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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Jury still out on Qatar traffic as 243,000 students return to school

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar residents are reporting mixed experiences on the roads this morning, as hundreds of thousands of children began returning to school.

Congestion was reported in a number of locations during the morning rush hour, including the parts of C-Ring Road that are newly under construction.

But many residents said they hadn’t encountered the gridlock they were expecting.

Still, with people continuing to return to the city from summer break, traffic could get worse in the coming days.

To ensure a smoother commute, the Ministry of Interior is advising motorists to leave early and drive carefully:

The MOI also said extra traffic and security patrols have been deployed across Qatar to help traffic move as smoothly as possible.

Just before 8am, snarls were reported around some of the notorious traffic trouble spots, including Toyota signal at the end of C-Ring, immigration flyover near Landmark mall, Jaidah flyover (the extension of the Salwa Road heading towards Musheireb) and Slope roundabout, by Education City.

But, expecting the worst, most commuters said their drive was not too bad – although most left earlier than usual. Here is a roundup of some of the comments from this morning on Twitter:

By the numbers

In total, 243,000 pupils headed back to the classroom after the long summer break – a 25 percent increase on the school and kindergarten population last academic year, according to Gulf Times.

Back to school

Qatar now has 178 independent (state) schools, 154 private/international schools and 53 kindergartens.

To reduce the number of cars dropping off and picking up students, the Supreme Education Council has deployed more than 1,700 school buses across the country this year.

Some 700 new buses have been laid on for this term, and many of the buses have been specially designed to cater for students with special needs.

However, seasoned Doha commuters warned to expect heavier traffic in the days and weeks to follow as more people arrive in Qatar or return after summer break.

In previous years, schools have reported up to 40 percent of their students were absent on the first day of term.

However, under a new campaign of improving “discipline” in Qatar’s schools, the education Minister announced a raft of new measures, including the introduction of penalties for students who are persistently absent for no good reason.

These pupils will be banned from taking tests throughout the year and at the end of term, in a bid to improve attendance levels.

How was your commute today? Thoughts?

11 COMMENTS

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Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
6 years ago

Maybe they should consider implementing Double Shifts in Schools. It shouldn’t be conflicting with their cultural values either, as I believe it is implemented in other GCC Countries already.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

hmmm.. not a bad idea at all

greylag
greylag
6 years ago
Reply to  Deepak Babu

And in Singapore, a similarly congested city.

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
6 years ago

Given that SEC highlights 40% absenteeism on the return to school, perhaps next Sunday might be the one to worry about.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago

The jury has reached a verdict….the SEC is guilty of building schools all located in areas with little infrastructure to support the vehicle traffic, then Ashghal closing off all the roads that intersect with the roads where the schools are located, and reducing all the traffic on the main thoroughfares to a single lane from four, with specific projects times to coincide with the beginning of the school year. Doha is like the old version of the game SIMS where you could randomly lay roads to see just how poorly it can be managed and watch all the players turn red.

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Some half wit with 2 children treating the rear seat as a trampoline failed to give way to me in the first roundabout I came to this morning. Heavy breaking and ABS was the only thing that saved me ploughing into him…so nothing has changed, another school year and another year where road collisions are going to be the leading cause of death in children….

Joe
Joe
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

I’m not sure how you can possibly have such dramatic deceleration, with heavy braking and ABS and all, unless you were speeding on the roundabout…

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Joe

City stop on Volvo does it Joe. Stops you in your tracks. Speeding on a roundabout at 6.30 in the morning , sure right, ever driven in Doha at that time? Gridlock.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

thats nothing look at some of these

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=781791935184538

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago

another gripping headline from the team at Doha News:

‘Traffic: Quite Busy, but Not All That Busy’

I’ve forwarded this page to the BBC, in case they missed the scoop.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

Traffic wasn’t that bad because a lot of children in this country don’t go to school on the first day of school. Only half of my class showed up today.

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