Tehran Times – The newly initiated traffic scheme has reduced the capital’s traffic jam by 6 percent during the Iranian calendar month of Tir (June 22-July 22), Mohsen Pourseyed Aqaei, CEO of Transportation and Traffic Organization affiliated to the municipality, has said.
Tehran Municipality has prepared a new traffic scheme for the capital in an attempt to address persistent air pollution and traffic congestion in the metropolis, which went into effect on June 22.
The scheme replaced odd-even traffic scheme in the city, a plan that, according to many experts, was unsuccessful in achieving its goals of reducing traffic or air pollution.
For many years the city center has been closed to all cars except for a certain number of cars which have permits issued by the municipality as well as public transport means. And the odd-even traffic scheme, as a method of rationing in which access to the streets for private vehicles is granted on alternating days, according to whether the last digit on their license plate is even or odd, was being implemented in zones far from the city center from Saturday to Thursday (Fridays and public holidays excluded).
The new traffic scheme, aims to cut the emission generated by the vehicles mostly in traffic-congested areas especially during the peak periods or during peak pollution events, except for public transportation, including taxis and buses.
All vehicles, regardless of their registration numbers, are allowed to enter the traffic zones 20 days during each season (80 days all year round) for free without paying any fees and those who are planning on entering the zone more should pay taxes to the municipality.
The traffic scheme was efficient by decreasing traffic congestion by 13 percent over the past month compared to a month earlier, Pourseyed Aqaei noted, ISNA reported on Tuesday.
During the last month, traffic jam in the capital has reduced compared to the same period last year, he added.
Reacting to the criticisms claiming that the new traffic scheme reduced traffic in zone B while increasing it in zone C, he said that when there are traffic restrictions in central part of the city, using private cars will be definitely reduced. When a person works in the central part of the city, he or she no longer can use private cars.
He went on to say that recent statistics show that traffic has been decreased in Tehran by 6 percent over the past month.
Almost all parts of the capital experienced lower traffic congestion since the new scheme went into effect, however, traffic increased only in two highways, one on which is south side of Imam Ali highway and the other one is Hemmat highway, behind which there might be different reasons.
Since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21), Tehran air quality has been unhealthy for sensitive groups for 21 days due to high rate of ozone emissions, while 1 day reported to be unhealthy for all the residents, according to the Tehran Air Quality Control Company.
Cars can contribute to ozone raise, as toxic emissions of oxides of nitrogen is released by diesel cars during fuel combustion in an engine.