WHENEVER we have long public holidays, our highways become congested. Now, however, some highways become congested even during weekends.
We hear stories of families having to spend hours trapped in their cars.
A family with three young children travelled from Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, to Pasir Mas, Kelantan, for Hari Raya. They started their journey at 7am and arrived at their destination at 10pm.
Another family drove to Ipoh from their home in Petaling Jaya. They do this at least once a month. It’s usually a 2½-hour drive.
But on the eve of a long weekend, they left Petaling Jaya at 8am and arrived in Ipoh at 5pm.
When you are stuck in your car, there is a need for food and
drink, the use of a toilet, and to stretch oneself.
Although we complain about traffic congestion, we are the ones who cause it.
Traffic congestion is not the result of natural disasters. It is man-made. We open highways to vehicles without any control.
The capacity of highways is determined by their design and build. Yet we don’t do anything to control the number of cars entering highways to correspond with their capacity.
Traffic congestion in highways can be mitigated if we limit the number of vehicles.
But we don’t have the fortitude to do it. To achieve this, the authorities must identify the days when highways are expected to be congested.
On a control day, a vehicle may enter the highway only by a ticket. The authorities may sell advance tickets online.
For example, Ahmad lives in Petaling Jaya and wants to drive to Dungun with his family.
Ahmad must first buy a ticket online in advance. The ticket that he has to buy is to pass the Gombak toll plaza.
Supposing the best time available to pass the toll plaza is between 2am and 3am. Then Ahmad must pass through it at that specific time.
It’s unusual to start the journey at 2am, but it beats being stuck in a car for hours.