Cars, cars, cars

The problem is worldwide and Yerevan is not an exception. We are losing public space and healthy environment. Cars are everywhere, you can see them on every street, they occupy squares and pavements, make poluttion and noise. Though car is a convenient way of travel, it gives us a freedom to go around, carrying goods or access remote places. That all is okay. But building roads just for cars shouldn't be the main way of transport development.

Street capacity

Buses can have a capacity as high as 170 passengers, the same amount of people sitting in cars cause a traffic jam. In cities where traffic volume is high, public transport is the best solution after walking and cycling. Experts say, building new roads can increase traffic congestion. We can see many examples in big cities. When governments build super-highways with 12-lanes, elevated roads it helps just for a short time, after couple of years congestions appear again and in bigger scale than before.  Therefore experts also say, closing existing roads can decrease traffic congestion.

Negative economic impact

According to economists from the EU, health costs due to road traffic-related air pollution is in billions of euros every year. Our society pays a high price for automobile use. Air pollution causes cancer and respiratory diseases. Street noise increases stress level and have negative impact on your mental health. In addition, travel speed is decreasing with increasing number of vehicles on the streets, so we spend longer time by commuting to work and back home.

Is there any solution?

Yes, there are plenty of different traffic modes we can use. Each mode has its pluses and minuses and good traffic management deal with each of them. Experts from round the world made a priority chart, walking and cycling are on its top.

Walk

1. Our feet

Walking is the simplest way to work out. You can do it almost anywhere and for free. Walking keeps us physically and mentally healthy. It is far more than just going from A to B, walking is perfect for dating, meeting friends and also shopping. Good city has wide sidewalks and large parks where doing all these activities is a pleasure.

Bicycle

2. Bicycles

Do you know that on average people commute just 5 km from home to work? It's just 20 minutes bicycle ride. So little we need to do in order to stay fit and healthy.

Scooter

3. E-bikes, Scooters

Sometimes we need a little help. Getting sweaty on our way to work or cycling uphill is not what everybody wants to do every day. Electric bikes and scooters are cheap and also green alternative to bicycles.

Tram

4. Trains, Metro, Trams

Rail transport is the most efficient option which can be used on routes with busy traffic. Modern rail systems are fast, safe, comfortable and efficient. Do you know that trams can reach passenger volume of about 10,000 persons per hour and per direction? It's much more than current passenger volume of Yerevan metro.

Bus

5. Buses, Trolleybuses

Buses are good in taking people closer to their homes or work than railways. Trolleybuses don't pollute the air thanks to electric engine and work better in hilly terrain. During the journey, passengers can relax, read news or even sleep.

Taxi

6. Taxis

A good option when you travel between two places away from the main public transport routes or when you travel in the nighttime with a heavy luggage.

Car

7. Private cars

Cars are perfect option for family trips, carrying heavy loads, going to less populated areas without public transport, long rides and emergency situations. Daily commuting by car is one of the most expensive and time consuming options. In a city with good transport management such as Copenhagen or Vienna many people prefer public transport to cars.

Story of Yerevan

Investments into traffic system in Yerevan have been limited into road constructions only. Unfortunately, our streets are not designed for different transport modes and maintaining healthy environment. There are missing bus lanes, cycling lanes, pedestrian-only streets and large parks. Instead cars have access to every place, they occupy pavements and our parks turned into concrete jungles with too-many restaurants. Current 'cars only' policy is like eating sweet gummy worms every single day. Hope for change comes with initiatives such as Yerevan Ride and Mimo Bike. Yerevan needs modern transport policy and maybe now we are seing it's sprouting.