Sunday, May 06, 2007

Oh no! Please, anyone but the RTA!

There's a good report in Gulf News today on the Creek extension project.

Here's what had me groaning "oh no":

Phase five most crucial part of project.
The extension of Dubai Creek from Shaikh Zayed Road to the Arabian Gulf through Safa Park, Al Wasl and Jumeirah is the most critical part of the project...Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has been commissioned to complete Phase five of the creek extension project.

Yes folks, the RTA. Our shining example of ' world's best practice' in planning, thinking things through, making the right decisions. As I've been pointing out these past months.

Putting the inevitable chaos aside for a moment, it's a hell of a project. The Creek will double in length, changing from a simple inlet from the Gulf that sinks into the desert after 14km to a semi-circular waterway that has a second Gulf outlet further along the coast.

Gulf News

I must say I think it's a great concept, giving us more natural water through the desert and a new, and very large, focal point. There'll be plenty of walkways and greenery alongside the new waterway, it's an alternative transportation route and a leisure facility, so it's a plus for residents and visitors.

Photo: Jumana El Heloueh. Gulf News

The problems are going to be with the 2.2 kilometres stretch across Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah Beach Road to the sea. That's what the dreaded RTA has been commissioned to carry out. They say that work will begin on this at the end of the year. As I posted previously, bridges are going to be built across the three roads, SZR with 12 lanes, 6 lanes each for the others.

Just think about the chaos with what will be needed - either one road closed for the Creek to be excavated and the bridge built across it while traffic is jammed onto the other two roads, or construction on all of them at the same time (and history tells us that'll be the way they'll do it) with diversions around construction, temporary bridges, temporary roads.

Then when it's finished and the landscaping has settled nicely, DEWA will get into its usual holescaping mode and tear it all up to dig trenches, surrounded by red and white cones & flapping plastic and piles of sand.
Actually, it's better not to think about it.
And yes, what you're thinking is correct - according to the report 'dozens' of villas will be demolished. I'd say 'dozens' is an understatement, picturing the density of villas from Al Wasl Road to the beach.

The Gulf News In Depth report is here.

They also have a story featuring Brig. Mohammed Saif Al Zafein, a gentleman for whom I have growing respect. He's talking about the terrible carnage with pedestrians that we have.

"The only thing that we are unable to control currently is run-over
accidents because there is another authority involved in the process,"
Brigadier Al Zafein said.

No prizes for guessing which 'other authority' the Director of Dubai
Police's Traffic department is referring to in this report.

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