Environmental Friendly Mass Traffic Resolution - Discussion

by artembatutin on October 10, 2017 - 9:34am

In the article “Want to be green? Forget mass transit. Work at home”, we shall discuss about one of the biggest environmental problem caused by major cities. As we all know, big cities build up big traffic, without doubt. We can observe this phenomena in our local city: Montreal. You may ask yourself: “Expanding highway routes will probably resolve this issue?”. This is wrong, take Los Angeles as an example. You may be surprised because a major city with routes expanding up to eight lanes still have transit issues. As you build more roads, more cars will travel on them.

Still talking about Los Angeles, 1.5% it’s population worked from home in 1980; it increased to 5% today. Slow progress but not efficient enough, because now the percentage of people using shared transit is lower than 5%. In other parts of the world such as San Diego, Denver and Seattle, where tech-related industries are more present, there is more off-site workers. Which in conclusion provides less cars, helping our environment climate change. However, transferring all workers to tech-related work spheres isn’t a solution.

So, what would be a profound solution? Even with the evolution of smart cars capable of managing the traffic more effectively, there will still be traffic and environmental issues. Electrical cars undoubtedly are environmental-friendly. However, gasoline cars will still remain on the streets unless of an law act establishment. We shall discuss a more effective and clever solution.


Source: http://www.newgeography.com/content/005665-want-be-green-forget-mass-tra...


I chose your article because of the relevance of the issue in Montreal as mentioned. Each morning, getting to school is an issue because you never know if there will be traffic or not: it is totally unpredictable. Is there something more frustrating than being stuck in traffic? Personally, I don't think so. Thus, I came up with an answer that could help reducing traffic and be “environmental-friendly”: public transit. In fact, the ideas behind public transit are not only economic and environmental, but also it is reducing traffic. If everyone living in suburbs are taking their cars to go downtown, the result will, of course, be congestion because of the crowded roads. However, if everyone is taking common transit to go downtown, the number of vehicles would decrease proportionally, leading to an immediate reduction of traffic and gas emissions. In fact, according to Federal Transit Administration, Public transit “reduces the number of cars in street (makes the alleviate traffic congestion wording more redundant), and thus helps improve air quality, alleviate traffic congestion, and noise” (Newman, 2011). Nevertheless, public transport is still not perfect because if it was, everyone would be taking it. The real solution to traffic would be to improve the public transport system to make it more efficient, rapid and accessible, but for that, government and communities need to promote this solution to traffic and invest some time and money.

Newnam, JN. (January, 2011). Environmental Benefits of Public Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.southuniversity.edu/whoweare/newsroom/blog/environmental-ben....

I chose to reply to your article summary because it evokes a huge problem worldwide that we can also relate to, since we experience it right here in Montreal. I usually try to take the bus for the times I have to go to Montreal, but there are times where I find myself in a car, heading over the Champlain Bridge, and the traffic is simply incredible. Sometimes, it makes me feel uncomfortable when I realize how much pollution this causes every single day of the year without exception. I agree to the fact that having a certain portion of the population working at home could be a step towards such problem, but it has big restrictions and limits, which explains how this solution is not enough.
One proposed solution in the article Finding the Traffic Fix in Workplace Flexibility by Dr. Jennifer Swanberg (unknown date) was actually quite relevant to the problem of mass traffic in Montreal. In fact, she proposed to adjust the working conditions for them to be more flexible, which would definitely help decrease the mass traffic. For example, “the use of various forms of flexible work options (telework, compressed workweek, flexible start/end times)” (Swanberg) could very well improve this global problematic. This would allow the traffic to be divided in more groups instead of having one big group of people circulating at the same hour of the day.
Reference: Swanberg, J. (Date Unknown). Finding the Traffic Fix in Workplace Flexibility. Business Lexington. Retrieved from https://www.uky.edu/Centers/iwin/publications/published_finals/Traffic%2...

I chose your article because traffic is indeed something that we almost all go through when living in the Metropolitan area and does have a massive impact on the environment, I mean just look at the weather this year. While I do agree that working at home would be part of a solution to solve traffic and be more environmental-friendly, it is certainly not an option that everyone can have, for example, us, students.
There have been many proposed solutions throughout the years to help solve this issue, but none have ever been 100% efficient, far from it. For example, while taking public transport does have a lower impact on the environment than driving to and from work or school, it lacks schedule flexibility that many are looking for and as such, cannot be the only way of reducing traffic and its impact on the environment. Carpooling could also be part of the solution. It offers more flexibility in terms of schedule, but at the same time requires a significant amount of organization and planning, which, in the long term, is difficult. Similar to carpooling, composite traffic is a solution that scientists studied in the Helsinki metropolitan area. Composite traffic is a door-to-door service that involves transporting many people to different places in a single car, a mix of a taxi and a bus, for a cost. It would be an interesting solution to consider as it can offer flexibility while lowering the number of cars on the road too.
In the end, there are many other possible partial solutions to the issue of traffic and its environmental impact, but I don’t think that a single solution for this issue is possible as there are so many factors to take into account and that there will always be someone who cannot find an option that fits him or her.

