The area around Abu Dhabi Mall is one of the busiest places in the emirate, especially during the early mornings and evenings. There is always a constant flow of visitors to the numerous embassies, shops and offices situated there.
There is a pedestrian bridge in front of the mall for the public to cross the road. However, there is also a pedestrian crossing and traffic signal with a sign that reads, ‘Handicapped only'.
People are confused many a times, as the signal is operational. So they tend to cross the road using the pedestrian crossing and ignore the bridge.
We regularly witness a cat and mouse game played out between a team of dedicated officers from Abu Dhabi Police and the general public visiting the shopping mall. Whenever the team from Abu Dhabi Police is there, a police barricade is put in place and officers stop and fine jaywalkers. Many people get fined in the process.
However, as soon as the police team departs, people start crossing the road from any point they feel like.
The traffic signals are temporary and are placed in a manner that results in some drivers not noticing them. Additionally, many members of the public cross the road without even caring to check for oncoming traffic as they are busy speaking on their mobile phones.
A well-planned traffic strategy has to be developed for this particular point that witnesses heavy pedestrian movement, especially until the road works are completed.
Measures should be adopted so that the public are accorded easy passage without being troubled and fined.
— The reader is a technical officer, based in Abu Dhabi.