Urban Transport Problems
Author: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue
1. Challenges Facing Urban Transportation
Cities are locations having a high level of accumulation and concentration of economic activities and are complex spatial structures that are supported by transport systems. The most important transport problems are often related to urban areas and take place when transport systems, for a variety of reasons, cannot satisfy the numerous requirements of urban mobility. Urban productivity is highly dependent on the efficiency of its transport system to move labor, consumers and freight between multiple origins and destinations. Additionally, important transport terminals such as ports, airports, and railyards are located within urban areas, contributing to a specific array of problems. Some problems are ancient, like congestion (which plagued cities such as Rome), while others are new like urban freight distribution or environmental impacts.
Among the most notable urban transport problems are:
Sebagian besar masalah transportasi perkotaan adalah sebagai berikut :
- Traffic congestion and parking difficulties (kemacetan lalulintas dan kesulitan parkir). Congestion is one of the most prevalent transport problems in large urban agglomerations. It is particularly linked with motorization and the diffusion of the automobile, which has increased the demand for transport infrastructures. However, the supply of infrastructures has often not been able to keep up with the growth of mobility. Since vehicles spend the majority of the time parked, motorization has expanded the demand for parking space, which has created space consumption problems particularly in central areas. The spatial imprint of parked vehicles is significant.
- Public transport inadequacy (tidak tersedianya transpost umum yang memadaia). Many public transit systems, or parts of them, are either over or under used. During peak hours, crowdedness creates discomfort for users as the system copes with a temporary surge in demand. Low ridership makes many services financially unsustainable, particularly in suburban areas. In spite of significant subsidies and cross-financing (e.g. tolls) almost every public transit systems cannot generate sufficient income to cover its operating and capital costs.
- Difficulties for pedestrians (kesulitan pengadaan pedestrian/lahan pejalan kaki). These difficulties are either the outcome of intense traffic, where the mobility of pedestrians and vehicles is impaired, but also because of a blatant lack of consideration for pedestrians in the physical design of facilities.
- Loss of public space (hilangnya/berkurangnya lahan untuk fasilitas umum). The majority of roads are publicly owned and free of access. Increased traffic has adverse impacts on public activities which once crowded the streets such as markets, agoras, parades and processions, games, and community interactions. These have gradually disappeared to be replaced by automobiles. In many cases, these activities have shifted to shopping malls while in other cases, they have been abandoned altogether. Traffic flows influence the life and interactions of residents and their usage of street space. More traffic impedes social interactions and street activities. People tend to walk and cycle less when traffic is high.
- Environmental impacts and energy consumption (dampak lingkungan dan konsumsi bahan bakar). Pollution, including noise, generated by circulation has become a serious impediment to the quality of life and even the health of urban populations. Further, energy consumption by urban transportation has dramatically increased and so the dependency on petroleum.
- Accidents and safety (tingkat kecelakaan dan tingkatat aman). Growing traffic in urban areas is linked with a growing number of accidents and fatalities, especially in developing countries. Accidents account for a significant share of recurring delays. As traffic increases, people feel less safe to use the streets.
- Land consumption(pengurangan penggunaan lahan perumahan) . The territorial imprint of transportation is significant, particularly for the automobile. Between 30 and 60% of a metropolitan area may be devoted to transportation, an outcome of the over-reliance on some forms of urban transportation. Yet, this land consumption also underlines the strategic importance of transportation in the economic and social welfare of cities.
- Freight distribution (transportase distribusi barang). Globalization and the materialization of the economy have resulted in growing quantities of freight moving within cities. As freight traffic commonly shares infrastructures with the circulation of passengers, the mobility of freight in urban areas has become increasingly problematic. City logistics strategies can be established to mitigate the variety of challenges faced by urban freight distribution.
Many dimensions to the urban transport problem are linked with the dominance of the automobile.
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