Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Roundabouts or lights?

There's an interesting report in Gulf News from Oman, headed: "Muscat roundabouts being replaced with traffic light junctions." Apparently all roundabouts in Muscat will be replaced.

One of the problems with traffic management in Dubai is the fundamental mistake way back of using a hybrid of various road systems, particularly US and UK systems. So we have dual-carriageways with U-Turn allowed but also roundabouts - and to add to the confusion, traffic lights on the roundabouts.

I remember a US traffic management expert, too many years ago for me to remember exactly who, saying that roundabouts were very pretty but they were an obstruction to traffic flow.

Is it too late for the basic system here to be cleaned up?

Gulf News story is here.


Alexander said...

Think yourself lucky. In Sharjah all the roundabouts have been renamed as squares. So you have Sheikh Sagr Al Qassimi Square and so on. Except they're round.

redstar said...

The roundabouts should work well, if only they'd implemented them properly. Having huge, six lane roundabouts doesn't work - witness the Al Khail Rd and the difficulties driving around Trade Centre.

Of course, if people were actually trained to use them properly, things would be better.

Still, anything's better than the lunacy of trying to ram your way through mammoth 'circles' in Jeddah.

My experience of Oman is that the roundabouts work fine.

2020hindsight said...

Near the Marina they have replaced a traffic light junction with a roundabout. For the first few weeks it was chaos, and it's still a lot more dangerous even now.
The basic problem is that a roundabout assumes people have common sense, whereas traffic lights enforce discipline (well 90% of the time anyway).
If more of the people in Dubai had a sensible, safe approach to driving roundabouts would work but unfortunately significant numbers of the people inhabiting their tin cans don't actually have a) much in the way of driving skill or b) much in the way of common sense.

Anonymous said...

love your blog.. good job

Anonymous said...

Also traffice lights can be set to accommodate the change in flow throughout the day - i.e. longer signals for traffic in to DXB in the am and longer signals in the opposite way in the evening. No more roundabouts of death! This will fix things much better than Salik. Also lights eliminate the frustration of unknown factor with the roundabouts!

rosh said...

So I take it you don't live in SHJ? I remember writing to Gulf News, Letters to the Editor section about 10 years ago - warning & complaining on SHJ's non-sense infrastructure and fascination with road beautification projects, which had zero logic. Some of the roundabouts are so huge, drivers have little clue how to exit. Plus the newer folks (especially from the subcon) drive like they do back home, I think?

SHJ exists next to Dubai, however in terms of infrastructure sensibility, SHJ is sort of light years behind I suppose

Seabee said...

Rosh, no I don't live in Shj, I'm in Dubai Marina. You don't want to know about the roads here!