Islamabad is regarded as one of the most well planned cities in not just Pakistan but the entire South Asian region. The other major cities of the country i.e. Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar (all of which are provincial capitals) have one serious problem in common; the unruly traffic, congested roads and ill-disciplined drivers. However Islamabad, for long remained a model for other cities due to its smooth flow of traffic. A major reason for this is obviously the way the city has been planned. However since the last few years with the city starting to grow at a faster pace the traffic situation in Islamabad has started to pose a problem for the citizens. Two of the key issues related to traffic that the Islamabad traffic police and the city administration needs to look at are the lack of parking space in city’s commercial areas and the clogged streets in residential areas during peak hours. The reason for the first problem is very simple, almost all major commercial hubs of the city have massive encroachments (something that the Capital Development Authority) must fix. Another reason is the ‘car markets’ that have popped up in a number of commercial areas. The hundreds of cars permanently parked in the parking spaces of commercial centers mean that the shoppers have no place to park their cars. The clogged traffic in residential areas (which have wide enough streets to cater to normal traffic) result from the commercial activities ‘illegally’ being carried in residential areas. Schools, tuition centers and coaching centers are the major reason for the chaotic traffic in residential areas. The Islamabad traffic police and the city administration must take steps to rid the citizens of these two growing problems.
Both problems can be solved rather easily provided relevant authorities take some much needed steps.