8. TRAFFIC AND TRANSPORTATION
Movement is a basic demand of human life. Apart from the instances where movement itself serves
some kind of purpose, we move from one place to another to accomplish some task. Transport, as a
result, forms a very fundamental part of a human habitat. But, like any other infrastructure, it is not of
any real value by itself. Only when it is used effectively for the higher purpose of human freedom and
development that it’s true significance is realized. When it is functioning properly, an infrastructure like
transport is an absolutely inseparable component for any city or community. When it is malfunctioning
or diminished in efficiency, though, it can become a nuisance in itself, let alone serve the higher level
goals they were originally designed for.
The latter has been the case for many modern world cities. A big metropolis with streets plagued by
congestion and pollution is all too common these days. Moreover, the time spent in travel on urban
streets is not something that would be described as a pleasant experience by too many people. With
the noise, fume, delays, uncertainties and visual annoyance, travel takes its toll on the body, mind
and heart of the voyager.
The divisional town of Barisal hasn’t yet reached a stage of congestion and breakdown yet. But with
the visions of the plan in mind of making it a bustling economic centre alive with new ideas and
activities, it’d not be far fetched to say that this would be a highly likely consequence once the
development policies start materializing. More economic activity directly implies to more need to
travel. The transport plan, therefore, is more of a preventive nature than a curative one. It focuses on
averting the possible problems of a system like this and intends to build a strong formation which is
resilient under demanding conditions. It also aims to take a holistic approach toward trip making and
discourages the endless quest for speed and movement at the cost of mental and emotional
Sensible policies and decisions can create and sustain a system that plays an instrumental role in
improving people’s lives rather than creating problems of its own. The ultimate idea is to create a
structure that generates a healthy balance between rest and velocity, control and flexibility, mobility
and access, innovation and a respect for nature and culture. The plan would have its mission
accomplished when people feel very little friction of travel and start using the transport system
successfully as a tool to achieve their aspirations.
Barisal Master Plan. Vol-1, Structure Plan Page 8-1
Policies suggested for the sector have been grouped under some broader strategies. The strategies
have been formulated in a way that they would form the key mechanisms to drive the plan to its
goals. The policies and their rationale are depicted here:
Travel Demand Management
TRN.01 Create mixed land-use areas that provide both places to live and work
Contemporary sustainable land use planning, popularly known as “Smart Growth”, invests time,
attention, and resources into restoring community and vitality to centre cities and older suburbs.
Mixed land-use creates vibrant, lively neighbourhoods/communities and reduces the need for longer
distance travel and commuting. Short distances travel also encourages use of sustainable
alternatives like walking and bicycling. Mixed land use provides the commercial base for supporting
viable public transit. This would also imply restricting development of new strictly single-use zones
(like residential, commercial etc.)
TRN.02 Avoid dispersed and scattered development patterns
Dispersed and scattered type of development promotes ‘sprawl’ and increases for travel. It raises the
need for more and more transport corridors inducing ever greater traffic. Therefore, avoiding and
discouraging this kind of development by various policy measures would help reduce creating new
TRN.03. Consider traffic impact of land use and occupancy of structure while giving building
construction and land use permit
As transport is basically a function of land use, any proposed development should be examined with
respect to the traffic impact it has on the locality. Kind of use for the any structure has to be clearly
defined. ‘Transportation Clearance’ should be given considering the structure size and proposed use
and has to be a compulsory criterion for receiving building permit.
TRN.04. Encourage soft measures/activities that replace the need for traveling
As transport itself is a derived demand and serves some other purposes, alternative measures to
complete a task can directly affect travel demand. It affects travel needs at the root causes and
eliminates trips before they are generated. Use of internet, e-mail, e-governance, telecommuting etc.
is among the measures that can effectively replace travel and accomplish a task in much less time.
Facilitating these means can significantly reduce overall travel demand.
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TRN.05. Restrain from building new facilities that induce more travel e.g. freeways and
Facilities like freeways and flyovers are designed for high speed mobility and allow almost no access
function whatsoever. Therefore, they naturally tempt some motorized trips. General convention is that
new roads split the existing traffic and provide useful alternative to trip-makers. Experience from
different parts of the world shows that in addition to this utility, more roads usually lead to more travel,
especially if those roads are targeted for exclusive mobility. Any network development initiative
should give first priority to existing linkage and how they can be managed or restructured to meet the
needs. A certain level of road building or rebuilding is rational as long as it doesn’t encourage fresh
trips that weren’t there before.
- Integrated policy: (STM)
Create an integrated land use and transport policy that reduces travel needs and trip lengths and
encourages use of sustainable travel modes.
- Travel reducing measures: (STM)
Taking a comprehensive plan to promote activities that replace the need for traveling e.g. use of
internet, e-governance, telecommuting etc.
- Breaking up the rush: (LATM)
Shift peak-hour travel including staggered and flexible working hours, flexible working weeks etc.
