New Baneshwor is one of the major junctions and also known as the heart of the Kathmandu Valley. This place consists of all the major educational institution, hospitals, a wide range of market, and most important, “constitutional assembly” of the country. So it is one of the busiest places of Kathmandu valley. The vehicle in the road always seems to be crowded and the volume is higher in the peak hour. As a result, there is a high traffic jam and the vehicle needs a long period of time to cross this spot. Motor bikes are always in a hurry to overtake and sometimes they even capture the footpath designed for pedestrians. It is always hard to cross the road in this area and sometimes it takes more than 5 minutes. Traffic police always seems busy in managing the flow of vehicles. Although there are more number of traffic police deployed, road accidents are also frequently occurring in this area.
Road is the common place of all the people. All the people can exercise equal right and has equal responsibility upon it. It is a myth that there is a severe traffic problem in New Baneshwor. It can be clearly seen by different consequences like a huge number of peoples crossing the road and a long queue of vehicles waiting to pass the point. The narrow road, unmanaged parking and footpath business, and the absence of Sky Bridge are some of the reasons unmanaged traffic in New Baneshwor. This section of study tries to find out the problem and respective solution of traffic problem from three different perspectives. Different ideas of problems and solutions of traffic are collected from these three different angles and a combined view is developed.
1.1 Background of study
It was the time when I was returning back to home from my college, the time was already 6:50. Since I live in Minbhawan, I have to pass New Baneshwor chowk to reach that point. I felt a sense of inconvenience by the unmanaged footpath business which made me difficult to walk. When I reached new Baneshwor Chowk, the situation was much more miserable. There was intense flow of traffic on the road with annoying horns. Vehicles were seemed to be in hurry and were trying to overtake each other. On the other hand, there were more than 200 peoples on each side of the road waiting for the signal of police officer to cross the road. Since I was with my friends, we talked on the same issue of traffic jams in this spot. And when the traffic police signaled to cross the road, there was a flow of peoples on the road.
This picture was imprisoned in my mind till night. Then I thought of why not to make a small study revealing the problems of New Baneshwor that induce traffic jam. Then I tried to collect the problems and recommendations from three different angles of pedestrians, passengers or vehicles owners and police officer. So this report is the blend of view of different angles of traffic jam of New Baneshwor.
1.2 Statement of the problem
There is always a problem for the traffic police in managing the vehicles and pedestrians at the same time. All the peoples are hurry in reaching their destination. As a result, they also attempt to avoid the traffic rules too. The consequence is a long queue of line leading to traffic jam and sometimes the road accident also. Passengers need to allocate more time in reaching the destination and pedestrian have to wait at least 5 minutes just to cross the road. So, the main problem is how to manage the free flow of vehicles and pedestrian in this spot such that the situation becomes convenient.
1.3 Purpose of study
This study contains the detailed study of traffic management of one of the major spot of Kathmandu valley i.e. New Baneshwor. It tries to cover the views of all the stakeholders of the road and traffic (i.e. traffic police, vehicles drivers, passengers and pedestrians)
The major purposes of this study are as follows:
1. To reveal the traffic situation of New Baneshwor
2. To identify the traffic problems appeared in this location.
3. To identify the current actions undertaken by the concerned authority in order to manage the problems.
4. To screen the possible alternatives that help in managing the problem.
1.4 Research design and methodology
The method of data collection is purely objective. Mainly primary source of data was used to make the findings, but secondary source was alos used parallel.
· Primary method
Questionnaire is the primary method of the method of the data collection. A list of the question is prepared to each and every stakeholders of the road. Separate questions are asked to the traffic police officers, pedestrians and the vehicle drivers. The information obtained from them is analyzed and finally reached to the conclusion.
· Secondary method
Various helps are also taken from the journals that are already published in this sector. Basically online journals are the most important source of secondary data.
1.5 Limitation of study
This study is limited only in New Baneshwor chowk. Research is made by consulting few police officers, pedestrians and the vehicle drivers. So, sometimes it may not show logical relationship to use this finding in other location of Kathmandu valley and the rest.
FINDINGS AND RESULTS
An attempt is made to analyse the traffic problems and recommendation from three different perspectives of three different stakeholders.
2.1 Traffic problem from the perspective of pedestrians:
New Baneshwor is one of the most complicated places for the pedestrians to cross the road. Since it connects four different roads, number of vehicles in this point is very high. On the contrary, traffic lights also do not work. As a result, they have to wait for the police signal for their decisions. They feel a kind of insecure in walking in the streets because motorbikes are prone to avoid the rules. Followings are the problem and solutions that are classified by pedestrians in order to manage the traffic system in New Baneshwor.
1. Absence of sky bridge:
Although New Baneshwor is one of the busiest places of Kathmandu valley, it lacks the sky bridge which is known as the safest way of crossing the road. Due to its absence, they have to wait a long period of time (almost 5 minutes) to cross the road.
2. Smashed traffic light:
New Baneshwor lacks traffic light since a long period of time. The traffic rules and regulations are maintained manually by traffic police.
3. Motorbike capturing foot path:
Since there is a long queue of vehicles in the road, motorbikes try to escape it by capturing the footpath. As a result, pedestrians feel a sense of unsecure of being accident. Since there is a petrol pump nearby New Baneshwor, these types of incidences are frequently occurred.
4. Unmanaged footpath business:
There are more than 200 shops that are operated in footpath which directly shrinks the width of the street. As a result, there is a long queue of people in the road even in the footpath which elongates the time of crossing the road.
