Solving Complex Technical and Institutional Problems to Improve Urban Traffic Flow in Wuhan, China
Like most of China’s cities, Wuhan has enjoyed rapid economic growth and urbanization over the past two decades. Yet those changes have been accompanied by equally rapid motorization and the rise of associated problems with congestion, air pollution, and road safety. The municipal government has been working to address these problems through a variety of initiatives, including better traffic management. This case study reviews Wuhan’s experience in traffic management and its impact on improving traffic flows and safety, with a focus on two critical components: area traffic control systems and intersection channelization, which were implemented between 2000 and 2013. Those interventions provide lessons on the implementation of complex technical systems and the importance of institutional arrangements and capacity building in tackling traffic problems. The case study also shows how Wuhan effectively used foreign assistance to benefit from international experience.
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