Solutions For Air Pollution Caused By Traffic

Jams Essay, Research Paper

Solutions For Air Pollution Caused By Traffic Jams Atmospheric pollution is called one of the greatest environmental dangers oftoday s industrialized world and traffic jams are a major air pollutant factor causedby a tremendous amount of gasoline engines (Dolan 4). From dawn until dusk, thesound of gentle people is lost beneath the roar of car engines, tires screeching, andhorns blaring under the gray sky of Bangkok (Bruning 61). Bangkok s reputation isknown as being the world s most traffic congested city (Fukuda). During rush hour,the average speed of vehicles in downtown Bangkok is less than 10 km/hour (Vogt).These vehicles cause traffic pollution, a direct emission which is physically harmfulto humans. Car exhaust emits one-third of the nitrogen dioxide that can contributeto acid rain which is harmful to both humans and the environment (Bruning 55). Airpollution caused by traffic jam is one of the very important problem that need to besolved immediately. The followings are some steps that Bangkok can make toresolve this problem. The very first option that the Thai government should deal with is theimprovement in effectiveness of laws and public promotion among each individual.The law about a car s performance and efficiency should be more comprehensive.As a result of the incomplete burning of gasoline engines, a three-way catalyticconverter must be installed in every car to reduce the noise and toxin (Jones 11).Black smoke from low performance cars can give out a reckless amount ofhydrocarbons and carbon monoxide (Dolan 72). Therefore, the car s age law needsto be enforced. This would help get rid of low performance and inefficient cars offthe road. There are approximately 500 new cars arrived on Bangkok roads everyday. Due to the endless traffic jam, most people prefer to spend their money onprivate vehicles, instead of using the inconvenient public transportation (Vogt). In the recent article of The Nation, Deputy Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatrasuggested that the government should consider raising import tax on cars and limit Chuapetcharasopon 2 domestic car purchase to reduce the extravagance of people on cars.Mr.Shinawatra has also considered for government to make loans for private operators for school buses. This is to help rearrange the Thai traditional way ofparents driving their kids to school, thereby, reducing the number of cars being used( Plenty of ideas ). Moreover, the new ideas for lowering pollution, such as the useof carpools and unleaded gasoline are needed to be widely introduced throughpublic promotion for people to acknowledge (Chuapetcharasopon 5). Secondly, Bangkok should alter its traffic congestion by using the integratedmass transit system to fulfill people s need of convenient and comfortabletransportation. This would result in a reduction of cars on the road. Bangkok MassTransit Authority (BMTA) already operates over 4,600 buses on 155 routes. Withdeclining passengers, the BMTA has not had enough fund, which causes it toreduce the frequency of buses ( Tackling Traffic ). Currently, 3 major railwayprojects are being built throughout major roads of Bangkok (Berfield and Gearing).The building of a railway system could contribute to a fast circulation of masstransit. Passengers would be able to afford the rail which travels twice as fast thanthe vehicles on the road. BMTA should provide the feeder bus service and busroutes to support passenger transit from the rail train ( Tackling Traffic ). This shiftin passenger use would also enhance the BMTA for better services. In regard to thebuilding of mass transit system, the Park-and-Ride system method could also beused to guide drivers to parking lots adjacent to railway systems. Those entering

Bangkok from the suburbs could park their cars at the nearest railway station andaccess into city by train. This is expected to reduce traffic entering the city center(Fukuda). Despite a government attempt to increase import tax on cars, the rate of carsintroduced to Bangkok roads are still increasing higher than the city s new roadconstruction can be coped with. There are about 1.7 million vehicles on the road each day. Only 8% of Bangkok is covered by roads, while the average of mostmajor cities is about 20-25%. The expansion of the road space and expressways Chuapetcharasopon 3 are needed to hold the great number of cars efficiently. Recently, The BangkokPlan was created by the Thai government to expand the number of roads inBangkok. One of its proposal is to replace some canals with roads (Vogt). The final solution for reducing Bangkok s traffic jam is to improve the qualityof urban development. Besides the tremendous number of cars on the road,Bangkok is chaotic because of the disorganized city and infrastructure plan.Construction is everywhere, along with the inconsistent timing of traffic lights whichrelies on the judgment of police officers (Vogt). Government should provide anadvance traffic information and the accurate timing system of traffic light. TheIntelligent Transit Systems (ITS) has suggested the Integrated Traffic InformationSystem. This system could provide an advance traffic information. It could be doneby installing vehicle detectors and computerizing major intersections to observe thenumber of cars and the effective timing. By cooperating with Jor- Sor 100 radiostation, the station would relays information of when and where the congestionoccurs for drivers on the road to avoid the routes (Fukuda). Furthermore, the vehicleparking regulation should also be handled seriously. Bangkok has no apparent signfor a designated parking area. Parking is allowed almost everywhere, which createdproblems, especially on the major arterial roads (Vogt). In his Inside Guides: Bangkok, Steve Beek defined Bangkok as theepicenter of the nation. It dominates all political, commercial, and social activity inThailand, which result in overpopulation (Beek 23). With the population over 10millions, Bangkok is already 50 times greater than Thailand s second largest city.The development of satellite towns and suburbs should be encouraged andpromoted ( Plenty of Ideas ). A study compiled by the Bangkok MetropolitanAdministration notified that Moving people around the city more quickly isimportant, but moving them to the suburbs is more important (Berfield andGearing). Currently, the government is trying to induce major industries to move out of the city to the remote area on the Eastern Seaboard. This will reduce thenumber of freight transport from Bangkok to outer city ring roads. It will also Chuapetcharasopon 4 withdraw a large amount of worker population from urban areas to satellite towns.Thus, results in the reduction of traffics and urban population (Fukuda). The solution for air pollution due to traffic jams requires immediate actionsfrom the government. A proper transportation plan should take into account to theneeds of people and the environment. People need clean air and a healthy living,both physically and mentally. Therefore, the Thai government should consider thetransportation development plans to be the future of Bangkok. In addition, Thaipeople should also acknowledge that the benefits of using car have to be weightedagainst its disadvantages. Polluted air and acid rain caused by car exhaust havebecome a vast environmental issue throughout the world. Although, manyorganizations and world wide efforts are taking shape as global pollution worsens,the problems of pollution from cars are still on the road. The only real solution is tohave fewer cars.



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