Monday, November 10, 2008

Worse than usual road chaos

It was bad wasn't it. Yesterday was worse than ever on the roads.

It all started at about 4.30am when a mobile crane working on the Metro station outside Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road collapsed onto a roadsign gantry.

Police closed the road so that another crane could be brought in to support the collapsed one, which was later cut into pieces and removed. Checks on the safety of the gantry also had to be carried out. It took about eight hours until the road was reopened.

Photo Hadrian Hernandez. Gulf News

I was trying to get along Al Wasl Road but that was jammed too.

As ever, the problem wasn't just the volume of traffic but the attitude of too many drivers.

On Al Wasl tthere was a front-on crash at a traffic light junction, so obviously one of them had jumped the red light. That didn't help the heavy traffic load.

Then we had the usual arrogant, inconsiderate morons using the service road to get ahead and then pushing their way into the traffic. That slows everything down even more of course.

All of that had me fuming, and it didn't get any better.

In the evening the ten minute drive from Knowledge Village to Dubai Marina took a fraction under one hour.

We have the inevitable planning incompetence, the recently finished roads were all wrong so they've been dug up. So we have single lanes, cones and diversions everywhere, temporary roundabouts. But that's normal so wasn't the cause of the extra chaos yesterday.

I don't know what it was because I didn't see any crashes or new road changes.

But once again the morons added to the delays, using the hard shoulders and closed lanes to get in front, then forcing their way in.

In KV I also had to take avoiding action for a brainless jogger who looked up to see if the road was clear, saw me coming and continued to trot across right in front of me.

And in Dubai Marina, where there's little or no street lighting, construction arclights shining into the eyes of motorists, shadows everywhere, as usual there were labourers in dark clothing wandering in the roads, backs to and completely ignoring the traffic.

It wasn't a good trip.

By the way, coming back to the arrogance of drivers, here's an example.

Clear 'No Entry' signs. There are actually three of them.

And a row of vehicles driving past them the wrong way down a one way road.

One thing I didn't see in all the chaos, the dangerous driving, the jaywalking, was a policeman. Not one.

One more thing which demonstrates the attitude of drivers.

Gulf News quote this motorist. According to Rabiaah Fahad, a motorist, no one should be blamed in such a situation, as it was an accident. "Crane accidents are as unexpected as car accidents," said Fahad. "If this accident is unacceptable then we should not drive at all."

That's the attitude folks. Accidents happen, nothing causes them, just accept it all as inevitable.

Accidents don't happen, they are caused.

The crane collapsed is being investigated but was probably, according to police, due to overloading.

Vehicle 'accidents' are caused by motorists driving into things.

With the driving I see every day car 'accidents' are not, as Mr Fahad believes, unexpected, they're inevitable. High as our crash rate is, I'm amazed it's not much higher.

Gulf News has the crane collapse and traffic chaos story here.


Fashion 4 UAE said...

the goverment has to take serious about that, really sometimes i can not understand, between emarites why don't don't help each other but afaid the others take benifits.

like Ajman even no bus, sharjah you can not move even at 5am. now i heard some news saying sharjah taxi plan to start from 20dhs.

Keefieboy said...

I'd just leave, if I were you Seabee. It's gonna get a lot worse before it gets any better.

MM said...

There are plenty of Fahads out there unfortunately. Its a mixture of people distorting common sense and religion/culture.

I was in a taxi which was dangerously tailgating other cars, and upon asking the driver to drive more safely laughed and said , "We Pakhtuns are a brave race, we dont drive like girls".

So, driving safely is feminine driving to him and countless other Drivers, no doubt Thats why I feel all new drivers should be psychologically tested, and present ones should have their licences rescinded if they have such weird beliefs.

boxster said...

My friend lives right where you have the car circled in the No Way lane.

He tells me he has no other way to get home than drive through the No Wy sign.

Seabee said...

Boxster that's not true, it's an excuse for driving through a No Entry sign.

It's a perfectly normal one-way system, going to the right of Belvedere (the building in the photograph) and back in a circle to where the No Entry signs are located.

boxster said...

Seabee - That's what I said to my friend as well. He demonstrated to me the completely torn-up under-construction piece of road that comes around the back, making it impossible for anything but an SUV to make it to the Belvedere as "planned". Granted, this was more than a month ago and that road might have been fixed by now.

Seabee said...

Boxster I live there too. The road in from SZR was torn up but long before that happened the one way system around Belvedere etc was in place.

I'll do a new posting on it which you can show your friend so he stops driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic!