Pedestrians climb the steps of a non-functional escalator on a overhead bridge on Abu Bakr Al Seddiqi Street in Deira, Dubai. Image Credit: Asghar Khan/Gulf News

Dubai Poorly maintained pedestrian footbridges across the city irk residents, especially as temperatures rise.

Lack of elevators and non-functional escalators are some of the complaints raised by residents. There are different types of pedestrian crossings. Some are enclosed and have air conditioning, while others just have stairs or ramps. There are footbridges with and without escalators as well as elevators.

"Many elders, pregnant women and children are suffering as the elevators and escalators at many pedestrian bridges are not working," Diwansha Rajarahim, a resident in Al Ghusais area said.

Fall on the stairs

His wife fell off the stairs, as she was returning home with groceries along the pedestrian bridge on Damascus Street and hurt her forehead on Saturday, he said. She was taken to Rashid Hospital for treatment, after the police were called in.

"We are using this bridge for more than two years but the elevator hardly ever works."

Since the police regularly issue a fine of Dh200 for jaywalking, authorities should consider making it easier for pedestrians to use the footbridges, he urged. Rajarahim added that elevators at two other footbridges on the same street are not working either.

Benjie Thomas, also a resident of Al Ghusais, said that he has faced the same issue several times.

Summer worries

"It is very difficult to climb the stairs, particularly in summer. It would actually have been easier if there were speed-breakers on the street to allow pedestrians to cross," he said.

The pedestrian footbridge on Abu Bakr Al Seddiqi Road in Deira near Cargo Village, another in Khalid Bin Al Waleed Street in Bur Dubai etc are some of the footbridges pedestrians complained about.

"I encounter non-functioning escalators all the time," said Gracie, who added that she walks a lot as she does not own a car.

Needs to be more convenient

"If people have to be encouraged to use public transport more often, it needs to be made more convenient to use," she added.

Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) official said that they are in the process of repairing non-functioning elevators and escalators. Out of ten pedestrian footbridges with elevators, eight are working in very good condition and the remaining two are under comprehensive maintenance, the RTA official said.

"The spare parts have been ordered for the two service elevators that are located in Abu Hail Street and they are going to be ready by the end of this week," he said.

"The elevators of the footbridges on Damascus Street are under the jurisdiction of the main contractor of the roads department and they will be looking into it," he added.

Phone to report complaints

He urged the public to contact 8009090 to report such complaints, promising swift action.

Last month, RTA had announced construction of 13 new pedestrian bridges. 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, had said.

The number of footbridges includes 23 on the Red Line and 11 on the Green Line.