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Battling Cairo's traffic congestion

Battling Cairo's traffic congestion

Cairo

Cairo’s traffic congestion is legendary as it is famous for being a test of survival and battle of wits.

Each day the 20 million residents of Egypt’s capital city battle gridlocks which sometimes back up traffic for miles and grind well into the night.

Some 3.3 million cars ply the roads of Cairo. In spite of a ring road, intertwining highways and flyovers, the congestion persists.

Ramadan Mekkawy, a Taxi driver said, “The roads are all congested in the country, they are suffocating. It is a waste of all our resources”.

Mohamed Abdel Wahed, a resident of Cairo has swapped his car for a scooter.

“With the car, I could only go to work. Since I’m now using a scooter, I go to work, and when I go close I take a nap, go down to the cafe, or see some friends, a lot of things I missed. “

Two years ago, Egyptian authorities adopted an ambitious plan to install cameras at all intersections which is 80 percent complete so far and radars on roads most prone to accidents.

The city’s police attribute the congestion to attitude and the disrespect for road traffic regulations.

With complete disregard for other motorists, drivers will often slow down to ask directions or to greet a friend, to exchange cigarettes or money.

The World Bank estimates the congestion costs Egypt around $8 billion and will more than double by 2030.

Cairo’s city authorities plan to resolve the congestion by extending the city metro to cater for the population while working on high quality public transport solutions.

AFP