuations in air force per unit area, which are so picked up by the homo ear. Whilst other noise phenomena such every bit aircraft noise and vibra­tions from a road drill produce a more intense sound, traffic noise is a much more than continuous and an almost round-the-clock discomfort. Dissonance is usually measured on a weighted scale in decibel units, an increase of 10 dB corre­sponding to a doubling of loudness.

The Wilson Commission published studies, which showed that a decibel noise level of 84 dB was much as people establish adequate and they proposed legislation which would make any engine noise more than 85 dB, illegal. They proposed that there should be a progressive reduction in acceptable limits, only this has non been achieved. In fact, heavy lorries produce a noise level withal well in excess of the above acceptable level.

The noise from motor vehicles comes from various sources. The engine, exhaust and tyres are the most of import ones but with goods vehicles, additional dissonance can be given off by the body, brakes, loose fittings and aerodynamic noise. The level of noise is also influenced past the speed of the vehicle, the density of the traffic flow and the nature of the road surface on which the vehicle is operating.

Vehicles, which are accelerating or travelling on an uphill surface, produce more dissonance than those moving in a regular flow on an even route. The regulations at present in force lay down the limits of 84 dB for cars and 89 dB for Lorries. Buses, particularly when stopping and starting, motor­cycles and sports cars as well as goods vehicles produce higher noise levels than the boilerplate private automobile.

vii. Atmospheric Pollution:

Fumes from motor vehicles present one of the most unpleasant costs of living with the motor vehicle. The automobile is only i of many sources of atmospheric pollution and although prolonged exposure may constitute a health hazard, it is important to view this particular trouble in perspective. Every bit the Purple Committee on Environmental Pollution has stated, “in that location is no house prove that in Uk the present level of these pollutants is a hazard to wellness”.

Traffic fumes, especially from poorly maintained diesel engines, can exist very offensive and added to noise contribute to the unpleasantness of walking in urban areas. No urban street is free from the effects of engine fumes and these almost certainly contribute towards the formation of smog. As traffic volumes increase, nonetheless, atmospheric pollution will too increase. In the Usa, with its much higher levels of vehicle ownership, at that place is mounting concern over the furnishings of vehicle fumes. In large cities such as Mexico City, Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo, fumes are responsible for the cosmos of very unpleasant smog.

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Ecologists believe that the rapid increase in the number of vehicles on our roads which has taken place without (as however) whatever real restriction is fast developing into an environmental crunch. Exhaust fumes are the major source of atmospheric pollution by the motor vehicle.

The fumes, which are emitted, contain four main types of pollutant:

(i) Carbon monoxide:

This is a poisonous gas acquired as a outcome of incomplete combustion;

(ii) Unburnt hydrocarbons:

This caused by the evaporation of petrol and the discharge of only partially burnt hydro­carbons;

(iii) Other gases and deposits:

Nitrogen oxides, tetra-ethyl pb and carbon dust particles;

(iv) Aldehydes:

Organic compounds containing the group CHO in their structures.

Hydrocarbon fumes are as well emitted from the carburettor and petrol tanks, as well every bit from the frazzle organization.

The Royal Commission provides some interesting statistics on the extent of air pollution. In 1970 an estimated vi 1000000 tonnes of carbon monoxide were emitted into the atmosphere. If estimates of vehicle ownership are correct, so past the year 2010, this volume would increment to xiv million tonnes. This figure, nonetheless, assumes the current land of engine and fuel engineering science. A farther and more detailed estimate of emissions is given past Sharp in Table v.3.

Estimated Total Vehicle Pollution Emission in the UK (tonnes)

Fears of urban pollution past motor vehicles, are greater in the United States and Nihon. In 24-hour interval-time Manhattan, for case, readings of pollutants of 25-30 parts per meg have been recorded – exposure has the same upshot as smoking two packets of cigarettes per twenty-four hours. U.s. has imposed sure restrictions on vehicle manufac­turers and more stringent levels are proposed, simply every bit in the before case of traffic dissonance, increasing vehicle ownership levels are liable to offset some of the benefits which accrue.

Other Environmental Bug:

Traffic presents many other implications for the urban environment. Some of these issues will be outlined in this final section. It should, still, be stated that individual opinions oftentimes make up one’s mind what constitutes an environmental problem. The British Transport Federation, for case, regard visual impact as ane of the almost important local environmental factors to be taken into consideration in the blueprint and planning of urban motorways.

They country that “visual problems…are a issue of the fundamental conflict in scale and form between a vast linear expressway and the smaller calibration and tightly knit pattern of streets and buildings in the bordering areas”. Elevated motorways are particularly conspicuous when they are closely aligned to houses, shops and other minor buildings, which are dwarfed in contrast.

This problem is most sensitive in relation to houses since views of motorway traffic tin exist a constant distraction and coupled with traffic racket serve as a round-the-clock reminder of the expressway’southward presence. The loss of privacy is just ane function of this problem. Elevated motorways tin can also obstruct daylight and sunlight entering nearby houses and recreation or shopping areas.

Buchanan raises other visual problems: “the intrusion into parks and squares; the garaging, servicing and maintenance of cars in residential streets…; the clutter of signs, signals, bollards, railings and the balance of the paraphernalia which is accounted necessary to aid the traffic period; the dreary, formless car parks, oftentimes absorbing large areas of towns and whose structure take involved the cede of the closely knit evolution which has contributed so much to the graphic symbol of the inner areas of our towns”. These are just some of the added consequences of our living with the motor vehicle and due to the uneasy partnership which exists the relationship produces its ain form of blight within the urban environment.

Describe the Traffic Safety and Streets Issues Facing Communities


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