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KUWAIT CITY, April 17: At a time when the chronic traffic crisis is stagnating for years without a radical remedy, the government is still offering capricious solutions and harmful temporary painkillers by adding a lane here or there on the roads or creating a “flexible working time” system, which are useless solutions with a worn-out reality and a deteriorating infrastructure that is falling apart which has only overcrowded the roads, reports Al-Jarida daily. The daily polled the opinions of some experts who confirmed that a real breakthrough for this crisis could occur within 4 or 5 years, with a technical study prior to implementation. The head of the technical office at the General Traffic Department, Colonel Haqouqi Khaled Al-Adwani, said that the keys to resolving the crisis include developing roads, amending laws, and enhancing the traffic culture in society, in addition to rapid legislative intervention. For his part, the founder of the “Kuwait Comet” initiative, Jassem Al-Awadi, said the traffic congestion is due to “our reliance on individual means of transportation, as more than 80 percent of the traffic structure in Kuwait is individual vehicles.”
The Municipal Council, Engineer Alia Al-Farsi, said “our problem is overcrowding in the urban area,” stressing the need for new cities to be integrated and available with all services, which will ease overcrowding. For his part, the former head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Administrative Systems at the College of Engineering and Petroleum at Kuwait University, Dr. Fahd Al-Rukaibi, said crowding has become a part of our daily lives. If the average time it took previously for an individual to reach his destination was 30 to 35 minutes, it is now about 50 minutes.
The former Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, retired Lieutenant General Fahd Al-Shuwaya, called for the formation of a higher committee to study this problem, stressing that “there is no country in the world that stops issuing driving licenses and withdrawing expatriate licenses, as this is definitely not a solution.”
Meanwhile, from 1980, we started constructing the Fifth Ring, Fourth Ring, King Fahad, Riyadh, King Faisal, and Al-Ghazali roads, but we overlooked an important thing, which is the establishment of the mass transportation system. These roads that we have established should serve us for hundreds of years. It is not true that after 20 or 30 years, the entire infrastructure changes, an example of which is the Fifth Ring Road. We modified it three times – first Al-Khattabi Road, then Abu Al- Qasim Road, and we canceled the intersections, and the third is currently opposite South Surra, and Al- Surra, and this is considered a disaster. I do not blame the Ministry of Public Works, but it is not permissible, after 20 years, to uproot South Surra from its roots, and demolish the infrastructure that was built and for which large sums of money were paid. It was supposed to be built from the ground up properly, taking into account all the changes that have taken place without the need for resorting to amending it.
There is no solution except by providing a system for mass transportation, because it greatly reduces traffic congestion. Today, when mass transportation is provided to the expatriates, they will not need a license or a car. When we travel to European countries, we do not use taxis, as we use mass transportation.”