Traffic in Doha
Is the traffic situation in Doha driving anyone else nuts? Doha was ideal for driving around - it was small, there are also multiple routes to any destination and if you could handle the "creative" driving it was generally quick to get around town.
Of course, this changed a few weeks ago - welcome to the world of road upgrades. When they closed the Airport round-about and the bottom end of C Ring, I spent three hours in traffic trying (unsuccessfully) to get to where I was going near Parachute round-about. The local newspapers were all over it the next day - the excuses were great:
- There are 45,000 new cars on the road (erm...weren't their 44,921 cars on the road the day before?)
- Everyone is out doing Ramadaan shopping (this is probably true but it could have hardly caused a three hour jam)
The situation is compounded by poorly marked "diverted traffic" signs. It took me over 30 minutes to find my way to Landmark Mall the first time I tried to go there at night after they closed the roads after the Gharrafa Interchange.
What is really funny is that every morning I drive to work on a stretch that is a few kilometres long. One half of the road has been closed and dug up (meaning that both sides of traffic have one lane each). There are about 10 (ten) guys working on the whole stretch. Yes, 10 whole people on that long stretch. You have to ask yourself, couldn't they have
a) closed off only part of the road at a time
b) staggered the upgrades over a longer period of time
c) provided more clearly marked "diverted traffic" signs
I know the Doha Asian Games 2006 is around the corner. I'm sure I'll be happy when there are new lanes. I'm not complaing about the fact that the roads need to be improved - I'm just saying that there has to be a less distruptive way to have done it.
What are your thoughts?
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