Thursday, September 13, 2007

Plight of road transport

When I used to drive to work, I would wish everyday that they (DoT) would add more lanes to the existing 5-lane freeway. Yes to most of you it would sound ludicrous that why would somebody want to extend a 5 lane freeway. Then again there would be some who would empathize with me; who know that even a 5 lane highway can get congested and frustrating at times. So in last year's local elections the winner's manifesto had to have the extension of the freeway as one of the main agenda. Not sure if that was the reason but whatever the reason the construction has started to extend most of the major roads/freeways in San Diego. My sentiments at this extension: frustrated, agitated. Why? Because how long can we keep extending roads to ease congestion? As Gandhiji said "Earth can provide for your needs, not your greed". There have to be alternate ways to resolve traffic congestion.

Since I started using public transportaion, I realized what a boon it is and that was the solution to all our traffic problems. Then I wondered that why do people prefer to be stuck in jams rather than using a bus/train. The answer was simple: public transportation in San Diego is expensive and time-taking most of the times; and inconvenient some of the time. That gives most people little reason to use public transportation. So why don't they spend a fraction of the billions of dollars from the transportation budget to strengthen the infrastructure for public transportation like improving connectivity; and promoting it? Wouldn't doing this
be less expensive that building roads, especially since they don't offer a long term respite? The benefits we're looking at:
  1. Reduction in gross fuel consumption, hence reducing dependence on foreign fuel.
  2. Environment-friendly in multiple ways: saves a natural resource; burns less gas.
  3. Eases traffic congestion.
  4. Believe it or not, it would reduce the stress in everybody's life. You'll agree that driving in congested conditions leads to stress on the driver and leaves him flustered. However, if one were to use the public transport, one can simply enjoy the ride.
The more I talk about this issue, the less it seems to me. I wish somebody would put it into the heads of DoT personnel. Seems like this topic has become close to my heart; I can never stop once I start.

1 comment:

Vcuisine said...

Hi Smriti, thanks for dropping by. I agree public transports are better choice for cars. I do drive and i start early to avoid the jams here especially during school days. I will be visiting SFO during November hopefully. Will stay in Parc 55 Hotel. Viji