In a 2019 global study focused on evaluating the degree of traffic congestions in 53 countries, India’s Mumbai was found to have the worst traffic situation. The related TomTom Traffic Index report disclosed that Mumbai’s traffic conditions have been making it necessary for commuters to increase their travel time by at least 65% due to high levels of congestion.
India’s capital Delhi, fared better than Mumbai, but still ranked as the 4th city on a global scale, to have the highest levels of traffic. Delhi commuters have to increase travel time by at least 58% if they want to arrive on time at their destinations.
According to Ralf-Peter Schaefer, the Vice Pres. of Information at Tom Tom, traffic levels had actually increased on a global scale. Although it’s a positive indicator that the global economy has been going strong, it also translates into negative impacts. Commuters, particularly drivers, are wasting time sitting out hours in traffic, while vehicles are continuously producing emissions harmful to the environment.
Factors Driving the High Levels of Traffic in Mumbai
Mumbai Police Chief Datta Padsalgikar had mentioned before in a separate statement that one of the reasons why traffic is hard to handle in Mumbai is because about 31 lakh or 310, 000 vehicles occupy city spaces measuring only 438 square kilometers.
The Tom Tom Traffic Index report cited that among the factors that have been driving high levels of traffic in Mumbai are the heavy rains and crowds. People are wary of the city’s crumbling infrastructure, as what had happened when the CST bridge collapsed during heavy traffic hours in which 6 people died while 31 were injured. Additionally, subsequent audits resulted in the closure of about 29 bridges that have been deemed as no longer structurally safe.
Another major problem are the city’s road potholes. A local website has been tracking the number of potholes in Mumbai’s roads, which at the time of the report had already tallied 27,412 potholes.
According to the Asian Development Bank, India needs as much as $112 billion annually in order to meet its target in infrastructure developments. The lack of funds and structures dating as far back as the colonial era have in fact made Mumbai a dangerous city.
While the current thrust is to have commuters use metro rail transits to reduce the size of the crowds causing traffic congestions, the construction of new Metro Lines have likewise resulted to major traffic problems.
The observation is that India also lacks sustainable urban transport policies aimed at addressing simple traffic problems such as illegal parking and in putting a cap to the issuance of licenses for cab operations. Towing illegally parked cars will create greater traffic problems, as towing of vehicles will only cause more congestion.
California Tops List of U.S. Cities With High Traffic Levels
In the U.S. the city of Los Angeles is at the top of the 50 U.S. cities with the worst traffic congestions. In fact, several other cities in California are included in the list namely, Bakersfield, Fresno, Oxnard, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, Thousand Oaks and Ventura.
The City of San Jose ranks 4th, as traffic congestions are largely attributed to the high number of parked cars and abandoned vehicles sitting on public roads. That is why San Jose’s Code Enforcement Agency has given accreditation to several companies engaged in towing san jose vehicles to help in road clearing operations.