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Monday, September 27, 2021

VIDEO: Engineers propose double-decker Dafna gateway

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Dafna double-deck proposal

To handle an expected increase in vehicle traffic in the coming decades, a team of consultants has recommended the construction of multi-level, one-way thoroughfares at the southwest edge of West Bay/Dafna.

Architectural and engineering firm KEO International Consultants has pitched the idea to officials at the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, according to a source with knowledge of the project.

He told Doha News that while the ministry was initially receptive to the idea, government officials now question the viability of the project.

Specifically, there are concerns over the impact of three years’ worth of construction as well as the cost, which could run as high as QR8 billion ($2.2 billion). The individual said more meetings between KEO and ministry representatives are planned.

A five-minute video of KEO’s West Bay/Dafna proposal – as well as a project to revamp the Al Shamal Road interchange at Landmark Mall – was published on YouTube earlier this year and recently circulated on social media sites:

It appears to show the split-level lanes starting near Oryx intersection and extending along Majlis Al Taawon Street before rejoining at ground level slightly before the Tornado Tower.

At its widest, there are six lanes in each direction – unencumbered by traffic signals – in addition to service roads.

There are at least two pedestrian overpasses above traffic, as well as lanes connecting to the planned Sharq Crossing.

Capacity constraints

Commercial real estate firms note that many of the office buildings in Dafna are not fully occupied. As vacancy rates edge downward in the coming years, more and more workers will be entering Doha’s central business district daily, putting increased pressure on the city’s roads.

While the Doha Metro is expected to ease the strain somewhat, planners predict many residents will still have a preference for private vehicles, necessitating the need to expand roads in the area.

One of the advantages of the double-decker option, according to the engineering source, is that it can be built almost entirely within the government’s existing right-of-ways, negating the need to expropriate land.

Simply widening Majlis Al Taawon Street, he added, would be virtually impossible without demolishing existing buildings.

The proposed vehicle tunnel for traffic leaving Dafna is about 1.2 kilometers long, the source said. It’s about 10m below the surface at its deepest point – shallow enough to have an adequate buffer between the vehicle tunnel and the Doha Metro running below.

Landmark interchange

Al Shamal and Al Markhiya interchange

The video also includes a proposed reconstruction of the interchange of Al Shamal Road and Al Markhiya Street – at Landmark and Ezdan malls – that allows motorists to enter and exit the expressway without crossing a set of traffic lights.

According to the engineering source, this “free-flow” design has been approved and authorities are currently pre-qualifying companies to bid on the project.

Thoughts? What do you think of the double-deck proposal?

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Ben
Ben
7 years ago

One obvious soloution would be to spread the CBD out. You are always going to have problems with so many high rise office towers in such a cramped space. There is plenty of room to spread these out throughtout the city and beyond. That way the traffic wont all be going in the same direction every day.

The Reporter
The Reporter
7 years ago
Reply to  Ben

Too obvious and logical Ben. Your idea has no chance.

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  Ben

That goes against the Middle East strategy of grouping things together to create the absolute maximum congestion and parking problems, and to ensure that you have to drive miles right across town at least twice a month.

We like herding blocks of all the same types of shops together as the colours look pretty on maps. Blocks of industry; blocks of houses; blocks of schools; blocks of restaurants, blocks of car showrooms, blocks of malls… Wait, that last one doesn’t seem right.

As a point of interest, you may think that Qatar is being a cutting edge pioneer building Ezdan Mall and Gulf Mall right next to Landmark Mall, (each with essentially the same shops), but Bahrain is well ahead with 5 malls along one street, all within 1.5km^2 – Seef, Al Ali, Dana, Bahrain Mall, and City Centre. (Don’t worry, there’s a gap for a 6th once things settle down over there.)

bleh!!
bleh!!
7 years ago
Reply to  dubious

it would be good if these malls (landmark, ezdan, lulu, gulfmall and many more which are coming) were connected to each other via underground passages which also have shops.

Yacine
Yacine
7 years ago

What a stupid solution. It will cost initially 8 billion and will take 3 years to build, but judging by how projects are managed here, the cost will be at least doubled and the project will be ready in 6 years. Now if you take all that money and build a city outside Doha that would be better and cheaper, and by city, I do not mean the luxury Lusail-type of cities but Al Mansoura or AlSadd type. Luxury projects have proven to be utterly useless and superfluous in this country, with zero return on investment.

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Probably don’t need to build a new city as there is plenty of space out on the Western side of Doha. I’m sure plenty of people would have an easier commute if there were offices in Muraykh, Rayyan,, etc.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Agreed. Better to invest more heavily in quality public transportation.

Shaiju
7 years ago

Now that is called smart planning/thinking. Kudos to KEO for the proposal.

ZuZ
ZuZ
7 years ago

A chain is as strong as its weakest link. All this traffic will lead to an over congested “non-upgraded” road, and will only make things worse. The problem that should be really tackled in West bay is the low road capacity between the towers; single lane roads leading to single lane exists shared amongst several towers!

dubious
dubious
7 years ago

Probably more useful than the Bridges to Nowhere aka Sharq Crossing.

Going to need some shade on those pedestrian bridges though. More cover for the pavement would be nice too to save walkers the severe scorchio.

Seems odd to me that so few designers get that it is really hot and really sunny in this part of the world. It’s almost as if there should be a rule that you can’t do urban realm designing unless you’ve lived here for a few weeks in August.

