A footbridge on Abu Bakr Seddiqi Road in Dubai. The project will bring the total number of pedestrian bridges in Dubai from the existing 74 to 87. Image Credit: Javed Nawab/Gulf News Archives

Dubai: At least 13 new pedestrian bridges will be constructed at different locations in Dubai during the next eight months in a bid to reduce pedestrian deaths on roads, a senior official said.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has awarded the contract to build the bridges at a cost of Dh45 million. This will bring the total number of pedestrian bridges from the existing 74 to 87, Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA, said. The number of footbridges includes 23 on the Red Line and 11 on the Green Line.

"The construction of footbridges marks RTA's efforts to provide safe transit means for pedestrians crossing streets. The new footbridges will be constructed at a number of locations in the wake of traffic studies," Al Tayer said.

Traffic studies

The studies focused on several parameters, including the intensity of movement of people between the two sides of roads, availability of markets and establishments, and spots witnessing high proportions of run-over accidents.

Al Tayer said the RTA attaches paramount importance to road traffic safety. Besides constructing pedestrian crossings, the RTA has rolled out a host of initiatives to improve traffic safety, including awareness campaigns, setting up fences to fend off pedestrian crossing at dangerous spots on roads, providing more than 100 pedestrian crossings, including signalled crossings and speed humps, and setting up cautionary signs in the vicinity of 300 schools, mosques and hospitals.

Metro station facilities

It also attended to the provision of services at Metro stations such as pick-up and drop-off points for passengers of taxis, private vehicles and public buses.

Efforts made by the RTA in collaboration with the Dubai Police have contributed to boosting traffic safety on roads as pedestrian fatalities on Dubai roads have reduced from 145 cases in 2007 to 78 in 2009, and 43 in 2010. The same number was recorded last year as well.

Al Tayer urged pedestrians to use overbridges and zebra crossings to cross the road and also called on motorists to abide by speed limits and slow down at pedestrian crossings and near schools.