Fighting traffic for a green planet

One of the biggest culprits of ongoing damage to the environment is the car we use everyday. Manufacturers have recognised this themselves, focusing on numerous efforts to reduce consumption of petrol or even eliminate it entirely. Yet, we still need better ways to focus on vehicle management within cities to try make the world better, safer and with less traffic. No one, after all, wants more traffic – and the fact that reduced traffic aligns with eco-friendly goals is also important.

There are numerous efforts toward reducing traffic. The City of Cape Town has itself devoted actual funds toward reducing traffic on its roads. As EWN reports: “Speaking at a transport summit today, Mayor Patricia de Lille announced plans to improve road infrastructure and integrate public transport.”

But the city cannot do it alone. The mayor is also encouraging businesses and citizens themselves to take action.

First, public transport should be more used more. Many know that, if you are going to travel, using one vehicle for several people, instead of several cars for individual people, is obviously better for the environment. It’s also cost-effective for the road-user and traveller.

As About.com points out, for America: “if just one in 10 Americans used public transportation daily, U.S. reliance on foreign oil would decrease 40 percent.” This applies to everyone. Other benefits to using public transport include improved health, due to walking to and from stations; and, importantly, it’s very cost effective.

In terms of businesses, there are ways to help affect traffic in a multitude of ways. First, allowing employees to work from home and with flexi-time has been suggested (Mayor de Lille suggested this herself to help reduce congestion). This means people aren’t moving around unnecessarily and, with the increasingly wide use of the internet, we can always communicate instantly regardless of where we are.

Second, onsite premises can be better managed, by either limiting parking (so that employees must car pool or use public transport), or installing items like speedstiles or boomgates. This helps reduce traffic frequency and managing it on a microcosm helps manage on a macrocosm.

Managing traffic effectively is beneficial to the environment since it means taking steps to reduce the number of cars and amount of traffic on the road; this leads to less pollutants in the air and thus helps create a greener planet.