Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thinning traffic

I can't quite believe it, but the roads around Dubai Marina and the free zones have suddenly, this week, become almost clear of traffic snarls.

The Al Sufouh (beach) Road is sort-of almost finished - a lot of the cones have gone anyway - flyovers have suddenly been opened and it really seems that it's all coping with the traffic. Fingers crossed - maybe it's a good sign of things to come for the new road system after all.

Two gripes though.

The emptier, wide, straight roads are encouraging the lunatics to even higher speeds. I sit on the speed limit, which is generally 80 but 60 in parts, and I swear I'm the only one anywhere near it. Estimate well over 100kph for some of them, oddly nearly always big 4x4s such as Landcruisers. More often than not with white faces behind the wheel, in spite of the letters to the papers about Asian and Arab drivers being the problem. Flat straight wide road these vehicles can cope with, but anything happens - from a tyre going to an obstacle appearing to the driver on his mobile not concentrating - and 2.5 tonnes of high-centre-of-gravity 4x4 becomes a WMD.

Hellooo! Dubai Police. Where are you? Come out, wherever you are.

The second gripe is the danger to workers chalking out the road markings. Even after dark last evening, a couple of them bending down with a piece of string and a piece of chalk, right in the middle of the three-lane road, their only protection a colleague frantically waving a red flag.

There has to be a better way.

1 comment:

nzm said...

Know what you mean about the lack of safety for the workers - their only line of defence is the man with a red flag!

I often think about the comparison between road workers here and in a country like NZ.

In NZ, there'd be 2 lanes blocked off, flashing lights everywhere, cones, most likely a big truck with cushioned bumper guards placed between the workers and the oncoming cars - and traffic would be crawling.

Here, there's a guy with a red flag, often standing right where the obstacle is and not before it to give fair warning, and the traffic is screaming past them. I'd be scared!

Hey - don't tell anyone about the improvements around here - they'll all start using the roads again!

But if you do want a laugh, come down to the marina and watch the valet parking area on a weekend night. Right now, the traffic is backed up to the road, cars are everywhere at the bottom, drivers are just leaning on their horns, and we're sitting quietly on the balcony with some cold bevvies and laughing at the whole scene! A car horn will certainly get those 30 cars in front of you to move!