Major cities like Lagos, New York, London, and Paris have all had to deal with thousands of cars going through their streets and highways each day. Traffic congestion is a big problem for everyone living in cities, and this can be traced to poor road maintenance and the ever increasing presence of automobiles.
The adult population is increasing and therefore more people want their own personal transport to get around with. As the number of cars increase the chances of congestion also increases. It’s why congestion is almost unheard of in smaller towns and villages.
This is coupled with a lack of proper infrastructure. Local and national governments fail to act on the looming threat of heavy congestion until it happens. The city doesn’t expand along with an increasingly car reliant population. A street with a single lane on each side today, might not suffice in ten years after the population has increased. Authorities often fail to convert this into a dual carriageway.
Alternate routes are also a problem. Cities have limited capacity to expand due to poor funding and planning restrictions preventing building on green belt spaces. Cities are forced to work with the routes they already have. Thus, if they can’t increase the number of lanes it leads to congestion.
Employers may also play a part in causing congestion. Congestion usually occurs when people commute to and from work. By adhering to the traditional 9-5 routines, there’s a greater chance of congestion. This is because everyone has to travel to and from work at the same time each day.
A lack of a proper mass-transit, public transport system may also play a major part in causing traffic congestion. If there aren’t enough buses, mass transit systems, local trains or even a fully functional ferry system for our waterways, people are forced to take their cars to work.
The ratio of passengers to vehicles decreases, whereas if they were able to take the bus or alternate modes of transport, people would feel less of a need to drive their cars. [because let’s be honest driving to and from work all week could be a tad-bit stressful]
In many places, commuters are forced away from public transport by the private companies which run them. Increasing fare prices make driving a car with its associated high fuel costs cheaper than public transport. By pushing people back to driving their cars again they only exasperate the congestion problem.
In conclusion, congestion is mainly caused by a desire for people to drive their cars coupled with a failure by local and national governments to act in a way that is effectively accommodating. If the government invested in more affordable public transport options and a better infrastructure the incidence of congestion would decrease in major cities.