Traffic jams ‘for next 5 years’
DOHA’S traffic congestion will continue for the next five years, traffic department director Brigadier Mohamed Saad al-Kharji has told the Central Municipal Council, local Arabic newspapers reported.
Al-Kharji was replying to a report on the subject presented to the CMC.
The CMC on Tuesday took up for discussion the report prepared by its committee for services and amenities on the basis of an extensive field study of traffic congestion.
Al-Kharji, head of traffic planning and safety Col Mohamed Abdur Rahim Marafi and senior officials of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) attended the session as special invitees.
In light of the report’s findings, there was a unanimous demand from the CMC members that a special body should be constituted to oversee implementation of the ongoing road development projects and to carry out maintenance work.
CMC deputy chairman Jasim Abdullah al-Malky, who headed the committee that authored the report, called for steps to ease the problem.
“It appears that the traffic department has become incapable of carrying out its fundamental duties such as handling traffic bottlenecks so as to cover all such points during peak hours,” he said.
He cited “non-maintenance of the pavements, dividers and lane markings on the main roads and streets.”
“We need to chalk out a 10-year plan for the development and maintenance of our roads. There should be an independent body to oversee implementation of the road projects,” al-Malky said.
“There should be a convenient gap in the timings between school and office hours so as to avoid congestion of traffic and facilitate easy movement for the public.
“Many of the complaints and requests made by the council members to the traffic department have remained unattended to since 2003.
“These pertain to the problems of potholes on some main roads and many inner streets, and absence of proper signposts on many streets especially near schools, mosques and hospitals.”
Replying to these remarks and those made by several other CMC members, al-Kharji said traffic congestion was a natural corollary to the ongoing road development projects that were part of the multi-faceted urban development of the country as a whole.
“The congestion will continue for the next five years. In the given situation the department is doing its best to cope with the problems,” he said.
“We have sought the help of the Qatari air force to monitor the most congested traffic points. And we are considering the idea of blocking traffic on the inner streets that connect to the intersections. We intend to do this during peak hours to avoid a rush of vehicles.
“Several radars that have been damaged as a result of road accidents have still not been replaced because of the innumerable procedures involving the courts and insurance firms.
“Most of the road accidents occur because of undisciplined driving and a disregard for the traffic regulations. I appeal to all motorists to drive cautiously in keeping with the regulations,” al-Kharji said.
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