Even before there were containers or the diversions for the MetroBus, Islamabad’s roads were still extensively blocked. At over 250 locations to be precise as reported in Dawn and Tribune a year ago. This added to misery of commuters, people sometimes spending hours to traverse distances of minutes. Those coming from Rawalpindi, DHA or Bahria spoke of travel times comparable to those coming from Murree or Abbottabad.
To be fair, not all traffic delays can be attributed to the checkpoints. Poor traffic engineering and even worse traffic management have to held accountable. In a city with 1-2 million population, that occupies the geographical area of Karachi or Lahore, and has 4 lane throughfares, there should NEVER be traffic jams. And yet poor management of roads makes Islamabad’s Jinnah Avenue and Faisal Avenues seem like Karachi’s backstreets. Poorly placed U-turns and crossover points, absence of thought-through pedestrian crossings and randomly placed speed breakers add adventure to what would otherwise be a boring daily commute.