Vol. 4 No.1  

Going large

Big infrastructure projects are the planned solution for the collapse of the capitalís traffic system
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Traffic jams, car accidents, angry drivers and nervous pedestrians are the main characteristics of public space in Bucharest today.
The streets of the Capital are too narrow for the large number of cars that have increased in the last 19 years since Romania became a democratic country. Until a few years ago none of the local authorities in Bucharest created a strategic plan to solve the problem of the heavy traffic in Bucharest, which is still in danger of bringing the city to deadlock.
Currently, there are 1.2 million cars for two million inhabitants. This year the number of cars will increase by 100,000 more while, in 2012, there will be 1.6 million cars on the Capital’s streets, according to the Car Registration Office.
However there are only 400,000 car parking spaces for this number. This means there is a shortfall of at least 0.8 million spaces in the city. But this does not take into account the fact that many drivers will need a space for home, work and shopping. Nor does it include spaces for the 50,000 vehicles that every day transit the city.
The main works on the road infrastructure network of Bucharest were made for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the streets. But this has not taken into account a plan to unblock the city. The solution is to make studies able to give a prognosis on the traffic conditions over the next period, but also to create a strategy for big infrastructure projects that do not have to be finished in the mandate of one mayor or another.
“Bucharest is difficult to manage,” says Marius Bostan, senior partner for consulting company VMB Partners. “The bureaucratic structure of the city and the city planning is complicated and the responsibilities between the authorities of the six districts and the General City Hall are unclear. The public pressure is also high because of the large number of inhabitants and cars.”

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