Tuomisto, J. T., & Tainio, M. (2005). An economic way of reducing health, environmental, and other pressures of urban traffic: a decision analysis on trip aggregation. BMC Public Health, 5(1), 123-37. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-5-123

When scanning across the class’ article summaries, this one caught my interest because pollution caused by transportation concerns a big majority of people living in cities, especially in the suburbs, where most people need to have a car to drive to work. How many times have you stayed caught in bad traffic, trying to get in and out of Montreal during rush hour? Not only is it a pain to deal with and unpredictable, it also has disastrous impacts on the environment with all of the engines running. I chose to comment on this article because I found it is pertinent, clear and well constructed.

I personally think that there are two major solution that could be brought to attention to diminish pollution and traffic issues. First, to diminish pollution, I agree with you that electric cars can make a huge difference. Their distance ranges between charges are increasing every year with newer available models for the population. They are a little bit more expensive, but in Quebec, when buying an electric car, the government can help pay part of it, since they want to encourage ecological transportation methods. Second of all, a second option would be public transportation such as buses. People should be using buses more often to get from point A to point B, since less cars on the road mean less traffic and less gas emissions. I even found an article on the internet talking about new electric buses that were put in function in Montreal not long ago. In fact, “the STM has been testing the electric buses to make sure they can stand up to Montreal’s harsh winters, and now they are ready to take on passengers” (CBC News 2017). The STM’s goal is to have a fully electric fleet of buses by the year of 2025. I think this is an extremely good initiative.

Reference: CBC News. Going green: New STM electric buses put to the test. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/stm-montreal-electric-bus-fleet-1....

This Article was very intriguing to me as the title peeked my interest. I found your your summary very insightful as it provided me with a solution to the problem of mass traffic that had never occurred to me before. Although the solution of working at home is a very effective alternative to being stuck in traffic i believe that this idea is better on paper than in real life. I think it would be impossible for people to all work from home due to the fact that many jobs require presence in offices or stores. For example people working in sales in a store, cooks, waiters, doctors, etc. Also a lot of people need to work under supervision in order to answer questions and just to be more efficient in general.
Working from home isn't the only green solution to traffic though, "More than 30 per cent of all urban traffic is caused by people searching for a parking space, according to IBM, so another mitigating solution is smart parking." (Milton,2013). This solution relies on parking sensors detecting if a space is used or not and send this information via an app on your smartphone, thus minimizing the hunt for parking spaces which in turn reduces emissions used by the your vehicle and from the vehicles stuck in traffic caused by people searching for parking.

Source: Milton, C. (2013, March 26). Smart solutions to end city traffic gridlock. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from https://www.raconteur.net/sustainability/smart-solutions-to-end-city-cen...

I decided to respond to this case because I live in Montreal and traffic is something that affects me almost everyday of my life. Whether it is to go to school, work or even to a friends house, traffic in and outside of city affects me. Sometimes it can be because of rush hours that i'm stuck in traffic, but sometimes its simply because of construction work.

Since I cant stand traffic, by my own will, I decided to use public transport more often. It is probably the best solution to get around town and works in your favour to save time. Not to mention that it is also very good for the environment and that it is good for my conscience. But how can a city make people take public transit more often?

One of the most interesting solutions to this problem was used in Seoul, South Korea a few years ago. How about demolishing and getting rid of freeways and highways in cities in order to reduce traffic? It is not the usual solution that city officials decide to take, but this is probably the best solution that brings multiple positive factors and reducing traffic all at once. According to Sylva Lane, "after the city [of Seoul] had adjusted, traffic decreased, public transportation increased and a slew of environmental improvements cleaned up an area previously choked with exhaust and congestion" (Lane, 2008). This just goes to show how bold and effective this solution was for the city and people of Seoul.

In the end, if this solution worked for Seoul, it does not mean it is going to work for the rest of the cities that have heavy traffic issues. I believe a multiple of solutions should be undertaken instead using a couple to reduce traffic. Maybe Montreal could use some advice from Seoul city officials and undertake such project to remove highways in order to clear up some of the everyday road congestion around the city!

- anthony patulli

Lane, S. (2014, July 08). 4 Groundbreaking Ways Cities Are Reducing Traffic. Retrieved October 17, 2017, from http://mashable.com/2014/07/08/cities-traffic/#N6YO31mvvGqC

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