Complaints about traffic in and around Doha have reached a fever pitch this week, and all signs indicate that commute times will only get worse.
That’s in part because not everyone has returned from summer vacation. According to new figures released by the Qatar Statistics Authority, the country’s population at the end of August was the lowest it’s been all year.
As of Aug. 31, there were 1.86 million people in the country, down from a record high of 1.96 million in May.
That means the country may see an influx of at least 100,000 people returning to Qatar this month following the summer holidays.
Further straining the already-overcrowded roads, hundreds of thousands of students will begin reporting to school next week, via bus, family-owned vehicles and Karwa taxis.
Meanwhile, new construction projects are causing traffic jams across Doha, including on the Corniche, in Dafna and West Bay, near Education City and around the Souq Waqif/Msheireb area.
To help cope with the stress, Doha News readers have offered these tips:
- Work from home;
- Car pool;
- Devise a less stressful way to get to your destination using Google’s real-time traffic updates;
- Reorganize your schedule, leaving earlier or later than usual to beat the traffic rush; and
- Ride a bike to work (make sure to wear a helmet)
If you’re really desperate, other suggestions include:
- Stay in a hotel the night before an important morning meeting; and
- Invest in a motorbike/helicopter
And on a macro level, Al Arab weighs in with the following ideas:
- Speed it up: Require contractors to have teams of workers on site 24/7 to ensure construction projects are completed promptly; and
- Introduce flexible timings for employees and students to avoid rush hour congestion.
Would you add anything else? Thoughts?
Credit: Photo by Kervin Hernandez