The purpose of this paper is to propose an action plan to improve congested traffic in big cities. The various elements are categorized as short, medium and long term. Proposals include: signal management and driver communication, carrying out new construction, parking management, law enforcement, imposing fines on drivers who do not abide by recommendations to leave a congested route, giving more man power to the traffic center during peak travel periods, and make cycling and walking facilities better.
The first aspect of the plan is to address the disconnected traffic lights and drivers’ navigation systems. This is a medium to long term plan, as traffic lights have not been updated to take advantage of new technology, and at the present time, when traffic centers spot congested destinations, they are not able to offer drivers secondary routes to help get them there quicker. This is because navigation systems do not give out up-to-date traffic announcements as they are only periodically updated. This can confuse the drivers, who may end up picking the wrong alternative route and find themselves stuck on an even more congested road. To that end, the proposal is to utilize wireless technology in traffic centers to manipulate the periods of time that traffic lights are on stop or go, so that traffic can be managed more efficiently, and to notify drivers via their on-vehicle navigation systems as soon as there are any congested traffic updates ( Sherwood, 2011).
Traffic lights can be utilized to gather data from vehicles which can be sent on to the traffic centers; and traffic centers can broadcast traffic information to vehicles in the proximity of specific traffic lights. Once these systems are integrated, urban congestion will decrease, and traffic will be able to flow much more smoothly. In addition, if a driver does not opt for the suggested route with less congestion, then a congestion fee could be charged. This would help control the behavior of the drivers, and also bring in much needed revenue (Sherwood, 2011).
Another part of the strategy involves medium term action plans using central software. In this case it can be implemented to allow a faster response to traffic incidents, as well as issuing priority transit signalling for emergency vehicles and buses to lower emergency response times, and ameliorate safety (Austin 2, 2015).
Proposed actions which also have an intermediate time frame incorporate: manning key intersections with police officers who can specialize in dedicated traffic mobility. Installing large signs to prevent drivers from blocking key intersections. Aiming to prevent blocked traffic by ensuring that police implement on-street delivery regulations. Carrying out improvements and construction to ameliorate mobility at critical intersections. Carrying out an evaluation review of city cameras that monitor traffic to ensure there are enough, and if there is a short fall to add more. And to employ more staff to man the traffic center at peak times (Austin 1, 2015).
Another part of the strategy which is classed as long term, is to work with public and private employees to set a 15% to 20% target for reducing the amount of employees who travel to work at peak times. And a further strategy is to look at what can be done to make cycling and walking facilities better, and carry out any necessary construction. A further proposal which could be carried out in the medium to long term is working with Metro services to improve their transit routes in the congested parts of the city. And to work out a program that will allow traffic management engineers to analyze problems with traffic signals in real time, and repair them in a more speedy manner (Austin 1, 2015).