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Institution
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Traffic management in Asia
The economic and network effects of traffic management interventions can be complex and, at times, counter-intuitive. Traffic-flow improvements, for example, may or may not improve air quality, and even if they do, such investments may or may not be justified economically. Simplistic solutions presented without solid, context-based technical, economic and environmental analysis should be resisted.

All Asian cities have some form of traffic management system in place. To date the emphasis has usually been on the "hardware" and not on the "software" (i.e. appropriate policies to ensure effective institutional coordination).

A key issue in many cities is the variability of vehicle speeds arising from the interaction of a wide variety of vehicle types with different acceleration characteristics. There are numerous low-cost, fast-acting management measures that can be adopted and there are many examples of segregated bus stops, bus lanes, segregated NMV lanes and other similar treatments in many cities. Many simple measures such as segregation of NMV lanes etc provide benefits to NMVs directly as well as other traffic.

Effective and sustained implementation relies on good planning, adequate technical capacity and appropriate cooperation between the traffic police and the agencies (usually local government) that install the traffic management equipment such as traffic lights, barriers, etc. Not all of these elements are always present in Asia's cities and such deficiencies can affect implementation success. A critical issue concerns the traffic police who have a valid role in enforcement but are rarely equipped with the appropriate training for planning, implementation and management of traffic management measures with which they are often entrusted.

The economic and network effects of traffic management interventions can be complex and, at times, counter-intuitive. Traffic-flow improvements, for example, may or may not improve air quality, and even if they do, such investments may or may not be justified economically. Simplistic solutions presented without solid, context-based technical, economic and environmental analysis should be resisted.

Enforcement of traffic laws and regulations can achieve significant traffic flow and safety benefits are a high priority. Proper enforcement is best implemented when the traffic code is clear and traffic management measures support desirable driving behavior.

Pervasive corruption has thwarted efforts at improving traffic management in many cities. Traffic management schemes should be designed in such a manner as to promote transparency and improved governance of the sector and thereby limit the opportunities for corruption.

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Topics
Vehicular air pollution > Transportation and traffic management

Secretariat: The World Bank & Asian Development Bank