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Solo driving: Why selfishness will lead to heavy traffic congestion in Bishkek

Analysis of the time budget of the National Statistical Committee showed that residents of Bishkek spend more time on the commute than the rest of Kyrgyzstanis.

Travel to work and back takes Bishkek residents 30 percent more time than that of residents of other regions of Kyrgyzstan.

On average, commuting takes people 33.5 minutes all over the country. Bishkek residents have to spend 11 minutes more on the travel than other residents of the country’s cities.

This is not a lot per day, but for the whole year the commuting takes residents of the capital 11 days that is three days more than the national average.

At the same time, almost half of working citizens spend from 45 to 90 minutes on travel to work and back.

Such costs are expensive for Bishkek residents. According to the National Statistical Committee, as of the beginning of 2019, an average salary in the capital was 20,872 soms. It turns out that on average a Bishkek resident loses 22 soms a day due to the time spent on the commute. It is a considerable amount for a year — 7,848 soms.

On our way to work and back we annually lose money, which we could spend on 22 kilograms of beef.

Analysis of the traffic situation showed that traffic is heavy in the city center almost all the day long.

There are streets with permanent traffic jams (red) or heavy traffic (yellow), and heavy traffic congestion is observed in Bishkek in the morning and evening rush hours.

This is partly due to the fact that both the population of the city and the number of vehicles are growing. Over the past seven years, the population of Bishkek has grown by 17 percent, and the number of registered vehicles — by 40 percent.

To understand why constant traffic jams are observed in Bishkek, we decided to analyze the traffic flow of the capital.

For the experiment we took one of the busiest intersections of the capital — the intersection of Kievskaya and Abdrakhmanov Streets. We monitored the traffic and pedestrians in the evening rush hour — from 17.45 to 18.45.

Analysis of the traffic flow showed that more than 80 percent of the vehicles that moved through the intersection during this time were cars.

Full version of the material in Russian «Одинокие водители: почему эгоизм приведет к тому, что Бишкек встанет намертво» is available at the link.

The material was prepared in collaboration with Peshcom Initiative.

Data Editors: Anastasia Valeeva, Cholpon Uzakbaeva.

Illustrations: by Nadezhda Khabichevskaya

The material was created by fellows of data journalism program of Media-K project Internews in Kyrgyzstan, implemented with the support of USAID in the Kyrgyz Republic in partnership with the World Bank, DFID and IDEM. The program’s mentor is Anastasia Valeeva. The opinions and conclusions in the material do not necessarily reflect the views of Internews and its partners.