The Pearl-Qatar management has said that it is boosting efforts to restrain reckless driving in its compounds with an ‘action plan’ that will see installation of two-way speed cameras, traffic lights and speed bumps.
As per the plan devised by the Pearl in collaboration with the traffic police, three two-way speed cameras will be installed at strategic locations on the main Pearl Boulevard soon.
Red traffic cameras will also be installed at Medina Junction, Porta Arabia and the Marina Way 20, apart from speed bumps that will be mounted on the Porta Arabia Drive.
Speaking to The Peninsula yesterday, officials from the United Development Company (UDC), the developers of Pearl-Qatar, said that the management is aware of the complaints of residents and it’s doing everything possible under its authority to alleviate residents’ concerns.
The officials stressed that Pearl was not a closed community, but a mixed used development area, where nearly 35,000 vehicles enter over the weekends.
“All traffic related matters at the Pearl fall under the jurisdiction of the police — not the Pearl, UDC or The Shield, Pearl’s internal security service,” John Jones, the Director of Community Management, said.
He said that the Pearl was not authorised to stop vehicles or fine drivers.
“We understand that some people are asking us why we don’t post security service providers at the entrance and only allow in the residents, but the Pearl roads are under the jurisdiction of the police, even if we want to, we cannot close the roads.”
Officials also said that the traffic related challenges at the Pearl were similar to traffic concerns in the rest of the country.
“It must be clear that the police have to balance their resources according to their priorities and they have always stated that they will continue to monitor the Pearl for traffic violations.”
On motorcycle riders violating the rule to drive past 10pm, Jones said the police have confirmed that they are actively working on enforcing it.
He, however, said that people driving vehicles with loud engines cannot be stopped if they drive within the speed limit. “The police have said that if they do not break the law, they cannot be stopped.”
Officials also said that the Pearl has never received complaints about harassment from anyone. “We heard this for the first time in a newspaper article, and we think if anyone has any concerns relating to personal safety, they should immediately call the police because that relates to the personal security of an individual in Qatar.”
Meanwhile, The Peninsula continues to receive emails from residents, who say that the ‘peace and tranquility of the Pearl has been destroyed.’ “As we write this, we are lying wide awake unable to sleep for what can only be described as uncontrollable noise pollution,” one resident said.
“The appeal of the Pearl and everything it claimed to stand for has diminished leaving it worryingly in the hands of a select boy racers.”
“The most frustrating part? Nobody seems willing to do a single thing about it… People have had enough,” the resident said.
One security officer told this newspaper during a recent visit to the compounds that the police found it difficult stop reckless drivers as some of them were sons of influential people.
The Pearl-Qatar community comprises some 10,000 residents, and UDC officials maintain that ‘this one singular issue will not affect the Pearl’.
Jones also called on residents that had complaints to contact the building management teams of the community department at the Pearl. “All they need to do is get their building management team to contact us. If they have concerns they should come to us.”
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