A cost-effective Geographic Information Systems for Transportation (GIS-T) application for traffic congestion analyses in the Developing World
In recent times, the Geographic Information Systems for Transportation (GIS-T) has gained prominence in the research and management of real-world transportation problems such as urban traffic congestion, especially in the developed countries. In developing countries, however, constraining factors such as initial prohibitive costs and inadequate expertise have limited the widespread application of GIS-T.
Consequently, a comparatively cost-effective and simple GIS-T method of congestion data generation known as the ‘traditional stopwatch and traffic congestion registration technique’ is presented in this paper. This technique involves the use of a Global Positioning Systems receiver, a digitally formatted table, among others, to generate travel time data for analytical purposes.
Initial application of the ‘traditional stopwatch and traffic congestion registration technique’ was done on the very busy ‘Kimbu-Adenta’ corridor in the Ghanaian capital city of Accra. Results obtained through this new technique does not only confirm the severity and spread of congestion on this corridor but most importantly, makes it possible for scientists, urban policy makers and transportation planners to visualise the trends of congestion at individual segments of the road network on maps. Thus, specific measures could be adopted to ensure free flow of traffic on the corridor.
Keywords: Accra, Traffic congestion, Traditional stopwatch and traffic congestion registration technique, Geographic Information Systems, Global Positioning System