Traffic Congestion Issues, Perceptions, Experience and Satisfaction of Car Drivers/Owners on Urban Roads
Traffic congestion is a major issue of Asian megacities which causes the irritation, anger and frustrations among drivers and owners of vehicles during driving in these cities. This paper aims at understanding traffic congestion issues from the perception and experiences of car drivers and owners and their satisfaction level concerning accessibility of circulation within urban roads of Karachi. The issues addressed in this respect are road construction, traffic flow, road crossing, shopping malls along roads, traffic blockage due to VIP movement, congestion during school timing, animal presence on roads, traffic police behavior, marriage halls along the roads, peak hour traffic jams, traffic jams during sociopolitical and religious rallies, road disputes, traffic congestion due to young inexperienced drivers, alternate road availability and pedestrian bridges. The method of investigating these issues is through 42 questionnaire surveys with car drivers and car owners from June to October 2018 on urban roads of Karachi. The analysis of feedback from respondents showed that, more than 90% respondents were satisfied with construction of pedestrian bridges and annoyed with sociopolitical and religious rallies on main urban roads. More than 80% respondents were satisfied with marriage halls along the roads, felt congestion during peak hours and preferred alternate routes to go home. More than 70% agreed that, young and inexperienced drivers cause traffic congestion and felt unsatisfied and displeased with disputes on the streets among residents, traffic police and drivers. More than 60% respondents were satisfied with the road construction but annoyed with VIP protocol and felt congestion during school timings and quite uncomfortable while crossing the road. More than 50% respondents were unsatisfied with shopping malls on both sides of the road, presence of animals on main roads and behavior of traffic police during traffic jams. Finally, concerning traffic flow the respondents were equally divided in their perception. Thus this research presents a detailed perspective of people regarding traffic congestion issues in Karachi for the appropriate response by decision makers of urban transport planning and urban traffic management institutions in city.