Istanbul drowning in traffic chaos, report announces
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul finds itself near the top of an unenviable list, as a leading navigation firm names the city second only to Moscow in terms of horrible traffic. Officials are working to alleviate traffic woes, but commutes are taking 55 percent longer than they should, the report says. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜREL
Istanbul is the second worst city in the world for traffic congestion, second only to Russia’s Moscow, according to a study released by a leading navigation systems company yesterday.
Travel times in Turkey’s largest city take on average 55 percent longer that they should, even in relatively less busy hours.
As well as assigning and ranking the overall congestion levels of over 120 cities on different continents, the report also evaluates the congestion levels in cities at different times of the day and on different days of the week.
The congestion rate for Istanbul jumps to 80 percent during rush hours in the morning, TomTom’s report for last year said. The rating during rush hours in the evening is even higher, at 125 percent.
The methodology used in the report compares travel times during non-congested periods with travel times at peak hours. The difference is expressed as a percentage increase in travel time. “We take into account local roads, arterials and highways,” the report said. All data is based on actual GPS-based measurements and for each city the sample size is expressed in total number of measured miles for the period.
118 hours lost in traffic
People in the city lose 118 hours on average stuck in traffic annually, the report calculated.
The general congestion rate stood at 66 percent in Moscow. Warsaw, Marseilles and Palermo followed Istanbul with high congestion rates. The rate for Sydney stands at 33 percent, the highest in Australia. This compared with Europe’s Rome or Stuttgart. Los Angeles is one of the busiest cities in North America, with a rate of 33 percent.
The index calculated the total network length in Istanbul at around 2,000 kilometers. Highways stood for a 401 kilometer portion while non-highways made up a more than 1,600 kilometers of the network.
The study covers some 99.5 percent of the whole city, TomTom’s Turkey Manager Enis Yücesan said in a written statement.
The solution to the city’s traffic problem does not lie in the link between the two continents but rather some connection roads on the Asian side, he said.
Istanbul is working on large projects, including a channel for cars that will link the two sides of the Bosphorus, a similar route-rail system and a third trans-continental bridge to ease the traffic.