Monday, January 15, 2007

More planning mistakes.

No prizes for guessing - it's the road planners yet again.

The latest stupidity is in Dubai Marina, so I don't know which particular group of what's hysterically known as planners is responsible - RTA, Emaar, Municipality...

There's been a Master Plan for years and you would assume the roads were designed to cater for the residences, retail outlets, hotels that are shown on that plan. Designed to cope with the volume of traffic and to direct traffic flow in the most effective way.


The roads were built, finished, in use for a they're being changed completely.

The fourth bridge across the marina has been open a couple of days, the dual carriageway to it for just over a year. The un-named dual carriageway that runs around the edge of Dubai Marina on the land side has also been finished a year or so. Now on both roads the central reservation is being dug up in several places, a new system is being built and traffic flow is totally different from the original plan.

This was a continuous central reservation until yesterday.

On the bridge approach road a roundabout is going in. So what was planned and built as a continuous dual carriageway now has a roundabout in the middle. The traffic flow from adjacent roads has been changed completely from what was originally planned and built.

On the outer road it's anyone's guess what latest change they've come up with, it's a huge confusing mess of cones, flags, bits of timber, chalk marks. Parts of the central reservation have been demolished, lanes changed. No warning signs of course, all but no directional signs. But once again the traffic flow is entirely different from the original plan.

That's Jumeirah Lake Towers in the background.

The traffic lights still work, needlessly because the junction is totally coned off, but they're over-ridden by a flagman. He sits there on a crate all day vaguely waving a green flag at the totally confused motorists. You might just see him in the photo, in a lime-green safety jacket between the third & fourth buildings from the left.

The unrelentingly incorrect planning from the roads agencies is appalling. It should also be totally unacceptable and heads should roll. We obviously need to get rid of the incompetents and bring in designers and planners who can actually work things out and come up with the right answers first time. That's what planners are supposed to do.

It wasn't hyperbole when I said in yesterday's post that transport/roads was one of the two major factors, the other being inflation, endangering Dubai's future as a serious commercial centre. They are the two main topics of conversation in both private and business circles.

Companies don't have to be in Dubai, there are alternative cities in the Gulf and further afield. The cost of our bad road planning is felt by every company - staff regularly caught up in traffic instead of being able to work, time wasted trying to get to and from appointments, salesmen wasting selling time stuck in traffic or looking for parking space, cancelled appointments because of traffic snarls, huge lost productivity.

There's also the frustration, the added pollution, the tens of millions in wasted costs.

Every major city has traffic problems and Dubai's will inevitably be worse because of the endless construction. But to plan and complete roads only to re-design them months later, dig them up and start all over again really is totally unacceptable.


nzm said...

We drove through that intersection today and I commented to J about how needless that flag-guy would be if they only turned off the traffic lights!

Seabee said...

All the lights along there go dead regularly. Now when we need it to die it works perfectly!

caz said...

Reading frequenly about the traffic problems of Dubai and the frustration it causes, leads me to believe that those of us lucky enough to live in Australia are living in paradise by comparison.

Living with the traffic and inflation nightmares would cause one to grow old very quickly I would think.

trailingspouse said...

It seems as though someone finally pulled their head out of sand, looked at all the towers nearing completion, thought about all the traffic they will generate and said "whoops".

Seabee said...

ts that's the problem, I'm sure. And that's my complaint - they had a Master Plan, they knew what was going to be built, they should have designed the roads accordingly. But obviously they didn't, because they're having to re-do them - but instead of empty desert they now have to work around all the buildings and the infrastructure.

caz as I know you're lucky enough live in the countryside I can tell you that that's the difference. Any city around the world has traffic issues- Sydney is a nightmare too these days. If you lived there, or any other city, you'd have traffic frustrations.

Anonymous said...

You all say Dubai traffic is bad but being from Brussels I was not shocked at all.

Traffic in Brussels is far worse, road works take months to years to complete and traffic problems are a daily thing of life.

I think that once the Marina is finished, traffic problems will be back to normal too?

Anonymous said...

Is there realy a master plan? It dosen't seem so. Does anyone know where to find details of what is actually being planned?