Traffic solace for residents who have stayed back
A RARE SIGHT ... Traffic-free Shaikh Zayed Road near Jebel Ali on Thursday.
Dubai/Sharjah - Traffic smooth as schools remain closed and people go on vacation; poor connectivity discourage people from using public transport.
UAE residents are dreading the end of summer holidays as traffic jams are set to return. Traffic has been relatively less since the start of summer holidays, in the first week of July.
However, with only a month left for the end of school vacations, residents are dreading the reopening of schools and the return of traffic blocks.
Traffic watchdog and twitter account @trafficdxb said: "Traffic jams are definitely going to return as vacations come to a close. We are reporting two to three traffic jams every day now, whereas our usual numbers exceed seven to eight severe jams per day." Curator of the account Javed Khamisani said: "We don't take into account routes that are clogged on a daily basis. For example, Ittihad Road starting from Dubai Airport to Sharjah's Safeer Mall; or the daily jams on the Sharjah-Dubai highway; or the road starting from Mirdiff City Centre on Mohammed bin Zayed Road all the way to Sharjah; roads in and out of residential communities like the Springs; DIP, and the Arabian Ranches." Khamisani stated that these roads have a perpetual traffic problem and the account has only been reporting traffic outside these zones.
Resident of Sharjah and Indian national Fabian Guerra said: "Traffic has been really smooth now. I live in Sharjah and study in Dubai and usually I take 1 hour and 25 minutes for my daily commute. However, now I take exactly 30 minutes to reach my destination in Internet City."
Another resident Mary Anne Matthew said: "I am really dreading schools reopening. I spend two hours on the road that is supposed to take only 40 minutes. It has been amazing to be able to drive on a free, open road for all these days. I am dreading the reopening of schools."
Khamisani stated that in Dubai most of the new areas have very poor connectivity with modes of public transport. "In areas like Sports City, Motor City, and Arabian Ranches, the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) buses come only every 30 minutes. These feeder buses drop off commuters only up to the Mall of the Emirates Metro Station. After which, we have to take a Metro to go to Dubai Mall for example."
He said that the time spent is buses and the Metro exceeds 45 minutes to one hour, whereas a drive from Sports City to Dubai Mall is only 15 minutes. "Even if you want to conserve fuel, imagine the time being wasted for getting to your destination," he added. He suggested that people might get smaller cars to conserve on fuel and shy away from using bigger vehicles that consume a lot of fuel.
Vehicle density in the city exceeds that of some of the biggest metropolises. According to stats from the RTA, Dubai's vehicle density of 540 per 1,000 people is the highest in the region and one of the highest in the world.