A report on the city’s heavy traffic was prepared by academics from Yeditepe University, who monitored traffic data in 5,000 kilometers of roadway in Istanbul for a year, the country’s largest metropolis with a population of over 16 million.
The study titled “Traffic Autorhythm of Istanbul” suggests that people using private vehicles for their daily commute lose 70 minutes each day in peak hours of traffic.
Distances that could normally be reached in 15 minutes take 50 minutes instead.
The 2019 data also showed that drivers using the main arterial road of Istanbul moved at 29.3 km/h speed during the day, and drivers lost 66 percent of their time in the traffic due to the congestion.
Speaking of the mornings, the average speed of drivers on the main arteries during workdays was measured as 24.2 km/h while they spent 72 percent of their time in traffic because of road congestion, according to the report.
The loss of time increased in the evening hours, reaching 79 percent, while the average speed of drivers decreased to 18.8 km/h.
Serkan Gürsoy, one of the researchers, stated that the loss of time caused by the disruptions in the traffic flow has turned into a dramatic damage.
“The loss of time and damages caused due to traffic density has reached terrifying levels. Residents who use their personal convenience for their daily commute in Istanbul, sacrifice almost six days in a month in traffic,” Gürsoy said.
“In 2019, the average time lost in traffic was measured as 39 minutes. However, the loss reached 41 minutes in the morning hours and 52 minutes during the evening,” he noted.
Gürsoy pointed out that the loss of time in traffic has reduced by half during the pandemic process.
Despite the ongoing traffic problem, there have also been some positive developments in recent years to find a solution.
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s investments in transportation and introductions of smart solutions have reduced traffic congestion by 6 percent, despite an annual increase in population and the number of vehicles in Istanbul, a report in 2019 revealed.
According to a report unveiling Istanbul’s traffic index by TomTom, which is regarded as one of the world’s leading traffic data providers, traffic congestion fell from 59 percent in 2017 to 53 percent in 2018.
Thanks to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s ongoing rail system projects, it is envisaged that the traffic congestion will be further relieved in the coming years.
Hurriyet Daily News