Dubai's JLT residents in fury over traffic chaos

Resident contemplate leaving development amid gridlock nightmare
By Daniel Shane
Thu 19 Sep 2013 10:44 AM

Residents at Dubai’s Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) have hit out at ongoing traffic chaos at the community, with some saying they may consider relocating if the issue is not resolved soon.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is spending AED450m on upgrading roads around the development which could eventually ease the flow of traffic, but works have in recent weeks caused gridlock while coming into and leaving the area during rush hour.

Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the authority responsible for the development, said recently that traffic problems were likely to continue for another eight weeks, prompting some of JLT’s 30,000 residents to rethink their decision to live there.

“It’s ridiculous. I’ve been here for almost two years now and the traffic during rush hour has always been awful,” said Dave Baker, a British expat who lives in the area. “My lease is up in a few months time and if JLT don’t pull their finger out I might end up looking for somewhere else to live.”

Others took to online social networks to vent their frustration at tailbacks at the development, which have been ever present since JLT opened more than three years ago.

“I will never forgive whoever developed the JLT road system,” wrote Rich Thayne on social network Twitter.

“JLT traffic is screwed again tonight I see. There were a few days when things ran relatively smoothly,” added another Twitter users, Stuart Crocker.

The current works at JLT will see the construction of a road linking Sheikh Zayed Road with Al Khail and Sheikh Mohammed roads, but some have questioned the way the project was originally designed.

“Poor infrastructure planning and greed... the roads [are] just not adequate for the density of the project,” tweeted Alex Andarakis.

Earlier this month, DMCC sent an email to JLT residents urging them to use the Dubai Metro, car pool, or change their working hours in order to avoid the development’s nightmare traffic.

“We have been advised that there will be several road diversions in JLT as the RTA road networks are nearing completion... it is likely that the congestion will continue in the coming days. We therefore suggest, wherever possible, motorists consider making alternate arrangements when travelling to and from JLT,” that email read.

Located on the opposite side of Sheikh Zayed Road to Dubai Marina, JLT is one of the emirate’s largest free zones, and is home to more than 6,500 companies and 30,000 residents. According to DMCC, about 75,000 people live and work in the development.

DMCC is currently filling in one of the development’s four lakes to make way for a community park, and will later this year fill in half of another one to build a mosque and car park.

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