Municipality introduces a five-year plan for Dubai's roadways

Replanning is required to keep up with needs of a projected population of 3 million by 2017

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By  Eudore Chand Published  September 11, 2004

The road network system in Dubai is in for a major upgrade and replanning. The network needs to keep pace with the rapidly growing population of the emirate and to accommodate the new light rail system that will network the city. Municipal authorities have recently completed a number of studies on the city’s roads including an asphalt research project that was aimed at upgrading the quality of asphalt used in Dubai’s roads. This was to cope with the increasing number of heavy trucks using the emirate’s roads and the prevailing hot climatic conditions. The studies carried out by the roads department at Dubai Municipality, will improve traffic conditions, introduce appropriate policies for mass transit methods and improve road conditions in Dubai, said Nasser Ahmed Saeed, department director. The study titles include: a ‘Comprehensive transport study’, ‘Master plan for technical traffic systems’, ‘Traffic calming studies’, Comprehensive pedestrian movement study’, ‘Asphalt research project’, and ‘Comprehensive plans for traffic technical systems.’ In a report on the road network and traffic systems in Dubai, Saeed said: “The population of the emirate is expected to reach three million by 2017. This demands from us a study of the current transportation methods in the emirate as well as the various alternative modes of transportation. The ‘Comprehensive transport study’ has been undertaken in this context.” He noted that, as part of the study, a traffic model was developed to predict future traffic in all directions as a base for laying down short, medium and long-term plans for the roads network after collecting comprehensive traffic information. “Various transport policies and alternatives were evaluated, and a five-year plan for improving the road network and transport systems in Dubai was introduced,” Saeed said. The study’s immediate effect was the introduction of a comprehensive plan for traffic techniques systems in Dubai, which include electronic display boards, speedway access and an exit management system, traffic accidents management system, and a dynamic navigation system. Of these, electronic display boards or ‘variable message signs’ that show road conditions, alerting motorists to congested routes and suggesting other options, will be set up by Dubai Municipality by 2005. Two phases of this dynamic navigation system have already been introduced and the final phase is currently underway. Saeed further noted that the traffic calming studies were undertaken to identify traffic safety issues and their corelation to the planning and design factors of road networks and land use. The end result was the preparation of a comprehensive traffic-calming manual for Dubai. This project, named ‘Planning and design of traffic calming’, has won Dubai Municipality the prestigious Grand Award of 2003 for Engineering Excellence from the Consulting Engineers of South Carolina. The pedestrian movement study was conducted to collect information about current pedestrian movements, facilities and safety issues. Field surveys were conducted to solicit pedestrians’ views and suggestions on the planning and designing of facilities for pedestrians and those who use bicycles.

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