UAE | General

Sharjah police take steps to ease gridlock in Al Nahda

Motorists face long traffic jams on bridge near Sahara Centre during rush hour

  • By Faisal Masudi and Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporters
  • Published: 21:30 April 20, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Atiq-Ur-Rehman/Gulf News
  • The lack of discipline and traffic management at the interchanges in Al Nahda results in chaos during rush hour.

Sharjah: Police are trying to break gridlocks on the interchange in Sharjah’s Al Nahda area, next to Sahara Centre mall, following complaints from motorists, a top official said.

The bridge is clogged during rush hour on weekdays, while mall visitors also find themselves stuck during weekend nights.

“We’re aware of the problem and we’ve received many complaints. Police units are being sent there every day to manage traffic,” Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Bin Darwish, head of the Patrol Department of Sharjah Police, told Gulf News.

The small bridge has only one lane in each direction and is used to enter and exit Al Nahda, a busy residential area.

It is also used to access and exit Sahara Centre, a popular shopping mall that recently opened an extension of the property. Police are expecting even more traffic following the extension’s opening, Bin Darwish said.

The problems are compounded by motorists trying to access a U-turn at the foot of the bridge near Al Nahda Park. Traffic from the bridge and other lanes on the ground is being forced to merge into a single lane to access the U-turn, creating a bottleneck.

Police often fence off the U-turn during peak hours to reduce the problem, but some motorists push away the fence. Earlier this week, a four-wheel-drive was spotted pushing away the barrier with its front bumper.

Also problematic is a small roundabout at the other end of the interchange. During rush hour, the tailbacks ripple back onto Al Nahda Road and the street behind Sahara Centre.

“I took me 32 minutes on the bridge. I was visiting a friend in Al Nahda,” said a Pakistani motorist.

An Indian mother-of-two added: “We’ve stopped going to Sahara Centre because of the traffic on the bridge. Getting in isn’t the problem, it’s getting out that’s tough on the weekends. The only other option is to park on the opposite side of the road and use the pedestrian bridge to cross over.”

Recently, a man — apparently mall security — was standing on Al Nahda Road next to Sahara Centre trying to manage traffic near the approach to the bridge. He was waving a red light stick gesturing motorists to head straight and avoid the ramp up to the bridge as it was clogged.

Bin Darwish said only police officials are allowed to intervene on the roads.

“We’re trying to facilitate the flow of traffic, no-one else should try to take matters into their own hands — for their own safety,” he said.

“It could be that traffic is particularly busy nowadays because people are still trying to get used to the opening of the mall extension. Traffic slows down when school buses are using the roads in the area, but most schools are off now. The problem is related to the morning and even rush hour and we’re helping motorists cope.”

Comments (25)

  1. Added 18:30 April 21, 2013

    I see this traffic jam on daily basis. The simplest solution of this problem is to make a U Turn on Sahara Center road, so that all the traffic which is coming from Al Khan and inside Sharjah can go towards the Ring Road by using Al Nahda Park roundabout and the bridge. Just to go to the other side of the road, motorists will use that U Turn. I think that by doing this at least 75% of traffic will be reduced.

    Aamir, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 18:24 April 21, 2013

    Another problem in Al Nahda Sharjah is the Al Nahda Bridge leading to Ittihad Road. This bridge is totally jam packed during the peak hours in the morning. Some people use the hard shoulder and clog up the junction where the traffic jam is like hell. Earlier there used to be a Policeman standing, but nowadays people take it for granted and the road gets clogged there. I request authorities to install a signal or appoint someone for traffic control.

    Kumar, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 17:32 April 21, 2013

    This is a lack of planing. This should have been considered when the residential area was built. There is no footpath in the whole of Nahda. It is really scary to take the kids on the road to reach the park. The pity is that no one has not come to see how people walk on the street in the absence of pavements and zebra crossings.

    Mohammad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 17:29 April 21, 2013

    I agree with Mr. Ashraf comments, Sharjah And Dubai should take some serious step about traffic control, between Nahda dubai - sharjah though they are very keen on this always. Please I also comment that there is no Pedestrial bridges between Altawun and Nahda Shjarjah if Sharjah authorities should see this is very important. if you see other way the ittihad road is totally jammed during weekend if DUBAI AND SHARJAH can give access to motorists can use Mamzar road lane which is linked to dubai mamzar, it will ease the traffic flow because its only allow for RTA Busses and Taxis.

    waqar, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:44 April 21, 2013

    I wish Dubai Metro will extend to Al Nahda, Sharjah. ( ie. Lulu Hyper -> NMC Hospital - Zulekha Hospital ). Thanks

    Binoy, Dubai, India

  6. Added 16:42 April 21, 2013

    1st thing U-turn next to Park should be closed and 2nd the exit to Sahara Center roundabout should be closed permanently. People comming from ittihad road go straight to sharjah and take U-Turn to come back and take right to Al Nahda Park.

    Zeeshan, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 16:40 April 21, 2013

    The only solution is to connect both cities with metro else building more roads will not solve any problem; the more the roads, the heavier the traffic gets due to popular demand to live in Sharjah for economical life style!

    Kamran, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 16:39 April 21, 2013

    Sharjah should revise their land, building approvals. Huge 25 to 35 story builings with no road, no parking, no safety measures etc. Please stop making the new buildings at the Al Nahda area.

    Ayman, Dubai, Japan

  9. Added 16:28 April 21, 2013

    I am also resident of the same place and I am always struggling to make my way in and out of the residential area due to extreme congestion, especially the evening hours. What if Dubai and Sharjah could look over the possibility of removing the barrier between Al Nahda Dubai and Al Nahda Sharjah. It will much ease the traffic flow and our lives

    Ashraf, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 16:06 April 21, 2013

    This is not the only road problem in Al Nahda area. Having a public park inside a busy roundabout is a major cause for concern. Children keep crossing the road to and from the park all evening. Often parents take small children in push carts and cross the road from all around the park. A public park should be in a safe area away from busy main roads and not inside a roundabout. The only pedestrian crossing is in front of the LuLu Supermarket, which makes the matter worse during rush hours. The tail back is on the main road (Al Ittihad) in the evening due to LuLu shoppers crossing the road. Also there are no pavements for the people to walk on. The entire Sharjah Al Nahda area is a real mess without proper roads and pavements.

    Pramod Perera, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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