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Amman transportation management

Sep 27,2018 - Last updated at Sep 27,2018

Energy management is a primary milestone Jordan ought to seek achieving in its quest to solving its energy and pollution problems. This is a statement that reflects a policy paper that was published by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Jordan a few years back, yet no concrete and substantial action was taken. A similar approach ought to be directed towards the transportation sector as a preliminary and necessary endeavour to achieving any progress in energy saving and reduction in greenhouse gases. 

Transportation management entails simple measures that should go first, even before upgrading public transportation, which has become a vital bottleneck for acceptable commuting, and hopefully would lead to some positive change forward. The risk of following this path is near zero as these suggested procedures cost nothing, mere organisational and administrative procedures that can be administered by any serious public staff that control policy making and procedural initiatives. Within this framework, our goals can be accomplished provided there is a serious policy agenda on the ministerial level.

So, how can this approach be handled and what ideas are there to justify its potential success?

Along a congested main road in Jabal Luweibdeh in Amman, between 7:40am and 8am, hundreds of cars race to drop off children at the six schools packed few hundred meters apart from each other in that area. Strangely enough, the Greater Amman Municipality garbage trucks start working at approximately the same time, when government institutions in Jabal Luweibdeh, which are numerous, also start their working hours.

Now, we are not trying to encourage carpooling as yet, which needs a higher level of coordination between many stakeholders, but merely trying to suggest organising and managing the starting time of each school, so it can overlap. Each one can start at a different timing, say 7:30am, 7:40am, 7:50am, 8am, 8:10am and 8:20 respectively, leaving a 10-minute gap between them.

To make traffic even less congested, garbage trucks can collect the garbage at night to avoid a clash with school timing and prevent garbage from being scavenged by cats on the pavements. All this needs is a letter from the Ministry of Education to the schools of the area and a similar decision from Amman municipality.

The same procedure can be followed to manage traffic along the airport road, where many universities are located. All lectures start at eight in the morning unfortunately. A short note from the Ministry of Higher Education can regulate starting time and hence stop the havoc in the area at peak hours.

Other measures can help make traffic less congested on main roads, which are denoted in the following questions: Is there any sense in gas trucks roaming the street with their loud music in an age when everyone, even children, have mobiles? Is there any sense in allowing water tankers, oil tankers, concrete mixers and all other huge and dangerous vehicles to roam the streets during peak hours? Is there any sense in allowing small trucks wandering across our streets with their speakers aloud and double parking to sell their vegetables or fruits which are exposed all day to the heat of summer and do not even fall under the surveillance of the Ministry of Health?

How much time do we need to manage traffic intensity at no extra cost? The payback is very encouraging as less energy is consumed, less stress experienced by commuters and less time spent on the roads are the first benefits to harvest in no time.


The writer is energy and green buildings consultant. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times. [email protected]

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