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Europe’s Most Congested Cities

In the last blog article, we reviewed North America’s Most Congested Cities. Although Canada and the US are one of the largest countries in the world, Europe has a larger population and population density. North America has a population of approximately 529 million and population density around 32 people per km. Europe is less than half the size and has a population of about 738 million and population density of approximately 72.5 people per km.

Countries across Europe have a longer history and established infrastructure earlier on. European congestion is ranked at 24%, which is 4% higher than in North America.

In this week’s blog article, we will be reviewing the most congested European cities according to GPS manufacturer, TomTom.

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North America’s Most Congested Cities

With population growth on the rise, many urban areas are growing faster than their city’s infrastructure and transportation networks. Last year the world’s population exceeded seven billion people and many large cities are already encountering overcrowding on public transit, increased pollution levels, and longer traffic delays.

The GPS manufacturer, Tom Tom, published its latest Congestion Index, which measures congestion as a percentage difference when compared to free-flow traffic.  This percentage indicates how much longer it will take to travel through the city with the normal amount of traffic than if there were no vehicles or congestion on the road.

North American congestion is rated at 20%. This week, we’ll review the top 5 congested cities in North America.

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The State of America’s Transportation Network

The American transportation network is in dire need of highway maintenance and reconstruction. Valued at $1.75 trillion, it has endured years of wear and tear, increased traffic, inconsistent maintenance and varying weather conditions. All of these variables, along with higher construction costs and reduced government funding have contributed to only half of the nation’s roads being in good condition.

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Roundabout Safety Improvements

Roundabouts are becoming more common in urban areas and with good reason. They are known to improve traffic flow and safety in comparison to other forms of intersection control such as traffic signals. However, problems can arise from using roundabouts since traffic signals and signs have been the standard for so long. Understanding how to best optimize roundabouts and prevent accidents will ensure that traffic flow is being optimized.

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Traffic Impact Analysis for Growing Cities

I’m not sure what it’s like in your city, but from the Miovision offices, Kitchener-Waterloo (KW) and surrounding areas are aggressively expanding. With each new subdivision built, there are new plazas, office buildings, and parkades popping up. In certain areas of the city, the landscape (or what used to be landscape) has completely transformed.

One area in particular has completely changed – the Ira Needles area. This previously empty area was just an open field next to Trussler and Erbsville Road. In 2009, it was transformed into the largest commercial centre in the KW area that spans across 88.5 acres. To accommodate the anticipated influx of traffic, additional roads were built as well as 6 roundabouts were utilized rather than lights to facilitate traffic flow.

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Congestion Charges – Effective Traffic Management Tool?

Many urban cities around the world are dealing with constant growth and as a result, traffic in city centers is becoming a challenge to manage. In Toronto, there are discussions on how to decrease the strain in the downtown core. Gas and parking prices have all increased, but traffic seems to be getting worse. One suggestion is implementing a congestion charge. This is where a fee is paid to travel within a certain area during peak hours in an effort to decrease unnecessary traffic.

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Sharing the Road with Cyclists

Over the past few years, there has been more pressure from cyclists demanding that drivers share the road. Community groups are getting the attention of public agencies to include cyclist-focused initiatives in urban areas. These initiatives can be difficult to execute based on limited expansion space for roads, cyclist vs. driver demands, increased cars on the road and fixed budgets.

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7 Billion People – Can the World’s Roads Support This Population?

In the past month, the world’s population surpassed 7 billion people. Celebrations were underway to commemorate this new height in population, however, what are the impacts on the world’s infrastructure?

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