Essay, Pages 5 (1018 words)
Americans are proud of their automobiles. It is a sign of their success. Since more people want to drive to work, public transit, nationwide, is usually a money-losing proposition. Traffic congestion is one of the most serious transportation problems Americans face. It is bad for drivers, bad for business, and bad for the environment. As people travel more, traffic grows, and traffic congestion becomes increasingly demanding. The reasons for this are; a small amount of public transportation system, no charges for using the road, many single drivers in rush hour, and lack of information on how to avoid the traffic jam.
Los Angeles is usually seen as one of the trouble spots when it comes to traffic congestion. One researcher has an answer, as he compares Los Angeles with Melbourne, Australia. Assessing the impact of automobiles on urban development and their relationship to public transportation, he finds that both cities had low population density and attracted suburban housing development through efficient rail networks.
“Los Angeles, however, opted for freeways and automobiles instead of modernizing and maintaining its public transportation, resulting in traffic congestion and air pollution. Melbourne, by contrast, has kept a balance between both forms of transportation. This has permitted Melbourne’s suburbs to grow without having cars dominate commuting” (Frost 362).
An article, by Staley puts dollars to Los Angeles traffic snarls and congestion: “Traffic congestion in Los Angeles eats up at least $9.3 billion a year in wasted time and excess fuel each year, and these numbers don’t even include the costs to businesses from freight delays” (Staley 51).
When I came into America, I realized that Americans own lots of cars per family. Some families have five cars in their house. That is because of the low price in maintaining their cars. Basic economic logic tells us that a jam is the result of a product available at too low a price. In this case, the solution is to limit the number of cars by requiring a car owner to buy an expensive license just for the right to own a car. Other methods are to raise the price for using the streets through higher toll fees or higher gasoline tax.
There have been numerous attempts to increase the number of toll roads, which might ease congestion. Mayor Bloomberg, of New York City, proposed a toll on automobiles coming into Manhattan beyond a certain perimeter, but that was defeated. Los Angeles and San Francisco are among cities also trying to find some way to ease the congestion. “Given the practical and political realities facing L.A. policymakers, a network of HOT lanes may be the only practical alternative to gridlock” (Staley 51). Hot lanes, Staley explains, are carpool lanes that allow solo drivers to use them for a fee.
In the morning, most of the freeways suffer from traffic jams. The main drivers affected are single drivers. As traffic grows continually, governmental efforts become increasingly exasperated. With car sharing, the inconveniences associated with rail and bus travel largely can be solved. The potential of car sharing is good for lowering traffic costs and journey hours associated with commuting. “The rush hour is characterized low vehicle occupancy, rigid journey times and high vehicle density in specific areas, in particular, town center” (Frost 27). Car sharing has a viable way of alleviating traffic jams.
At peak times there are substantial spare seating capacity in many commuting car, and a considerable number of people working in the same area with a similar journey directions. There are huge numbers of people who want to car-share because of obvious benefits. The most tempting benefit is an opportunity to use the car pool lanes. According to the California law, every car having more than two people can use the car pool lane. However, some countries regulate only over three people in the car can get the benefits in the freeway. It must make the road much faster and clearer. The government should notice this part to fix it.
Much more information about the traffic situation comes to flow from the radio, and TV. It is very useful when drivers decide what route to take. Most of the information is so accurate that they can allocate lots of traffic separately to freeway, highway and local streets. However, this sometime provides wrong information to drivers. It can lead more traffic to more cars and less cars to empty locations.
This is because most of the drivers choose the less traffic roads along with the news from the traffic broadcasting center. Thanks to the development of technology, we can expect the amount of traffic in specific area. The GPS system can help drivers get more accurate information. The connection between a GPS and a satellite can make it possible to indicate some portions of traffics to others by providing well qualified information.
The causes of traffic congestion can be varied even though it is not said. The public transportation problems, car pool lanes, toll road, information provided by the GPS are not the only problems. It is an aggregate and total problem in our society. The government also recognizes this point well, so they are trying to control problem, and plan many schemes to solve it.
The more actual plans are the more helpful one, and it will save lots of costs to improve the conditions. The citizens living in the U.S.A. do not expect the traffic problems to be solved during a day, but they want a little progress in the road condition. The problems have been stuck, where there are for a long time now, and they are progressing very slowly, but they will eventually get better. If these options are taken into consideration, the traffic problems will dissolve in no time.
- Staley, Jeffrey: “Toll lanes would give drivers the option to achieve greater speed”
- Los Angeles Business Journal, Dec 3, 2007 v29 i49 p 51.
- Frost, Lionel: “The History of American Cities and Suburbs: An Outsider’s view” Journal of Urban History, vol. 27, issue 3 2001, pp 362-376