Phnom Penh and other major cities in Cambodia are facing major traffic snarls due to rapid urbanization and increasing population and migration rate. As urban transport relies heavily on private motor vehicles, with increased rate of people driving their own vehicles this year, the situation on the roads is becoming dreadful.
Heavy traffic comes at a big cost, in both time and money. It affects different industries and individuals in various ways. For instance, in hospitals, it may affect lives who need urgent medical assistance whilst in education, students and teachers’ performances may get affected at some point.
But just like any other fields, the real estate industry also struggles, especially the residential and industrial sector.
Asset Value Depreciation
Generally, the value of properties located in flood-prone, traffic-congested areas can depreciate over time. Nevertheless, accessibility plays a vital role in increasing a property’s value, which can also increase its chance of being sold quickly as buyers highly prefer accessible locations.
For businesses, busy thoroughfares can actually be an advantage for it provides optimal exposure and consistent foot traffic, while residential and industrial sectors experience otherwise.
Traffic and road networks, in regard to industrial sector, can slowdown the distribution of goods and products and reduce productivity of manpower which can also affect the economic growth.
In the study of “The Effect of Road Traffic on Residential Property Values,” it states that road traffic affects the residential property values and buyers’ decision due to the environment, neighborhood, and accessibility.
People nowadays prefer short time travel as it increases their productivity and reduces their daily hassle, plus it can save them a little from fuel expenses. They prefer homes located near workplaces, commercial establishments, transportation hubs, where they could easily access basic necessities.
Healthy lifestyle has also been the new way of living ever since Covid-19 started, to which close-to-traffic residences cannot offer as it is exposed to pollution and noise. But with congestion in traffic, people can’t afford to live from afar, which are rather affordable and offers a more holistic living.
Because of this, buyers and renters may only be looking into one spot, where conveniences are highly concentrated: within city centres. In effect, the developers, landlords and sellers, with properties at distant locations, could face a shortage in property seekers. This can also affect the real estate development and growth across all parts of Cambodia.
Affordable housing is obviously non attainable in commercial city centres yet it is important to provide this kind of privilege to Cambodian families, alongside a seamless travel—from affordable residence to study and workplaces.
What causes traffic jam in Cambodia?
In a video survey by Radio Free Asia back in 2013, local residents in Phnom Penh say that the main causes of traffic jams are narrow roads, lack of traffic signages, and frequent switching of drivers to gaps and wrong lanes. These aren’t far from the offences gathered by the National Police last year, such as no safety helmets, no seatbelts, driving over speed limit, overloading, and driving under the influence of alcohol.
What’s being done to alleviate this problem?
The Cambodian government has started to aid this problem by focusing on two aspects: imposing discipline on drivers and building more road networks.
For drivers, the Ministry of Public Works has implemented a new road traffic law last May 2020, with a plan to amend and tighten regulations this year for a better flow of traffic and improve road safety.
When lockdowns shuttered air and land transportations, the transport and infrastructure constructions resumed work on huge projects concentrated on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, including the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, NR3 from Phnom Penh to Kampot, Third Ring Road, NR5 from Phnom Penh to Poipet, and bridges across major rivers from Phnom Penh to the provinces.
The government is also building new roads and upgrading existing links in Siem Reap city, which remains to be the tourist capital of Cambodia. More improvements in city infrastructure such as road networks, waste management, and flood mitigation are included in Phnom Penh Sustainable City Plan 2018-2030.
For all the above effects, well-planned and quality public transport systems will not only cut travel time and ease traffic congestion, but also ensures that property market in every part of the country gets an ample space to grow.