Saudi Gazette – Residents of Jeddah have been urging the authorities to resolve traffic bottlenecks in the city following the reopening of schools after Eid Al-Adha holidays.
They have called upon Jeddah’s new traffic chief, Brig. Sulaiman Al-Zakari, to intensify patrols on main roads and traffic signals to organize traffic and resolve traffic jams.
Students and teachers of King Abdulaziz University (KAU), meanwhile, said closure some campus gates have caused traffic jams that lasted for hours. They urged the university authorities to solve the problem as quickly as possible to ensure a smooth flow of traffic.
The traffic department has adopted a number of steps including an entry ban on huge trucks during peak hours, increasing signal durations at traffic points having large numbers of vehicles and diverting direction of vehicles on some streets to end traffic jams.
Naif Khaled Saati, security director at KAU, highlighted the measures taken by his department to ease traffic at the university’s 13 gates including nine main gates.
“From 70,000 to 100,000 vehicles enter the campus daily. We keep all the gates open to ensure smooth flow of vehicles, especially in the morning and evening hours,” Saati said.
The university has built multi-level car parks to accommodate a large number of vehicles and operates a shuttle service to take the students to their respective buildings from the parking points.
Al-Madinah Arabic daily met with the new traffic director to alert him on the traffic jams around university gates.
The traffic director went out with Al-Madinah’s Anwar Al-Saggaf on a field tour to see for himself the measures taken by the department to control traffic during the peak hours.
“At the roundabout near the university’s western gate we witnessed intense traffic,” said the reporter. “We noticed some motorists making violations and the police were seen stopping those violators under Al-Zakari’s order and issuing tickets,” he added.
Brig. Al-Zakari urged traffic officers to get out of their cars to control traffic during peak hours. He also asked them to take strict action against motorists who violate the rules.
Later the traffic director visited the intersection of Palestine Street with Madinah Road, which witnessed heavy traffic as a result of vehicles coming from the east and south of the city.
Al-Zakari then instructed a number of traffic patrols to move in to control vehicles and take quick measures to remove vehicles involved in accidents.
The intersection of Haramain Road with King Abdullah Road witnessed a heavy traffic jam with vehicles moving slowly. The traffic jam was created by the presence of trucks that entered the road in violation of traffic rules.
Brig. Al-Zakari asked his officers to remove those trucks from the road and issue tickets against them for violating the law.
“We noticed another traffic jam at the intersection of Prince Majed Road with Bani Malik Street as a result of the breaking down of some vehicles,” Al-Saggaf said, adding that the traffic chief ordered tow trucks to take those vehicles to workshops.
At the intersection of Abdullah Sulaiman Road with Prince Majed Road, some motorists were seen driving in the opposite direction in front of the traffic director, who stopped them immediately and issued tickets. Al-Zakari visited at least 12 heavy traffic points in the city on that day.
Later speaking to Al-Madinah, the traffic director said a lack of parking facilities was one of the major reasons for traffic bottlenecks near schools. “Some motorists park their vehicles in a haphazard manner blocking traffic,” he explained.
He added: “We coordinate with school, college and university authorities to set out a traffic plan to ensure smooth flow of vehicles on their premises.”
He said the new public transport system would largely contribute to reducing traffic bottlenecks in the city.
He emphasized the need to expand roads to meet requirements of the city’s growing population. He also urged motorists to follow traffic rules strictly to avoid accidents and ensure a smooth flow of vehicles.