A ‘Moving Road’ to salvage Dhaka traffic


Staff Reporter:

A decade back average traffic speed was 21 km an hour (kmph) in Dhaka city. And now the speed dropped to 7 kmph, slightly above the walking speed, according to a World Bank analysis.

The same analysis also calculates that congestion in Dhaka eats up 3.2 million working hours each day.

What if there was a road that could move by itself!

How about a moving road of long conveyor belt that will stop at certain points for people to get on and off as per their destinations.

A filmmaker toyed with this idea he conceived few months back for quite some time now but not much of success until recently.

In a bid to give the commuters a respite from the grinding halt of city traffic, government finally took note of the ‘Moving Road’ concept of film director Abu Sayeed.

Instructed by the government the Chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) is convening a stakeholders’ meeting on Monday in the city to discuss ‘Moving Road.’

BRTA invited senior representatives from Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), Roads and Highways Department, two city corporations – DNCC and DSCC, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Besides, filmmaker Abu Sayeed is also invited to give a presentation.

In late last year Sayeed’s concept drew much enthusiasm and curiosity among general members of the public when he arranged a prototype demonstration of the ‘Moving Road’ at Shilpakala Academy in the city.

As per the concept, the ‘Moving Road’ will be built 10 feet above the ground, and people will be able to reach their destinations at 40kmph.

Sayeed said each road will be six feet wide and the roofs will be covered with sheds. There will be staircases at each stoppage. The road will be divided into three parallel ‘moving lanes’ based on distance, and the lanes will have seats fitted on those.

The idea can be implemented keeping the existing flyovers intact. “It will run on electricity. For backup, solar panels could also be installed,” he said.

In many parts of the capital, footpaths and adjacent portions of the roads remain blocked by hawkers and vehicles, he said. The ‘Moving Road’ will be constructed above those, and as a result, it will have little impact on the existing vehicular movements on surface.

The World Bank analysis shared at an international conference in the city last year noted that Dhaka’s urban development has not kept up with the city’s rapid growth, resulting in a messy and uneven urbanization process and lack of adequate planning has led to poor livability and vulnerability to floods and earthquakes.

Geographically Dhaka city covers hardly one percent of the country’s total area but its contribution to GDP is 36 percent and it has created 44 percent of the country’s total employment.unb


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