English | Dzongkha Sunday, February 17, 2019

Worsening traffic congestion in Thimphu city is a concern

Kinley Dem, Thimphu
Aug 12, 2018

Traffic congestion on Thimphu Thromde’s roads is worsening by the year, which is a major cause of concern to the residents.

They said it is high time that relevant agencies come up with measures to improve the public transport system and reduce the purchase of new cars.

Meanwhile, Thimphu Thromde says improving public transport system has to be done now. Otherwise, it will be of no use when the traffic congestion reaches a breaking point.

“If we fail to provide public bus service right now when people are interested and willing to take a bus ride, it will not serve its purpose when there are too many vehicles hitting the road,” said Thimphu Thrompon, Kinlay Dorji, adding: “the congestion is worsening every year and we are extremely worried about it.”

Motorists and commuters shared a few years ago, they faced traffic congestion during peak hours only. But now, it lasts throughout the day.

“Due to congestion, we often get late to office. Many people prefer to take taxis because they are faster than city buses,” said Sangay Tenzin.

Apart from the increasing the import of vehicles, there are also other reasons such as the zebra crosses and illegal roadside parking that often lead to a traffic jam. To address the problem, the thromde is trying to do away with roadside car parks and improve the traffic flow.

“When the house owners show the drawing,  they do have parking provision. But when we visit the site, we notice that they haven’t kept parking space. So, tenants have no choice but to park along the roadsides. This interrupts traffic flow,” added Thimphu Thrompon.

Another stakeholder involved in easing traffic congestion is the Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA). It also says improving public transport services is the key solution to decongest traffic in Thimphu city.

“It is not only about increasing the number of buses. It’s also about creating better public transport facilities like bus priority lanes. Then, we also need to create proper bus stops, bus stop shelters and provide adequate information to the commuters,” told Karma Pemba, Chief Transport Officer of RSTA to BBS.

Thimphu Thromde is going to improve pedestrian footpaths and other road safety related facilities to improve traffic on the roads.

Thromde is also planning to purchase more city buses in the next five-year plan.

Today, there are around 10, 0000 vehicles in the country. Of that, 50,000 are registered under Thimphu.


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