Discussion takes place on tackling traffic congestion

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A discussion under the theme “Tackling Traffic Congestion Collectively” was held on October 18. During the discussion, solutions to reducing traffic congestion in Ulaanbaatar, international best practices on the topic, public participation and regulation of laws were discussed. Chair of the National Committee on Reducing Traffic Congestion in Ulaanbaatar, Minister J.Sukhbaatar, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar D.Sumiyabazar and members of Parliament participated in the discussion. Also, producer of the “Mood” television program B.Bold shared his opinion as a representative of the public.

As of today, 1.6 million people live in the 458,000 hectares of Ulaanbaatar and about 665,000 vehicles participate in traffic. According to a study, the number of vehicles is increasing by 70,000 to 80,000 per year. The city was originally planned to have 600,000 people but now, the population has tripled. Thus, centralization and traffic congestion have become pressing issues, officials remarked.

During the discussion, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar D.Sumiyabazar highlighted that traffic congestion is not a concern only in Ulaanbaatar. He said that major cities in the USA also face traffic congestion. He shared that Moscow has solved traffic congestion with its 15 million citizens by adopting a policy of promoting pedestrian travel, modernizing public transportation, widening intersections and introducing LRT. The centralization and traffic congestion in Ulaanbaatar is an issue that has accumulated in the last 30 years.

The mayor added, “Ulaanbaatar itself needs to register cars, issue license plates, register land and set a certain amount of fees. Therefore, it is necessary to amend the law that hinders development. It is impossible to reduce traffic congestion only with the capital city’s budget. Thus, the annual budget of Ulaanbaatar will not be less than 420 billion MNT.”

Chair of the National Committee on Reducing Traffic Congestion in Ulaanbaatar, Minister J.Sukhbaatar stated, “Traffic congestion is a concept that includes centralization and density. To decentralize, numerous measures are needed to be taken including transferring major markets and shopping centers to rural areas, increasing access to schools and kindergartens and increasing access to public transportation and renovating them. Major cities around the world share the same issue of traffic congestion. Thus, cities are implementing works aimed at pedestrians.”

Producer of the “Mood” television program B.Bold shared his opinion. He said, “The number of vehicles and roads causes traffic congestion in the capital. But it seems that our habits and attitudes cause it too. Therefore, citizens should think about how to stop using cars and be able to walk comfortably to avoid traffic congestion.”

More than 300 works will be implemented to reduce traffic congestion. These works are divided into 36 groups, of which 49 projects and measures of 12 groups are being implemented in 2022. It includes:

• Increasing access to schools and kindergartens

• Renovating public transport

• Land acquisition

• Construction of new main and auxiliary roads and road facilities

• Establishing the Yarmag sub-center

• Renovation of bike paths and footpaths

• Demolishing garages and fences

• Re-engineering of intersections

Dulguun Bayarsaikhan