Building flyovers: A part of sustainable urban transport system
Akriti Manandhar, Chittagong Community Manager
Chittagong, 11 April 2016
In countries like Bangladesh, where there is over-population and the government cannot take steps quickly to reduce traffic congestion to make more space for bicycles and pedestrians, public administrators should consider constructing flyovers in cities. Building flyovers can be a part of sustainable urban transport system. In congested cities like Chittagong or Dhaka in Bangladesh, government entities cannot give much space to pedestrians, bicycles, and rickshaws because of big vehicles taking up the road.
Chittagong Government has taken the initiative to build a 23-km long Akhtaruzzaman Chy flyover in Chittagong, one of the major coastal seaport cities of Bangladesh. This flyover is mainly built to help international trade grow in Bangladesh. It links the major seaport city of Bangladesh to the airport in the capital, Dhaka. It would not just serve as the development in transport system but also would help to increase economic growth and employment levels within the country. As the city of Chittagong has a seaport from which international trade regularly takes place, a flyover would help smooth the transaction of goods to and from the capital where most industries and firms are located. Being one of the most populated countries in the world with 156.6 million people, the hope is that people will be able to find new employment opportunities as trade prospers and industries grow.
When a country promotes cycling or walking, a need develops for space on the road. If there are a high number of vehicles and a high chance of road accidents, people are more likely to travel in buses and vehicles even for short distances. On city roads, especially in Dhaka and Chittagong, people do not find it safe and comfortable to walk and cycle. A better traffic system and less big vehicles can be a big factor in people feeling safe to cycle and walk. Building a flyover thus would lead to less big vehicles in the roads which would make space for. This can also help with children having more space to play and making the roads more accessible to differently-abled people. Along with building this flyover, if government encouraged people to walk and cycle more, imposed more taxes on cars and private vehicles, and improved public transport system, then it would reap better results from an environmental perspective. Building a flyover is a step that is necessary with a great population density and also a step to build suitable infrastructure for walking on existing roads.
If built quickly and efficiently without adversely decreasing the size of existing roads and without affecting the houses and land resources of the general public, this project would be sure to increase the international trade, employment opportunities, area for walking and cycling and reduce traffic congestion in Chittagong, literally paving the way towards sustainable urban development.