Bus lanes, cycle zones part of $12bn traffic master plan

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Bus lanes and exclusive zones for pedestrians and cyclists are part of the plan to ease congestion and improve safety on the roads of Dubai, it has been revealed.

A further 500km of roads plus 120 multi-level interchanges will also be built before 2020 at a cost of around 44 billion dirhams ($12 billion) as transport chiefs in the emirate aim to improve life for motorists.

The detailed plans were outlined by Mattar Al-Tayer, chairman of the Board and executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) at a conference in Jordan, news agency WAM reported.

Al-Tayer delivered a keynote speech in which he described how officials were planning to tackle the growing problem of traffic congestion in Dubai.

He said the RTA planned to slash the number of road deaths from the current 17 per thousand to just five by 2020 while proposals including the Dubai Metro and the introduction of more than 3,000 buses aims to increase the use of public transport in the city to 30 percent.

Talking about the problems of road safety and congestion, he said: "RTA worked out plans to overcome these challenges...The plan calls for expanded use of intelligent traffic systems and introducing policies and legislations to curb the increase in the number of vehicles.

"These include bus-dedicated lanes, toll gates system, exclusive pedestrians and cyclists zones, and drafting legislations related to vehicle registration and driver licensing."

He said the master plan up to 2020 included the use of 3,000 buses operating to lift around 4.5 million passengers per day.

A total of about 1,000 air-conditioned bus shelters for passengers would be built, he said.

Al-Tayer also outlined the RTA's plan to extend the marine transport system including two projects to operate 20 ferries and 10 water taxis.

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Posted by: savio crasto

The BIGGEST causes of traffic congestion in Dubai (and Sharjah) are roads design and driver indiscipline. While it may not be possible to fix the already badly designed roads (such as the exit to Airport Expo in the fast lane on Airport Road - there are several more examples, but I'm sure readers will be aware of them already), it is possible to address driver indiscipline by posting 24x7 police presence at the 50 or 60 key traffic points in the city. By key points I mean the points where traffic bottlenecks exist because of known lane mergers or known busy lane exits and junctions. At these "key points", there needs to be 24x7 (Ok- so take out the graveyard shift) police presence. Haven't we all noticed how smoothly traffic flows when there's a cop policing the exits or the merging lanes or junctions? How errant drivers suddenly maintain lane discipline? How otherwise impatient drivers become full of patience and even, in some cases, show kindness to fellow drivers? The current strategy of the RTA to "catch" and "fine" errant drivers by using sophisticated cameras will NOT reduce traffic congestion or road fatalities although it will most certainly increase the RTA's revenues. Instead of spending on state-of-the-art speed cameras, the RTA can employ 100 more cops to ONLY monitor these "key points" on a two shift basis. It works now whenever these key points are monitored. All it needs is extended coverage to all the key points and voila, half your traffic problems will be solved.

Posted by: Paul

Until Dubai can get drivers to obey the basic safety rules (like not overtaking on the left-hand shoulder of SZR at 160km/h), I expect it will have little chance to make buslanes work. Will a queue of cars wait patiently in a jam while the buslane right alongside is empty? In Dubai!? Dubai needs buslanes for sure - but with the appalling standards of driving I see little chance they can be made to work unless the police presence increases, CCTV is put on all major roads and violators are virtually guaranteed to be caught and strongly punished for dangerous and illegal acts.

Posted by: UK

All these grand plans are fine. Immediately, I have a plan that can reduce congestion and is environment friendly too, if somebody can care for these. Make simpler rules for car pooling and have dedicated carpool lanes at least on roads like Emirates. 99% of the cars have only one occupant. There is huge, huge opportunity there.

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