Traffic is an enormous problem in Dhaka, and important decisions need to be made about reducing traffic jams. While many officials and others blame rickshaws for Dhaka’s traffic problems, it is important to look at the actual situation on Dhaka’s roads, in terms of how many people are getting about and how much space they require to do so. Only through an analysis of our streets can we make sound decisions about traffic management.
This paper looks at the percentage of passengers being moved by different modes, and the amount of road space those modes require. Analysis of number of passengers per mode, road space required, and other factors reveals that while rickshaws take a significant amount of road space, they also move a similar share of passengers to the
space they require, while cars take up a similar amount in order to move very few people. It is thus clear that it is private cars, not rickshaws, that are the main contributors to our traffic jams, and that while policies to reduce rickshaws will be of little effect, policies to reduce the use of private cars will greatly alleviate the traffic jams — benefiting current car drivers as well as all other road users.