Ghazali street

This is surely a big mistake and the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works and the Traffic Department

Muna Al Fuzai

When an authority decided to shut a vital highway in Kuwait – Al-Ghazali Road – with a stroke of a pen, it made people angry, because they were forced to spend hours on the roads due to the resulting traffic jams. This is surely a big mistake and the responsibility of the Ministry of Public Works and the Traffic Department. Closing any street for development is acceptable, but doing it without preparations will lead to complaints, so it is necessary to have alternative plans before proceeding, while the opening of additional routes is essential.

Traffic to and from Kuwait City is heavy all the time and on all roads. The contractor said the closure will last for a year, until the development of Al-Ghazali Road is complete. We have become accustomed in Kuwait to poor planning by officials and disregard for the people, so this project may end up taking two years. This is possible, and I really wonder what it will be like until the end of this mess.

Shuwaikh Industrial area is usually one of the busiest locations in town, let alone after the closure of this vital artery. The important question is – what are the alternative routes provided to users of the road? I am not surprised with the action they took, since they haven’t taken into account the problem of flying gravel that has shattered the windshields of many cars.

The problem is not with the large number of cars, but the poor planning and road system. The United Arab Emirates has a wonderful system, so why not learn from the systems they have adopted? Some reports mentioned the opening of alternative routes, but two days ago, I was stuck there for an hour and a half, where the cars did not move due to the severe congestion caused by the mix of cars, trucks and buses. It’s very annoying when you are stranded in the car in the middle of the road for long hours.

The Ministry of Public Works announced it will open a new tunnel on Jahra road opposite Kuwait Club with a length of more than half a kilometer after almost two weeks. The opening of the main bridge on Airport Road should be by March. I advise everyone to be extra careful when using the new roads as a result of changes in the level of traffic and speeds.

There is a need for urban planning, with a focus on expanding the integrated network of roads. Tunnels and bridges must be ready to adapt to the increase in vehicles and future growth. Also, cooperation between the ministries of public works, interior, transportation, electricity and water and the road engineering department is a must.

Congestion exists in all countries of the world, but it becomes a problem in the absence of preparation and planning.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
muna@kuwaittimes.net

This article was published on 16/02/2017