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Doha
Thursday, July 29, 2021

Traffic Department director: ‘You need to be patient’

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corniche construction

In the absence of tangible short-term solutions to Qatar’s traffic woes, residents have no choice but to wait for major overhauls of the roads to be completed, the director of the Traffic Department has said.

Quoting Brig. Mohamed Saad Al Kharji, the Peninsula reports:

“You need to be patient… Traffic snarls are basically due to the closure of roads and diversions caused by development projects.”

Traffic jams need long-term solutions. Once the mega public transport projects are completed, the situation would improve.

Qatar, which has seen its population double to more than 2 million people in the past six years, has been struggling with increasing traffic congestion in the past couple of years.

This summer, it began embarking in earnest on overhauling many popular roads here, turning Corniche roundabouts in signaled intersections and working to convert two-lane roads into highways. While the end result is sure to improve residents’ commute, the interim congestion that has ensued is the source of much grumbling.

Meanwhile, Qatar Tribune reports Al Kharji as saying a new junction is going to be built between Ramada signal and Midmac flyover along Salwa Road. The signaled intersection will make it easier for motorists to get to Nasser St. and traffic congestion in the area, the official said.

However, no timeline for the new junction was discussed.

The Tribune said Al Kharji also spoke about a recent driving license ban imposed on certain classes of residents in Qatar:

“(Al) Kharji said that a large segment of the society has praised the decision as a major step to tackle traffic congestion in the country. He said the department took the step for the convenience of all road users without prejudice to a particular section of the society.”

The official added that the ban would be temporary.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Sorin Furcoi

15 COMMENTS

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Iain James
Iain James
7 years ago

The traffic is pretty bad, but compared to central London and other places.. well. I’ve seen worse. I think we all need to be patient and supportive. Qatar is growing fast, and there are always going to be a few growing pains.

That said, banning certain segments of society from obtaining driving licences is a mistake.

1. It won’t have any effect. Sadly,the poorly paid migrants targeted probably can’t afford cars anyway.
2. It looks like another form of apartheid. Sorry, Qatar, I love being here, but it’s just plain wrong.

We should continue to focus on developing the roads, but put renewed emphasis on public transport and CYCLE ROUTES!! Not just leisure routes around Aspire, but genuine routes for getting safely from A to B by bicycle. Sure, it’s hot for 5 months of the year, but give them the opportunity, and people will learn to love bicycles.

Christian Ellegaard
Christian Ellegaard
7 years ago
Reply to  Iain James

I totally agree on the cycle routes. I’m convinced my daily 10km trip could be done much faster on a bicycle than in a car on the worst days of traffic jams.

greg
greg
7 years ago

cycle routes ok…but it is not feasable from April to September…imagine the state you will ariive in at your work after 10km of cycling…

Ce Moi
Ce Moi
7 years ago
Reply to  greg

Shaded cycle paths…… now that would be awesome!

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Ce Moi

If they can AC a soccer stadium (well not yet) maybe they can AC the bike paths.

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

I will be quite supportive of Ashgal this time, it seems they have learnt the lessons of past mistakes. Of course there is going to be disruption when this work is done but this is unavoidable but the work is preceeding at a good pace. Before you would see roads dug yup and no one working for months, now all roads under construction have people working on them and you can see the progress.

Looks like Ashgal have a had a change of direction or recruited some competent people for a change.

Chillaxxx
Chillaxxx
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I agree. It’s definitely going to be frustrating for a couple of years but there really is no other way to tackle the issue than to get all of these projects out of the way. All residents of major cities around the world are accustomed to planning ahead for their commutes and taking traffic into consideration. Here in tiny quiet Qatar its a new concept that will take time to get used to. Also, the traffic in a year or two would be this bad either way without all of the closures, due to the population increase.

I’m really impressed with the improvements Ashgal have made too, the planning and the quality of the diversions in West Bay (leading to the Pearl/Katara) and the upcoming Arch roundabout closure are definitely a step forward, not to mention the new corniche. I’ve come to accept that I’m going to spend hours in traffic for a couple of years; no pain no gain.

Susan
Susan
7 years ago

Agreed on the “need to be patient” theme. However I would also note that on Sunday this week, when MOST schools and public offices were still closed for Eid break, my morning drive to work was absolutely great. I seriously felt like it was ten years ago in terms of the road congestion (or lack thereof). Monday’s commute, however, sucked big time. I think the school traffic is the biggest problem — yet the authorities are still pushing to get everyone on the same calendar and timings! Instead I think they need to promote staggered timings for schools, allow school calendars to vary as they will, AND start promoting busing instead of having everyone drive their kids. THIS is the biggest contributor to Doha’s traffic woes (not the laborers who they’ve banned from getting licenses).

Ce Moi
Ce Moi
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

Sending kids to school by Bus??? Have you seen how some of these bus drivers are on the roads? I wouldn’t trust them!

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan

I have used three different schools here in Qatar over the years. In the two primary schools I and some other parents tried to push for a later opening times different from the schools around as there was usually chaos during pick up and drop off with many schools using the same junction and side roads. Both times we were told working parents didn’t want a later opening. Really? When we pushed we were then told that the SEC would not approve it.
Seems like there is to much of a culture of ‘ this is how we have always done it so it’s fine’ attitude. This isn’t a Qatar problem in itself. It is typical throughout the world. How many cities could ease their traffic overnight by encouraging companies to stagger office opening times. It’s not rocket science.
Agree more buses for schools. At the moment there are not enough and some are very poor quality. Too few buses for my child’s school means long journeys with many pick ups ( some not done in a logical order) to and from school.
I currently either share a taxi or car share with friends. Which makes life a lot easier.
My husbands company used to provide a happy bus servicing the company compounds. A couple of years back they stopped it. Around the same time we noticed a lot of other companies doing the same. Seemed to be a cost cutting exercise. So imagine the amount of extra cars that put on the roads.

Shaiju
7 years ago

and the funny part is “However, no timeline for…”

Guest
Guest
7 years ago
Reply to  Shaiju

It’s nothing out of the ordinary. Half of the work isn’t done yet and it’d be inaccurate to forecast dates now.

Shaiju
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

planning would help.

Diego
Diego
7 years ago

And thats what the French footballer says, be patient.One wants to build roads and the other would like to”hit the road”

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