The traffic scenario in and around the Towers Zone area in the West Bay, in particular on both directions in the stretch between Sheraton roundabout and Asas Towers, in the vicinity of Al Jazi Gardens is becoming a nightmare for those commuting through the area, especially between 7 and 10.30am.
Added to this is the critical issue of shortage of parking space in the entire area where a lot of high rises are still under construction in addition to the more than 90 or so new buildings that have come up there since 2006.
Perhaps nowhere in the city or in its immediate neighbourhood the issue of parking is so severe as in the area, according to many office-goers and other residents.
Long queues of vehicles are not only seen on the roads surrounding the Sheraton roundabout but also on those lanes that lead to some of the major offices as the headquarters of Ashghal and Al Sulaiti Towers, the latter which is housing the main offices of Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) among others.
“Even for the visitors travelling to the area as early as 7.30am, it is next to impossible these days to not only to find a parking slot but it is also extremely difficult to get access to the locality,” said a senior engineer of a prominent construction firm, visiting many government offices in the area as part of his official duties.
Inquiries made by this newspaper in the last few days also found that traffic scene on the road in front of the Ministry of Interior head quarters too is chaotic.
“With so many new constructions including those of the new multi-level Exhibition Centre taking place along the road, one would be extremely lucky if one gets a parking slot without inviting a traffic department fine,” said a person working in an office in the area.
Though many visitors are availing of the multi-level pay parking areas at the City Center Doha (CCD) and Kahramaa, it is far from sufficient to meet the ever growing numbers of customers and also the requirements of those frequenting to the Towers Zone these days.
“These days whenever I have some business in the offices in the area, either I take along someone who could take away my vehicle back to our office or drive further to the CCD to know if there is any parking space available there before walking down to government offices in the area,” said a senior operations manager at a major construction company. He said since the climate is better these days, he could walk some distance.
“However, what will people do in scorching summers,” he asks.
Inquiries found the CCD parking lots get sometimes filled as early as 10 in the morning. Though such alternative options as car pooling, taxi sharing and use of public transport are popular in many parts of the world these are not familiar in this country. While the traffic authorities are highlighting at intervals the importance of using public transport to reduce perennial traffic congestions , not many seem to have taken such advice seriously so far.
“Such options as car pooling and taxi sharing being practised elsewhere could sometimes work in such areas having high density of vehicles as the West Bay. However, the residents have not been taught properly to take such alternatives,” said a senior professional working in a major international office in the area.
The resident also advises the management of every high rise complex in the area to explore such options as introducing mini buses to ferry customers to and from their places to other locations where customers could park their vehicles.
Some of the office-goers in the locality fear the situation to turn from bad to worse in coming days in view of more infrastructure related work slated for coming weeks.
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