One way would be to promote carpool programs to get people to stop driving by themselves. Offer incentives for established carpool or rideshare programs. Off hours road repair and maintanence would also be highly beneficial. Improving public transportation and encouraging its use would also be useful for reducing traffic.
Going off of what jmendez mentioned, I agree that public transportation could greatly be improved in many parts of the United States, and even the world. I know that living in Southern California, the public transportation system needs lots of improvement. The public transportation system is so poor, that almost everyone drives everywhere. This obviously creates huge traffic problems on freeways.
If the public transportation system was improved and made more appealing to commuters, then less traffic would congest the freeways. I’m not exactly sure how much money this would cost, especially in our economy, but it’s a nice thought.
Portland, in comparison to most cities, has a great public transit system. While many people take advantage of busses, street cars and the light rail system, which helps cut down on traffic, many people do not. Most people that I have talked to that refuse to use public transportation site time and convenience as their main reasons. “It would take an extra 45 minutes to an hour out of my day if I took the MAX (the light rail). Plus, I like driving to work. I don’t have to deal with a bunch of random people.”
While this sentiment may not be popular, if cities offered convenient public transit while significantly increasing vehicle registration fees, people may not be able to justify driving. The increase in tax revenue could go toward better public transit systems and highways would be less congested.
The most straightforward answer to this question is limit the amount of cars on the road, particularly in metropolitan and urban areas. Many people who live far from work find that having their own vehicle to be much more convenient and efficient at getting them from their suburb home to the city. Also, people like driving themselves because of scheduling, safety (from other people), and the flexibility. I took the city bus to school all through high school, and I can tell you that it took an extra 20 to 30 minutes to go the same distance on the bus as it would in my own car because of the wait times and multiple stops. I believe strongly that intercity electric monorail systems are the future, because they are fast, reliable, and safe. Think of the one at Disneyland; what if you had those everywhere?
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