Al Ain: Al Ain Municipality on Wednesday launched a plan to alleviate the growing traffic problem in the city's private schools zone.
The roads in the zone will be redesigned and the roundabouts will be replaced with signal-controlled interchanges.
The municipality has awarded a Dh100 million contract to a consultancy firm to study the engineering and designing aspects of the new developments in the area.
The contract was signed yesterday by Dr Mohammad Mattar Al Nuaimi, Director General of Al Ain Municipality.
An official of the municipality said the project is among the priorities set forth under a strategic plan for 2010-14 for sustainable urban development. It will streamline the traffic flow in the area with new and improved roads, he said.
The project will not only reduce growing traffic congestion but also provide easy and safe passage for children, parents and others to reach the schools.
The new development will also focus on the safety of the students, pedestrians and other road users. Construction is expected to start later this year, he said.
The city has been undertaking a major development programme and many roads and facilities have been redesigned and improved.
A number of roundabouts have been removed in the downtown area and traffic signals have been installed to streamline the growing traffic.
The private schools' zone, with some 90 per cent of the city's schools in one area, has been facing traffic problem for several years.
The civic administration struggled to find a solution to the ensuing traffic jams, as the private schools are concentrated in one area.
It also sought help from the Roadway, Transportation and traffic Safety Research Centre (RTTSRC) of the UAE University for a quick solution in 2007.
The centre proposed several immediate short-term solutions through a study that was completed in six months, under the supervision of Dr Yaser Hawas, Director of RTTSRC.
In the past, many parents, teachers, transporters and school administrations have provided objections to the civic planners for concentrating the schools in one area without paying full attention to the problem in the aftermath.
Many of the schools had to build new purpose-built buildings for moving into the area, which has become congested with a large number of buses, mini-vans, private cars and taxis during mornings and afternoons. Unlike private schools, the public schools are located in different parts of the city.