OECD Paper Investigates Indian Urban Mobility Challenges

May 2011: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) International Transport Forum (ITF) has published a discussion paper titled “Key Mobility Challenges in Indian Cities,” which identifies challenges in urban mobility in India under three sections: urbanization and transport; urban mobility challenges; and current policies and interventions.

The first section on the paper, which was authored by Geetam Tiwari, reviews urbanization and transport and addresses travel patterns, city planning and vehicle ownership. The section on urban mobility challenges includes sub-sections on road accidents and fuel consumption-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The last section provides an overview of policy issues at the city, state and national levels.

On carbon dioxide emissions, the paper notes that personal motorized vehicle use is increasing at the rate of 15% per year due to increasing incomes, and increasingly “hostile conditions for public transport and increasing risk to pedestrians and cyclists.” It highlights that fuel consumption and GHG emissions are accordingly increasing rapidly, while personal motorized vehicles already produce between 60 and 90% of urban emissions.

The paper's recommendations include that: all road design standards and traffic management standards be reviewed within two years; audits of hazardous locations be taken up on a priority basis; crash database be made available within two years; dedicated non-motor vehicle lanes be constructed on all arterial roads within ten years; and mobility-related annual capacity building of city engineers, town planners, safety auditors and traffic police be provided. [Publication: Key Mobility Challenges in Indian Cities]