The roads of suffering

Muna Al-Fuzai

All of us are suffering from the roads in Kuwait these days. It seems that there is no quick solution to this problem, which has become a trouble for everyone. Flying gravel means damage to cars and spending a lot of money repairing tires and windshields. Even if the streets are under maintenance, you will suffer, because the contracting company will take its time to complete the roadwork, with more time taken to look for a subcontractor and bring workers. Months can pass, with daily grumblings and congestion.

Even the safety lanes, which are supposed to be only for police and firefighters, are crowded with ordinary cars, because we have made our streets a means of daily torment. In November 2018, heavy rains that hit Kuwait led to the sacking of the director general of the Public Authority for Roads and Transport and an investigation was launched into the inundation of several areas and roads in the country.

Some MPs were surprised by the sheer neglect exposed by the rains in Fahaheel, Mangaf and Sabahiya. People were also surprised, and wondered what if the rains had lasted longer. The problem is that when rain falls in Kuwait, most of the country’s streets and traffic become paralyzed, with main roads closed and students and employees reaching their schools and workplaces late.

I believe that there should be advanced engineering studies that track the increase in traffic and its density. We should have innovative plans for the future to help manage and stream traffic on major streets during peak and rainy times. It will be useful to set some solutions to resolve this problem, including changing school timings. This should not be an issue. The truck ban timings on roads should be enforced too, along with new methods of operation and strict follow-up of legal rules.

I think that the political conflicts in Kuwait have resulted in many problems, including traffic jams and flying gravel, so everyone pays the price of political conflict without any solution. Citizens as well as expats are suffering greatly due to the traffic congestion in Kuwait.

I believe the development of Kuwait’s roads must be reconsidered. I don’t think the problem lies in the number of cars, as there are many expats who can’t own a car or get a driving license. Why don’t they have good alternatives like an advanced mass transit system, thus reducing the number of cars, smoothing the flow of traffic and repairing roads quickly?

Why have the legislative and executive authorities failed to provide effective solutions to the traffic crisis in Kuwait? How long will the traffic crisis continue and why are there no solutions? Are the responsible bodies waiting for more incidents due to the destruction of the streets?

By Muna Al-Fuzai
muna@kuwaittimes.net