West Bay’s Arch Roundabout (also know as Rainbow Roundabout) is officially closed for construction, and isn’t expected to return until the second half of 2015, but as a 3-level junction.
This weekend, passersby have had a chance to try out Ashghal’s complex new detour scheme, which involves two new signaled intersections, a u-turn and several connecting roads. So far, residents have reported mostly positive results, but the real test will come on Sunday, as daily commuter traffic attempts to navigate the new layout.
To help you navigate, here’s a primer on how to get to, and through, the Arch roundabout detours from each direction:
Coming from Qatar Sports Club
Heading north on Lusail (or Istiqlal) Street toward Arch Roundabout, a new road connection will push you to the left of the RB to a new T-junction with a traffic signal (New Traffic Signal No. 4 on the map).
To head toward Qatar University, make a left at the light.
To go toward Katara and The Pearl, or to get to City Center, make a right. This will bring you to another new T-junction with a traffic light (New Traffic Signal No. 3 on the map). For Katara and The Pearl, make a left. For City Center Mall, make a right.
Coming from City Center Mall
Heading west on Omar al-Mukhtar Street toward Arch Roundabout, you will now be automatically routed north of the RB to “New Traffic Signal No. 3.”
If you’d like to go to Katara, The Pearl etc., continue straight.
If you’d like to U-turn back toward City Center Mall, well you’re not supposed to do that here (although many already are). Instead, you’re meant to continue straight and U-turn at the next light, called “Traffic Signal No. 2”.
If you’d like to go west toward Qatar University, make a left at “Signal No. 3”, and you’ll loop around Arch RB to arrive at “Signal No. 4” with the single option of continuing straight to Al Jamiaa (University) Street.
Notably, there is no way of going south on Lusail (Istiqlal) Street toward Qatar Sports Club Roundabout. You’ll have to take the long way around, from University Street to Markhiya, or take the inner roads opposite City Center Mall.
Coming from Katara
From Katara or The Pearl, it’s pretty easy to get to City Center Mall and the Dafna / Diplomatic areas. You just drive straight, although you might have to stop at an additional traffic light (Traffic Signal No. 3).
To get to University Street, it isn’t too bad either. Heading south, you’ll go through “Signal No. 2” after the Exhibition Center and then on to “New Traffic Signal No. 3”, at which point you’ll need to make a right. That takes you on to “New Traffic Signal No. 4” and you continue straight.
If you’re trying to continue straight on Lusail (Istiqlal) Street toward Qatar Sports Club, you can’t do that anymore. You’ll have to make a square around University Street and Markhiya Street, or take the small inner roads opposite City Center Mall.
Coming from Qatar University (University St.)
Heading to Arch Roundabout from University Street, there’s only one path to take – continuing straight to “New Traffic Signal No. 4”.
If you’re trying to access Lusail (Istiqlal) Street toward Qatar Sport Club, you can make a right turn onto an inner road before you get to the new intersection. This is a good way to access the new SEK and Doha College West Bay campuses.
If you want to get to either Katara or The Pearl, or head to City Center Mall, you’ll just continue straight through “New Traffic Signal No. 4” until you reach “New Traffic Signal No. 3.” From there, make a left toward Katara, or make a right toward City Center.
Notably, the Katara turn is the left-most two lanes, while City Center has three lanes reserved for turning.
Did we miss anything? Thoughts?