Jeddah to be free of traffic congestion in 15 years
Congestion at various traffic junctions and squares in Jeddah has increased tremendously, even after spending millions of riyals on new underpasses and overpasses.
The municipality, however, has promised that the problem of congestion will end by 2030 with the completion of new infrastructural projects.
Observers say the problem of congestion basically relates to the engineering designs that were executed in projects, which did not resolve the congestion issue.
The design in circular openings and exits from bridges or underpasses leading to traffic lights have failed to clear traffic snarls. Instead, they led to further congestion and bottlenecks on the main traffic ways. Observers says these are simple engineering design faults, which should have been avoided.
“The highways and roads have a limited capacity irrespective of changes and amendments made because of the constant growth of traffic, population and economic activities,” said Jamal Abdul Aal, professor of urban and regional design at the College of Environmental Design at King Abdul Aziz University (KAU).
Historically, traffic grows by 3.5 percent to 4 percent annually in a city. With population and economic development keeping pace, the pressure on the traffic system has been tremendous. Up until now the road network is not stable and has been witnessing changes or amendments in lanes and roads, which put pressure on vehicle users because they need to constantly find easier ways to get to their destinations.
Abdulal said residents and citizens should be able to use public transport instead of their own or private transport, which will lessen traffic congestion.
Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Ghamidi, Jeddah undersecretary for projects, said there are more than 70 locations with electronic counters that monitor the number of cars using roads. This gives us information about the number of cars and their makes.
He said the municipality will implement a plan for Jeddah that will ease traffic congestion by 2030. Work for this will focus on main roads and moving traffic from one side of the city to the other and in all directions. Current congestion problems are temporary because of the implementation of some projects on Al-Haramain and other major roads, he added.