1. Construction of overhead bridge
2. Proper management of footpath business
3. Management of traffic lights
4. Effective implementation of traffic law and charging penalty for committing mistakes
2.2 Traffic problems from the perspective of vehicles drivers and passengers:
The vehicles have to wait a long period of time in the crossroad to cross the point. Since there are four crossroads, there are equal numbers of vehicles in each road to cross the point. At the same time, due to the absence of Sky Bridge, psdestrians also cross the road via road. As a result, vehicles have to wait a long. Vehicles owners have to pay more for the fuel cost and loose the opportunity cost of time and the passengers have to allocate more number of time in reaching the destination. The vehicles owners and the passengers see the following problems and key to solve those problems.
1. Vehicles have to wait a long period of time in this spot. This problem is in higher concentration at the period of peak hour.
2. Vehicles loose the opportunity cost of time. If the jam is quiet long, they lose the chance of more number of routes. As a result, the revenue tends to decrease.
3. Passengers in the public vehicles have to allocate more number of times in the vehicles because of traffic jam.
4. Some of the motorbike also tends to avoid the traffic rule because of too much hangover of traffic jam. They tend to move ahead from the foot path, a path designed for the pedestrians.
1. Developing an alternative route that can reduce the traffic pressure in New Baneshwor chowk.
2. Completing the road elongation project as soon as possible which will help to reduce the pressure more than 50%?
3. Constructing Sky Bridge for the pedestrians which will help to minimize the presence of people in the road. This may reduce the queue in road by more than 20%.
4. More effective mobilizing of traffic rules
2.3 Traffic problem from the perspective of traffic police officer:
Traffic police are the facilitators and the controlling body that helps in making the regular flow of vehicles in the road. Since it is one of the most sensitive spot of Kathmandu valley, the number of police officers is also seen in a great number. But due to certain hurdles and obstacles, traffic police only cannot do much more to boost the traffic flow in this major point. But they are regularly doing the program in order to make the continuous traffic flow and creating awareness in the people about the traffic rules and the responsibilities. Since they stand maximum number of hours in the single spot, they see more number of problem and the keys to solve those
problems. Traffic police officer sees following problems and opportunities in the road.
1. Vehicles tend to avoid the traffic rules:
Vehicles (especially motorbikes) have a tendency to avoid the traffic rule. Unless the vehicles left to feel proud by avoiding the traffic rules, this problem will continue.
2. Unmanaged parking and footpath business:
There is series of footpath business specially in the northern part of New Baneshwor. This has created obstacles in the free flow of vehicles and the pedestrians. Although the traffic police is regularly conducting its business, metropolitan city is not synchronizing the task.
3. Narrow road:
Even being the most sensitive area of Kathmandu valley, the road condition of this spot is quiet narrow i.e. 4 lane of road. Government has already started the road expansion project in this area also. After the completion of this project, traffic problem will reduce by 50%.
4. Absence of sky bridge:
There is a huge flow of people crossing the road at a time. Since there is no sky bridge, traffic police have to stop the vehicles and allocate time for the pedestrians to cross the road. This is also one of the reasons why there is long line of vehicles in the road. If there is absence of people crossing the road, the traffic problem will solve by more than 20%. Although the project has passed two times and once started also, it has got stopped due to various political factors.
5. Under use of resources:
Although there is the presence of traffic light in New Baneshwor chowk, it is not in use. As a result, the work of traffic signals is being conducted manually by traffic police themselves. This has created the misuse of human resources.
Traffic police holds the responsibility of making the effective flow of traffic in the road. It has done much more efforts to make continuous flow of vehicles in the road. But these efforts are not sufficient. Traffic police thinks the following ways to solve this traffic problem in New Baneshwor.
1. Helping traffic police and eventually oneself by obeying the traffic rules
2. Using the alternative route to make less pressure in this area if possible
3. Crossing the road only from zebra cross, since there is a lack of Sky Bridge
4. Construction of sky bridge as soon as possible
5. Greater use of public vehicles
6. Plan to replace the small size public vehicles by the vehicles with more capacity which can hold more number of passengers
New Baneshwor is one of the busiest places of Kathmandu. More than 10,000 vehicles pass via this road in a day. But the condition of road and the flow of traffic is not quite satisfactory. It is known as one of the place with more number of traffic jams in Kathmandu valley. Since it is the key way to enter Kathmandu metropolitan city from Koteshwor, it seems always busy. On the other hand, there are no other short and effective alternative routes to escape this point. Moreover, this is the key point to get diverted to old Baneshwor and Sankhamool. This is also one of the reasons why the road gets busy.
Even being the busiest place of Kathmandu valley, the road structure is not satisfactory. There is a 4 lane road in Madan Bhandari marg and 2 lane road in devkota marg, which is quiet small for this sort of busiest road. The most important thing is that this point lack Sky Bridge, which is the key to cross the road. If it is constructed, the problem of jam will be reduced by more than 25%. At present, people have to wait at least 5 minutes to cross the road. Those peoples who are quiet hurry or prone to avoid traffic rules, they cross the road away from zebra cross, which may be the capsule of road accident.
Peoples are more eager to have their own vehicles even just for prestige. They avoid the public transportation system. As a result, the number of motorbikes in the valley is too much high. On the other hand, the size and capacity of public vehicles is too small. It can hold a maximum of 50 passengers per vehicles. There are also vehicles that can occupy a maximum of 20 passengers. Due to the absence of the public vehicles with more number of capacities, small vehicles are seen more in number. As a result, traffic problem is quiet serious.
After analyzing the view from three different stakeholders, I could reach in the position to recommend the concerned authorities to make the continuous flow of traffic in New Baneshwor
· Construction of sky bridge for the pedestrians
· Managing the footpath business and unmanaged parking
· Completing the project of broadening the width of the road as soon as possible
· Accelerating the traffic awareness program on the road and off the road
· Develop as many alternative routes as possible and encouraging the people to use that route
· Encouraging the use of public vehicles
· Replace the short public vehicles by the vehicles with high capacity that can carry large number of passengers