The number of registered vehicles on Armenia’s roads is kept secret by government authorities. However, the unofficial estimated figure is around 350,000. By contrast, the number of motor vehicles per 1,000 people was 1.5 in 1997, according to the World Bank Database.
Last month the Yerevan municipality decided to undertake a massive operation aimed at curbing traffic pile-ups. The measure has actually worsened the situation, forcing minibus drivers to travel against oncoming traffic on some one-way streets, Hanrabedutian Street in particular, which is narrowed at one end by construction projects and by parallel parked cars on the other.
As part of the plan, three underground passages are being constructed simultaneously at strategic areas in Central Yerevan, indefinitely impeding vehicle access. As a result the intersection of Tigran Mets and Khanjian Boulevards, one of the busiest crossroads in the city featuring an extremely large shopping complex and a bus station sending travelers to northern regions of the country throughout the day, is blocked to traffic. Instead an insufficient detour has been routed causing further bottlenecks.
According to a study by Princeton University’s International Networks Archive, Armenia has been rated the most dangerous country for driving in the world, with an estimated 347 people killed or wounded for every 1,000 vehicles. By comparison, 16 people are injured or killed in the United States for that same number of vehicles.
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