Distributing the rush traffic over a period of time lowers peak hour volume/discharge in roads and,
with it, the chances of congestion.
- Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA): (LATM)
Evaluation of the effects on traffic should be made a basic criterion for approval of any new
building or land development and type of occupancy of structure.
Barisal Master Plan. Vol-1, Structure Plan Page 8-3
TRN.06 Formulating plans and actions that give highest priority to pedestrians
As far as the short trips that are dominant in the project area are concerned, walking forms the most
healthy and economically viable choice suited to the locality. Apart from the few roads designed to
provide speed and mobility, most of the roads of a city like Barisal are organic in pattern and suits the
TRN.07 Priority to pedestrians when planning infrastructure use and road-space sharing
Allocation of resources is a crucial factor in development-economy. Therefore, taking up new
schemes in the transport would require careful prioritization. Focusing on the pedestrians in this
respect would set the course to create vibrant, lively local communities.
TRN.08 Treating walkways as multi-functional social spaces
The major idea here is to make the street, especially local ones, not only a zone for movement but
also a place that would induce greater social interaction. There can be provision for road-side small
traders or hawkers that would provide safety for pedestrians in addition to providing utility.
TRN.09 Ensure safety and accessibility in walk trips
When taking actions that have the potential to induce greater number of high speed traffic into a road
section, consideration has to be made as how it might affect the safety and usability of pedestrians
using that section.
- Create infrastructural facilities that encourage walking (LATM)
Proper physical facilities and technical measures e.g. road crossings, signs and signals etc. and
maintenance of walkways can shift people from others modes to walking.
- Provide an uninterrupted network for pedestrians (LATM)
Design the pedestrian network in a way that eliminates the need for modal transfer for pedestrians
as much as possible, especially for shorter trips.
- Create a distinct vehicle-free zone exclusively for pedestrians
Declare a distinct zone, preferably commercial/shopping place as a ‘precinct’ or vehicle-free area.
This will create a calm safe territory for pedestrian.
Barisal Master Plan. Vol-1, Structure Plan Page 8-4
Connectivity & Accessibility
TRN.10 Creation of major linkage
As the city grows and the traffic intensifies on the streets, an efficient network of roads has to be built
based on major North-South and East-West links. This would ensure direct connection between
different curial nodes of the network and help reduce both travel length and time. This is a nonstop
process and will be closely in interaction with the spatial development policies for the city.
TRN.11 Development & availability of Public Transport (PT)
This should form the major share of the motorized vehicle. PT has to be available within comfortable
walking distance from any part of the city. Maintenance of an efficient public transport provides a
cheap and accessible solution for mass movement.
TRN.12 Preserve and utilize natural network of Khals as Transport Corridors
Establishing the network of Khals as vital corridors of transportation, especially for goods movement
would create a viable alternative to road transport and also help preserve this traditional mode. Water
transport is usually cheap. And as goods delivery generally has a lead time, waterways can play
crucial role in this sector. It can also serve recreational purposes for the city dwellers.
A comprehensive network of Khals of 43 km (approx.) length including Sagordi, Amanatgonj, Jail
Khal, Diapara, Napitkhali, and Bamni Kati Khal has been identified as major corridors of transport.
Rest of the Khals will play as minor transport routes. (Map 8.2 )
TRN.13 Present wide modal choices for important network segments
People need to have a variety of choices of modes when traveling from one point to another within
the city. This would ensure easy access for all sections of trip-makers.
TRN.14 Rail, air mode for regional connectivity
As part of the integrated transport system envisioned for the city, rail and airway has to be developed
in addition to the existing road and waterways. Padma Bridge is an opportunity to open up the rail
network and connect Barisal with the national rail network. Airway has to be reestablished as the
infrastructure is already present.
Barisal Master Plan. Vol-1, Structure Plan Page 8-5
TRN.15 Provide effective and efficient modal shift facilities.
Facilities for modal shift increase the effectiveness of the total transport infrastructure and the system.
Setting of effective transfer station will be vital in ensuring modal shift of goods and passenger. So the
‘transfers stations’ have to be located and designed with care.
TRN.16 End-level local roads should be preferably be dead-end wherever possible
This would prevent through traffic and also create a sense of identity by creating a community around
the local road bounded by the adjacent households. It also enhances the quality of life by improving
safety and security of the area.
- Join important nodes in the system with maximum accessibility (LATM)
Nathullabad, Notun Bazaar, Police Line Moar followed by Amtola, Chowmatha and Mollar Dokan
are major nodes in the network. Direct linkage has to be established between these points and
accessibility has to be improved. The launch and boat ‘ghats’ also have to be linked with key points
of the network.
- Design a comprehensive bus network
Design a bus network with extensive coverage that can effectively compensate for private transport
and provide maximum accessibility for the dwellers.
- Design ‘Interfaces’: (LATM)
Creating a proper system of interfaces or points of transfer where smooth modal change is possible.
