Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Salik road toll expansion begins

"Salik is an effective tool to reduce the usage of private cars."

Matter Al Tayer, Executive Director, RTA.

At last an admission that it's about getting private cars off the roads.

The comment came as part of the announcement that additional Salik road toll gates will begin operating on September 9 on Sheikh Zayed Road, between Interchanges 1 and 2, and on Maktoum Bridge.

An interesting claim was this:

Motorists will be charged once if they pass through two Salik gates including the new one near the Second Interchange (Safa Park interchange) and the existing one at Barsha on Shaikh Zayed Road, in one journey.

How will they know it's one journey? Is there a time limit?

They put the toll on Garhoud Bridge and, surprise, surprise, traffic became heavier on Maktoum Bridge. Now they have to ease that, so on goes a toll. After September 9 the temporary floating bridge and Business Bay Bridge will get more traffic - the tunnel isn't an option in peak times because traffic is backed up for kilometres already. So a toll will go on them...and the expansion of the toll system is guaranteed.

No alternatives yet of course, but at least there should be one for a few people on a few specific journeys next year when the Metro is due to begin operating. That'll mean a handful of cars can be left at home.

It looks to me as though the planning is up to the usual RTA standard.

All the papers have the details, Gulf News also have a map showing the location of the new gates; their story is here.

4 comments: said...

The fact that the RTA plans to make owning a car more expensive is nothing new. The National covered the issue on April 25. Here's the quote:

Parking fees and vehicle registration costs will both be increased “significantly” and Dubai’s unpopular road toll system, Salik, will “definitely” be expanded, a senior official at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) told UAE daily The National.

“It might not be what you want to hear, but driving a car will become a lot more expensive in the next few years,” said Abdul Redha Abu Al Hassan, director of rail planning at the RTA, The National reported on Friday.

Seabee said...

True, and I've posted about it a couple of times before. But it's not just the rising costs - in the last few weeks they've started to admit that the 'integrated roads & transport plan' doesn't include private vehicles. They are planning to get them off the roads and they're now saying so.

urbanite82 said...

Although it may be irksome to us now, we should all try to see the longterm benefits of these measures. I can't say that these are the exact intentions of the RTA and other parties involved, but making vehicles more expensive to own and increased toll gates etc. not only helps with traffic congestion, it actually helps with reducing emissions and other environmental issues(which we should all be taking seriously).
As far as the traffic goes, I'm wondering why the RTA doesn't try to implement the whole car pool lane alternative, I think it would be great on Emirates Road.

Seabee said...

Urbanite I agree, but the RTA's actions keep adding to the problems you describe.

The plan should be to encourage car pooling, a public transport system with car parks linked to it (the 'park & ride' idea), roads planned to cut journey distance instead of add to it, roads planned to ease the flow of traffic not jam it, roads planned to keep traffic moving at a steady rate rather than stopping and starting all the time.