A city for citizens or cars!
By our staff writer

Tehran has turned into a battleground for cars and motorcycles. With every day 
that passes, the streets are filled with more cars. 

Even at night there is heavy traffic, and there is only one person in almost 
every car. In some alleys, the parked cars even prevent you from walking on the 

The metropolis of Tehran has been suffering from overpopulation because of 
migration from other parts of the country, and the resultant increase in cars, 
pollution, and noise created by motorists is becoming a serious headache for 

Jafar Tashakori Hashemi, the director of the Traffic and Transport Department 
of the Tehran Municipality, said on Monday that 300,000 to 400,000 additional 
cars hit the street every year in Tehran. He stated that it will be difficult 
to keep the traffic congestion from getting even worse. 

There are many contrasts in the city. 

Whereas many sensible citizens walk to work if they can, others even use their 
cars to go shopping at stores that are within walking distance of their homes. 

Over the past two decades, the municipality has constructed many highways and 
bridges and developed the public transportation system to ease traffic, but it 
has failed to keep pace with the rise in the number of cars. Actually, in many 
parts of the city, buses, which are the heart of the public transport system, 
are no longer convenient because they are usually caught in heavy traffic. 

It is often said -- and rightly so -- that Tehran has become a giant parking 

Adding insult to injury, people who commit traffic violations are rarely fined. 

Now citizens are worried about their children's daily trips to school and back. 
They are worried about the air pollution affecting their children's health and 
the careless driving, which threatens their children's safety. 

And this is not the end of the story. 

Every year Iran must spend more of its oil revenues to import gasoline, which 
it then sells at heavily subsidized prices. This is why Tehran Municipality 
official Mohammad Eidian said on Tuesday that Iran's 70 million people consume 
as much energy as a country with a population of 850 million. 

He noted that Iran consumed $43.9 billion of energy in the first six months of 
the Iranian calendar year, which ran from March 20 to September 21. 

In addition, relevant organizations are making no efforts to encourage people 
to decrease their use of private cars. 

Sadly, the city looked quite polluted from November 19 to 20 when the Tehran 
Municipality was hosting the First Asian Mayors Forum. 

With its tree-lined streets and numerous parks, Tehran is regarded as one of 
the most beautiful cities in the world, but its residents can only breathe 
fresh air when a strong wind blows or on rainy days. 

And unfortunately, Iran's other major cities, like Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz, 
Tabriz, and Ahwaz, are experiencing a similar fate. 

Air pollution, traffic congestion, and excessive noise have made life miserable 
for city residents. 

The city is for citizens, not for roaming cars and motorcycles. 

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