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LOCAL > Istanbul drowning in traffic chaos, report announces

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

The world’s second worst city in traffic congestion is Istanbul, according to a study released by navigation systems company TomTom. Russia’s Moscow tops the list of the worst traffic congestion city in the world. Travel times in Istanbul take on average 55 percent longer that they should and the congestion rate for the city jumps to 80 percent during rush hours, the report says

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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 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. 

April/05/2013

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h enderoğlu

4/5/2013 7:53:03 PM

what i don't understand is how so many huge new buildings are getting permission to go up in highly congested areas, such as the massive building in zincirkuyu. how the hell are we going to be able to move? must invest in a scooter.

mara mcglothin

4/5/2013 4:05:16 PM

VARGEN VARGEN And you forgot the monitoring of beauty pageants.

US Observer

4/5/2013 3:21:23 PM

Istanbul is full of uncivilized, angry drivers which think the world revolves around them attitude. It is madness and something I have never experienced anywhere else in the world. I sympathize with anyone having to experience that on a daily basis.

JRC JRC

4/5/2013 2:37:33 PM

Traffic volume is not the problem, driver stupidity is. Drivers create lanes where none exist, jump to the front of jams, again creating lanes that block traffic trying pass...knock on effect, change lanes constantly in jams causing stress and bad decision making in other drivers, use emergency lanes to push to the front, causing blockages, and generally act as if the road is their only. Until driver education becomes truly compulsory, including those who bought their licences years ago, same.

Agnostic Turk

4/5/2013 1:08:34 PM

Most of the traffic in Istanbul is bridges-related. I am eager to see how the traffic will evolve once Marmaray gets into operation this year. With an additional link between the Asian and the European sides, I think the load of the two bridges connecting Asia and Europe gotta be relieved.

Richard Wyatt

4/5/2013 11:40:43 AM

I know the traffic situation in Istanbul is bad, but, unless Beijing and Bangkok have somehow miraculously solved their own chronic problems, surely they are worse than Istanbul.

Mark Adams

4/5/2013 11:30:55 AM

The new Bus Lanes have made matters worse. Buses now have to weave in and out of the traffic to avoid all the cars parked in Bus Lanes with their hazard lights flashing....

Faruk Beisser

4/5/2013 10:11:16 AM

So what else is new???

Vargen Vargen

4/5/2013 9:04:55 AM

The government is busy dealing with legislation against alcohol, adultery and religious high schools, so why would they worry about such a worldly problem as the traffic?
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