Once known for its serene evenings, friendly weather and smooth traffic flow, the federal capital has fast lost its beauty and serenity. Massive construction in surroundings and rising human and vehicular population is adding to the miseries of capital dwellers with every passing day. With its population reaching almost 2.5 million people and registered vehicles number crossing 1.3 million, road infrastructure of the city seems like shrinking. The enjoyment of a pleasure drive in bygone days has turned into a nightmare as reaching any destination within the capital now consumes three fold more time than almost eight to ten years back. But, who cares, obviously no one even if it costs much more to the commuters than previous years in terms of fuel cost and psychological effects. “Almost five years back, it used to take me 15 minutes to reach my home at Pakistan Town from main capital city. But, now traffic congestion spoils more than an hour during peak time,” said Rashid Mahmood. “The situation has worsened to the extent that all the time on road, I fear colliding with other vehicles especially the bike riders who least care of lane and speed,” he said. He demanded immediate steps and strict implementation of laws to smoothen traffic flow and bring back driving wisdom to the capital commuters. Unruly driving is very common with skeletal number of traffic wardens deputed to penalize the violators. Law abiding and sane commuters are usually under threat of accidents due to over speeding, frequent lane change, wrong overtaking and zig-zagging by ruthless bikers. Recent years saw it further worsening as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf government despite its tall claims of reformation could not even streamline the traffic flow on Islamabad Expressway. Rather its rhetoric and slang language grew intolerance among youth especially bike riders who not only massively violate traffic rules but also behave obstinately even with senior citizens. Psychiatrists also see this phenomenon as one of the major causes behind rising trends of intolerance, unruly behaviors and road side brawls. The situation is also worrisome in terms of parking space at all business points of the capital especially at busy points like Blue Area, Jinnah Super, Super Market and all other small and big markets in G and F sectors. Commonly thinking and seeing examples of other world mega cities, in our case it seems more an issue of traffic rules implementation than the vehicles load. Even our main arteries like Expressway, Srinagar Highway, IJP, Margalla, Murree (Barakahu) and Nazimuddin roads are most often choked. Mushroom growth of private schools at every nook and corner of capital sectors and towns is another major cause of traffic snarls. According to Islamabad Deputy Commissioner’s office, 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles are registered every month in federal capital while the number of traffic wardens remains the same. “We have serious manpower issue as present traffic staff was quite insufficient to control and streamline traffic,” an official at Deputy Commissioner’s office said requesting anonymity. “”It is not only a governance or law enforcing issue, but it also relates to policy decisions.” By the time, there are 700 police officers on traffic duty against the needed strength of an additional 3,000 to regulate traffic. “One can easily compare ten years back human and vehicular population with the present days,” remarked a traffic police official. “How can the same strength of staffers perform outstandingly when human and vehicle populace has doubled. The newly appointed Islamabad Police Chief has made changes in the police squad but changing positions cannot address the staff shortage problem. In a much needed effort, the ITP in coordination with capital administration had succeeded in staggering the timings for educational institutions and offices located in different areas to manage traffic congestion during peak hours. “Situation on Srinagar highway has improved after making it a signal free corridor. We need more such steps to streamline traffic flow,” said an ITP official. Although the traffic police officials presented their own reasons of traffic jams yet their failure in effective implementation of traffic rules cannot be overlooked. Their argument brings to mind the times of SSP Sultan Azam Taimoori when any violator could not escape easily after violating traffic code. Since, hundreds of thousands vehicle daily travel on busy Expressway, Srinagar Highway and IJP road, there is dire need for introducing mass transit projects, lane speed limits and designated lanes for bikers, public and heavy transport. Tourists influx and traffic load of those travelling between Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is another problem that needs alternate routes and early completion of ring road. Capital roads are more stuffed on weekend due to tourist movement between these two provinces. Sometimes, it is also a tug of war like situation between the departments with ITP seen complaining of non-cooperative attitude of Capital Development Authority (CDA) officials who on the other side claim to do the maximum for contributing in traffic smoothening efforts of the ITP. “We work in collaboration of each other and CDA has taken effective measures to address traffic issues,” said a CDA official. “We and district administration have introduced Protected U-Turns on Srinagar Highway to smoothen traffic flow.” Even if one agrees with CDA’s claim and appreciates its constructing Protected U-Turns at Srinagar highway, since the Authority requires to mark zebra crossing, placing sign boards, giving diversion through U-turns or fish bellies and improving road infrastructure. No doubt that the CDA has constructed more parking lots around weekly bazaars, commercial plazas, Super Market, Blue area, F-8 and fruit and vegetable market. But, both the government departments need more collaboration to cope with this challenge. Traffic police department must use technology for controlling and monitoring the movement of vehicles at important and busy crossroads with the help of safe city cameras. Meanwhile, the CDA and district administration should employ novel ideas of proper use of space on busy and main arteries of the capital. Some ongoing projects expected to be completed within next three to 18 months may also help address the issue. Furthermore, there is urgent need of starting Orange Bus service and other envisaged mass transit projects to mitigate traffic load.