Expat
Expat
7 years ago

The things people in this country would do just to avoid riding a bus with someone is astounding! A proper public transportation system would cost a fraction of this project and be done quicker!

Pete
Pete
7 years ago

Parking is a much bigger problem. And when the towers are full (if ever) it will be twice as bad.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
7 years ago
Reply to  Pete

That was my first thought too! Better off spreading the city out, the parking is already so bad. MMUP seem to be approving these buildings with little or no visitor parking. At Assas Tower they run yoga school, everyone parks in Beach Tower as Assas doesn’t let them. I tried to go to QIC and the guard said there is no visitor parking at all. There was 50 or so public parking spaces next to the Governor until recently. Overnight the places were filled by government 4wd, the cars havnt moved are now just covered in dust??? Can’t wait for the metro, I hope it’s the one project we can deliver on time!

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Pete

They cant plan, simple. Watch people drive here..ohh I have to turn right in 1 kilometere, but Ill stay left until 20 metres out and just turn right across three lanes….unable to plan my man.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

I don’t agree with you there. They actually plan to stay left until 20 meters and then turn right across 3 lanes, cause it’s faster for them. Who cares if the rest of the 3 lanes have to wait an extra 5 minutes, as long as they can save 30 secs of their daily commute?

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

Oh what I wouldn’t give to live in a non construction zone for just 5 minutes.

bleh!!
bleh!!
7 years ago

did anyone read today’s article in the peninsula paper regarding traffic??

here is the link http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/news/qatar/298600/city-braces-for-more-traffic-woes

a few lines caught my attention
“He said that the free shuttle bus services introduced by the government in the West Bay area are a welcome initiative. Such services should be introduced to other areas as well.
“Europeans have begun taking advantage of these services but Arabs and Asians still prefer to drive their own cars despite the chaotic roads and parking woes.” Taking a cue from Europeans, people should cooperate with the authorities instead of complaining about busy and chaotic roads.”

there are a lot of offices on the airport road, najma, muntaza, salwa road etc. why is there only this free shuttle service in westbay??? why can’t they provide these services in the other areas? why are there no parking lots so that people can park their cars in one area and catch a shuttle bus to/from their offices?

i have been following the works near the toyota/almana signal. what have they done??? they have blocked one/two lanes and there is nothing being done there! Plus all the lights used to illuminate the work areas are pointed straight at the drivers driving down the road! the few times i have gone to/from cornice in the evening the lights have been blinding!

Enceladus
Enceladus
7 years ago
Reply to  bleh!!

The Peninsula is clearly racist! 😀

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Enceladus

And Ashgal

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago
Reply to  bleh!!

The work near the toyota/almana signal was supposed to be completed in July end. Instead they decided to crack open the Ramada Signal Junction at the same time and take out the people working there I guess. Standard Qatar Construction standards. I’m sure some consultant firm must be getting richer by delaying the project as much as possible.

Bornrich
Bornrich
7 years ago

Just ban cars in West Bay. Set up free 24hr Park and Ride bus services. Solved. Price: 100 buses, salaries for 100 bus drivers. But it does require land for car parks on major arteries just outside West Bay (that’s gonna be expensive). I suppose if you wanted to spend a bit more budget you could make the car park subterranean. It’s not a proper project if it’s not into the billions! : )

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
7 years ago

What happened to the air conditioned bicycle lanes I was promised years ago? 🙁

DEEM
DEEM
7 years ago

I don’t get it…. That stretch isn’t that busy, I drive it everyday. And about half way down that stretch, pretty much where the footbridge is in the video ( now THAT I like, have you tried crossing that road? ) they are building a metro station and an underground train line.. So if the video is accurate… We’ll need a level crossing about 20 meters below ground level… Still, this IS Doha… Nothing surprises me anymore.

bleh!!
bleh!!
7 years ago

why can’t they make air conditioned foot bridges? foot bridges over long stretched of road should also be provided with travelators! like the ones they have provided in dubai.
on another note: has anyone noticed the travelators in the arrivals area of airport right after disembarking from the aircraft? its as if they had forgotten to add it and they installed it later!

greylag
greylag
7 years ago
Reply to  bleh!!

Covered foot bridges would be fine. Think Singapore, Abu Dhabi, etc. But we NEED footbridges!

bleh!!
bleh!!
7 years ago
Reply to  greylag

Exactly as I envisioned!

brad
brad
7 years ago

This would be a much wiser way to spend the funds intended for the underwater causeway from Hamad International Airport to wherever it goes. Not to mention the environmental impact of the underwater causeway and we wonder how this underwater causeway will resolve the traffic problem in Doha

greylag
greylag
7 years ago
Reply to  brad

Sharq Crossing will allow traffic to bypass the Corniche /Ring Roads when travelling East-West. This in itself will lessen a lot of potential traffic between Pearl/Losail/Al Khor, and new airport/Al Wakra area.

greylag
greylag
7 years ago

This sort of scheme would be fine if Doha would allow elevated expressways, like most cities in the US. But they won’t, too unsightly, might not be able to see all the pretty lights. The Salam Street tunnel in Abu Dhabi took almost four years, and was a nightmare for the local residents. It has worked out well, but is still a limited distance, and one soon runs into the first traffic signal on the Corniche. Same would happen here.

greylag
greylag
7 years ago

Metro runs right through this corridor. Take a look at Qatar Rail website.

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