The top three problems that contribute to traffic jams in Qatar are: road closures due to construction, a surge in the number of vehicles on the road and poor urban planning, according to the results of a survey recently conducted by the government.
The best way to tackle those problems is to increase police presence and enforcement on the roads and teach people the basics of traffic awareness and driving culture, concludes the survey, which included some 4,300 residents from across Qatar.
Some 52 percent of respondents also said they believe that not enough steps are taken to ensure pedestrian safety.
Though the results don’t tell residents anything they don’t already know, they do reflect a unified dissatisfaction with the current state of Qatar’s roads among locals expats alike, one that the government appears to be taking to heart.
The recommendations of the survey will be forwarded to the National Committee for Traffic Safety.
Surge in traffic
The survey is part of a strategy to reduce overall traffic accidents from 3,000 to 2,500 for every one million people in Qatar and to reduce the number of traffic accident-related deaths from 13.5 to 10 per every 100,000 people annually by 2016, Strategic Planning Department director Col. Abdul Rahman Majid Al-Sulaiti previously said.
There were 287,500 vehicles on the road in Qatar in 2000, compared to 656,686 in 2010 (a more than 130 percent increase); meanwhile, Qatar’s population has nearly tripled in the last 10 years and the number of road accidents jumped some 160 percent.
Complaints about traffic jams appeared to reach a fever pitch when schools resumed in September, and commuters have been regularly reporting spending hours on the road since then.
Credit: Photo by Lubaib Gazir