Impact and Evidence
As mentioned in the introduction road charging has positive impacts and negative impacts on CBD residents. Road congestion and heavy traffic is always a problem for road users which causes stress, lower the health including heart, respiratory and mental diseases and importantly waste the time of motorists (Morgan 2017). Secondly, air pollution is also a major impact which has a direct relationship with the consumption of fuel by cars (Vehicle Certification Agency 2018). Moreover, Roșu, Istrate and Bănică (2018, pp865) add “Analysing air pollution expressed by the expansion of the built-up area and car dependency has an increasing role as the effects of air pollution on public health are being observed worldwide”. Thirdly, noise in the city make life stressful and inconvenient that can be produced by cars or even pedestrians in the city (Housley and Burgess 2017)To solve or to handle these problems many crowded cities has their own methods. Dubai has the SALIK, which is a tolling system in the entrances of the city started in July 2007 by RTA and it was expected to reduce traffic by 25% (SALIK 2018). There are six SALIK toll gates available in Dubai and placed in the most crowded highways, For Instance, Shaikh Zayed Road (SALIK 2018). Moreover, this method will help the government to collect and make money in order to enhance the traffic system (Johansson and Mattsson, 1995). If governments responsibly act this way again it is beneficial and satisfying for citizens. Above mentioned points are all about advantages of road tax system.
Nevertheless, according to the survey in the class, it could be said that daily payment for the usage of road may increase the expense of a family or an individual. This could be thought of a negative effect, in case the facilities for public transport is not available. If the government has paved the ground for citizens to solve their shifting problems through public transport like metro in Dubai, this whole method will not have any negative impact on urban life and will be lucrative for residents and also government agencies (Based on the class survey)
What are the common methods of handling the crowd in the city? In the answer to this question, I would state, “Road pricing is widely promoted as a tool to reduce externalities of road transport” (Poliaková 2018). And as Safour & Egbu (2010, pp481) mention, Singapore and London road taxation policy is the best example to be implemented in CBD area for controlling road congestion and enhancing the environmental extent of the city, which can make urban life easier and more comfortable. And also citing the survey conducted in the class many of the votes were to promote the idea of road charging system as a major method for controlling traffic and road congestion but this might not be the only way. What parts of human life can be seriously affected by the huge number of cars? First common and more mentioned part is traffic and road congestion which will affect health, time and safety (Morgan 2017). Second, air pollution which can be caused by the consumption of fuel. The more fuel is burned the more Carbon is produced and the production of Carbon is harmful to the environment and health (Vehicle Certification Agency 2018). The third is the noise, a large number of sound waves will have a bad impact on hearing of the human body (Housley and Burgess 2017) and it can also cause stress and inconvenience. How the time spent in reaching a destination during heavy traffic be compared with reaching in the free road? Example of Dubai to Sharjah or Sharjah to Dubai can be given, as every resident might have experienced that the causeway duration when the road is empty is only ten to fifteen minutes. In the meantime, when a motorist starts the trip from Dubai to Sharjah during the evening which is the most mobbed time it will take more than an hour of them to get to Sharjah.
When will people be happy with paying road tax? Based on a study in the United States (2007) stated by Dholakia (2017) most of the people were happy with paying tax. The reason behind this is believed to be the trust of people in government and people want to have it strong and independent and they expect the government to use that revenue for flourishing life facilities for them. To relate it to our topic, the money that is collected by SALIK in Dubai should be used in improving the transport and traffic system in order to gladden the residents and any other users.
Levy on inter-city traffic is a method of collecting money whether, by tolling or any other way, examples in all over the world are available. London, Singapore, Dubai and some other cities with a large number of the population are following these methods. In Dubai SALIK toll gates are used in CBD entrances currently, there are six SALIK toll gates in Dubai. The aim of these road tax method is said to decrease traffic, pollution and other congestions inside the city. Although this can be considered daily expense for residence. The government has the responsibility to facilitate good road and highway system and also public transport like buses and metro (fortunately existed in Dubai) to fully satisfy the citizens.
Keeping all the above points in mind I would recommend that, public with fewer needs to the car should not own a car. Even if, they own they do not have to use it in a situation that can be resolved by mass transit.
If the case is such that a motor vehicle is indeed needed, the motorist has to drive safely under the traffic rules and regulation and he/she is supposed to pay governmental taxes on time. Or in Dubai recharge SALIK on time to avoid penalties.