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To improve traffic

Feb 10,2014 - Last updated at Feb 10,2014

We all suffer from the terrible traffic congestion in Amman, not only in terms of time wasted in traffic, but also of the increased level of pollution due to the huge number of cars, buses and lorries, and, most importantly, of the increased number of accidents.

All these make driving in Amman a nightmare.

A recent study showed that a majority of cars have only one person in them: the driver.

What is the solution?

Here are some points for the Greater Amman Municipality and other government departments involved to ponder:

1. The absence of a public transport system is a disgrace. All major cities in the world have a working, cheap public transport system, whether buses, trams or underground.

The government is obviously not interested in establishing a viable bus network, having tried and failed several times. So, let the private sector have a go.

Announce a long-term competitive tender and let the provider bear the expenses and complaints at no cost to the public.

Special bus lanes must be allocated on all major thoroughfares and monitored strictly so that other vehicles do not intrude on these lanes, with severe penalties on those who do. (All buses can be fitted with a camera inside and out.)

2. Street lanes must be properly defined and painted to prevent the dangerous habit of overtaking from the inner lane and weaving between lanes.

3. Main streets must be properly lit at night to improve visibility and lessen the number of accidents. (Solar powered lampposts are easily available, requiring no cabling or maintenance).

The tenants or houses on the street can be charged a small annual fee to defray the initial cost of installation.

4. Parking meters need to be installed in all central areas of Amman, again by a private company. The revenues from these meters will be shared with the operator, again at no cost to the people

I am sure there are many other ways to improve the situation and a healthy public debate might bring forth some excellent ideas.

Mustafa Al Askari,
Amman.

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