- Construction of Bypass: (STM)
Traffic headed for Patuakhali and Jhalakathi currently goes through the city using major urban
linkages. Construction of Padma Bridge has the potential to intensify traffic and also divert some
passengers from launch to roadways because of greater accessibility and less travel time. Bypass
on the western part of the existing urban settlement as it grows westward can withdraw the through
traffic from the current highway as it becomes a major link for its internal traffic.
TRN.17 Establishment of ‘Road Hierarchy’ and ‘Traffic Blocks’:
A hierarchy of roads should be created based on their dominant use and significance on urban level
transport that would consequently produce distinct traffic blocks or enclaves. Creation of blocks would
generate strong identities for local areas both visually and functionally. This would also make it easier
to manage communities and provide a base for analysis for future studies.
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TRN.18 Road space allocation:
Road space should be allocated among different mode and use based on the hierarchy of the road
and its adjacent land-use. This is essential for safety and effectiveness of the road.
TRN.19 Control growth of private motorized transport:
Private motorized vehicles should be discouraged as they waste road space. This is especially
relevant for cities of Bangladesh where available road space is limited. Many mechanisms can be
used including taxation, rationing of road etc. Three-wheelers should be removed from roads within
the first five years of the project by phases with the growth and expansion of public transport. Public
transport should be encouraged as they carry large volume of traffic within very limited space.
TRN.20 Lane-based traffic management:
Determining number of lanes on every street and their individual capacity and rooting the traffic
management and any future expansion on that capacity assessment. Lanes can be designated for
different modes. Use of every segment of the road has to be pre-designed and clearly defined e.g.
movement, parking, pedestrian crossing etc.
TRN.21 Intersection management:
The intersections, especially where major roads meet or cross have to be treated with special
attention. They create major points of conflict and also are at the root of creating congestion. Strong
regulation is required at these places to keep the flow smooth and frictionless.
- Classification of roads (STM)
Designation of roads into a system of hierarchy of primary, intermediate and access roads and
creation of distinct traffic blocks, major and minor, bounded by main links.
- Innovative traffic regulations (LATM)
Taking new and creative steps based on the local level scenario e.g. one-way traffic movement
during specific hours of the day in specific road sections, restricting certain types of vehicles for
certain periods etc.
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Eco-friendliness and Sustainability
TRN.22 Ensure in-depth analysis of socio-economic and environmental impact of transport
The advantages of increased mobility need to be weighed against the environmental, social and
economic costs that transport systems pose. Transport is a not an isolated structure. Any new
scheme like a major road building may improve connectivity and expand economic activities. But, at
the same time, it may evict hundreds of people and cause critical change to the surrounding ecology.
A sensible trade-off must be done in these cases; and, the net result has to be positive on the lives of
the people and their environment.
TRN.23 Promote use of FFT (Fuel Free Transport) and discourage FDT (Fuel Dependent
Use of fossil fuel and harmful emissions are a major environmental issue all over the world. That’s
where FFT can play a vital role. Modes like walking, bicycling are in general called ‘green transport’
for their environmental friendliness. Promotion of these means of mobility can eliminate long-term
negative impacts of fuel-based vehicles and enhance health and safety of the inhabitants.
TRN.24 Provide equitable opportunities for short and long distance travel
Short trips dominate the transport scenario of Barisal. Moreover, access is the major function served
by roads apart from the few main corridors. Therefore, road space has to be allocated in a way that
caters the greater part of the road users.
TRN.25 Transportation for all
Transport facilities have to be planned in a way that provide maximum accessibility for different
segments of the society especially the less advantaged groups e.g. the poor, aged, women and
children, physically handicapped etc.
TRN.26 Facilitate ‘Smart Choice’ for travelers
‘Smart Choice’ is the decisions people take about traveling that help reduce congestion, pollution and
create better environmental conditions like using certain space-efficient and sustainable modes,
making intelligent route choices etc. Contemporary transport management gives priority to such
measures. They can make best use of time, space, money and all other resources involved.
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- Ban use of vehicles with harmful environmental effects e.g. 2-stroke engines (LATM)
- Create pedestrian only- and FFT only-zones (STM)
This can create safe and noise free zones which are not only used for movement but can actually
become places for lively and diversified social activities.
- Awareness raising (LATM)
Designing programs and activities that aim at raising knowledge of the mass people about traffic laws
and regulations can play crucial role. These programs also have to make people aware of how they
make choices about traveling and how those decisions affect the traffic system of the city.
- Continuous review of policies and actions (STM)
Transportation is perhaps one of the most dynamic and influential systems of the city. It affects many
other relevant systems and processes as it also is affected by actions and decisions taken out of its
direct influence. Therefore, a continuous process review of the major policies and decisions and the
necessary modification, upgrading will help sustain their relevance and effectiveness.
LATM: Local Area Traffic Management
Concerned with local level decisions; to be implemented by local body i.e. BCC
STM: Strategic Transport Management
Involves strategic vision and long-term planning; to be implemented by higher level planning authority
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